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DYABOLA Guide: Home

A Beginner’s Guide to Searching the DAI Catalog




    • What’s DYABOLA?

    • What’s in the DAI Catalog?

    • Entering the catalog

    • Screen Layout

    • Keyword Search

    • Expert Search

    • Combining Searches

    • Manipulating Results

    • Printing and Exporting Results 


What’s DYABOLA? 

DYABOLA (an acronym for DYnamical Accumulating DataBase on the Objects and Literature of Archaeology and classical studies) is a search interface for a number of databases to which UC Berkeley subscribes, among them:

  • The Subject Catalog (Realkatalog) of the German Archaeological Institute in Rome (DAI)
  • The Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance
  • Attic Grave Reliefs of the Late 5th and Early 4th Centuries B.C.

This guide will discuss only the first. You can use it as a reference, but for beginners, it will help to log on to DYABOLA and follow along with the examples.



What’s In the DAI Catalog?  

Even though this is called a Subject Catalog, you can also search by author, book or journal title, series information, and some other options. The catalog describes one of the world’s most comprehensive collections covering the art and archaeology of the ancient Greco-Roman world. In it, there are entries (in the form of virtual file cards) for books, journals, series, and journal articles; each book or article is retrievable by subject(s).


Entering the catalog  

Access is available to UC patrons from all campus computers and off campus via EZproxy logon.
Starting from the Library’s homepage (, go to About the Libraries à Libraries & Collections A-Z à Art History/Classics Library à Classics Resources à Bibliography, Reviews and Abbreviations à DYABOLA Databases.

You are now at the general DYABOLA entry page. Click on the box labelled "mit IP-Zugang" (= with Web Access), and click on "Start."

You will see a list of databases. Only those without the red box in the left margin are available to UCB users.

Click on the flag for the language you wish to use next to "Realkatalog des DAI. (This affects both the language of the search screen and that of the tree of subject headings, though not all of the information in DYABOLA is translated.)


Screen Layout  

Figure 1

Fig. 1

Right Side of Screen

At the right side of the screen, you will see three blue buttons: Search, Viewer, and Exit. You can always click on the Search button to bring up a new search menu on the left side of the screen—and you can ignore the other buttons.

Below this are two sections: Session Results keeps track of each search you have done, and allows you to return to the results (sets of records) for that search by clicking on the blue link; Navigation (History) keeps track of individual records that you looked at. DYABOLA can be confusing to navigate at first—there is no back button—but completed searches will not go away until your session ends, and you can always go back to them by clicking on them in Session Results; individual records can be retrieved by clicking on them in Navigation (History). Private Results is a feature not currently available at UCB--you can ignore.

Left Side of Screen: Overview

This is where you enter searches, modify them, combine them, and print their results.

The topmost section "Search" provides for keyword searching; text you enter will retrieve all records (for a book or article) and headings (for instance, an author’s name) contained anywhere in the catalog.

"Expert Search" allows you to specify where in a record the information you are looking for occurs.

"Navigate Semantic Web" you can ignore.

"Browse Tree of Subject Headings" allows you to see DAI’s (very hierarchical) system of subject analysis, helps you determine how items pertaining to a specific subject are classified, and allows you to retrieve all items cataloged under the same subject.

"Search subject list only" takes you to an alphabetical list of subjects of the DAI's complex list of subject headings.

As you progress through a search, other options appear, which we will discuss later on. Let’s start with some examples.

Keyword Search

Example: I want to quickly find all articles by or concerning Andrew Stewart: I’ve entered "Stewart in the "Search" box and started the search. Here’s the result:

Figure 2

Fig. 2

On the right panel, we see that 33 records met this criterion. Note that some represent individual items—books or articles; some, like "Stewart, A" are headings, which bring together all articles and books with him listed as author or editor. Any of the items or headings on the left can be clicked, and will take you to the associated records. You can also modify the result set in the "Session results" box on the left to delete records that don’t interest you by unclicking the check box to the left of the record.

I know that "Stewart, A" and "Stewart, A F" are both forms used in this catalog to refer to the same person. And I am not interested in items that have unrelated names as part of their titles. So by deselecting all but those two entries, I can be reasonably sure of getting the complete result I want:

Figure 3

Fig. 3

The next step is to view the records associated with Stewart’s name. I happen to know that "Stewart, A" is the commoner, so that’s what we'll look at by clicking on the blue link:

Figure 4

Fig. 4

In the right panel, you can see that I have a result set of two (Stewart, A and Stewart A F), and in the Navigation panel, you can see that I am looking at the records associated with the former. I can come back to either of these (the result set of two entries, or just the titles associated with "Stewart, A") anytime until I exit DYABOLA.

In the left panel, you see at the top the "card" for the author "Stewart, A" and below, the default tab, links to all records of works of which he is the author or editor. (The Parents tab just shows that this record is from the catalog’s list of authors.)

Clicking on a blue link, we get to the record for that item:

Figure 5

Fig. 5

In the top left pane, reading down, we see the call number for this book at the Institute; a brief bibliographic record in which any text in blue is a link, and at bottom,an internal control number and the record type "Card" which means this is an entry for a book or article.

Below that in the tabbed area, the default is to the subjects assigned to this book, showing how they fit in the Subject Tree; here the blue type does not indicate a link.

In the case of books, you can often find book reviews under—surprise—the reviews tab. (The links tab just gives you what is highlighted on the "card"; the Parents tab tells you that this is an entry in the list of monographs.)

Now let’s look at the record for a journal article. I can get back to the list of works by "Stewart, A" by clicking on that entry in the Navigation section.


Here’s an example of an article record:

Figure 6


Fig. 6

The "card" format is basically the same as for a book, but includes the reference to where this article appeared. RA is the abbreviation for the journal title; you can click on the Parents tab to find out that this is the Revue archéologique; or you can just click on RA.

Expert Search  

The principles of searching and navigation are the same as for a keyword search, but you can specify where in a record you want the text you type to appear. For instance, by searching on "Stewart" as Author, I could have eliminated all the articles about people named Stewart. Searches here are case-sensitive (and unpredictable): faces of power will not retrieve Stewart’s book; you must enter Faces of power. You must enter American Journal of Archaeology, not American journal of archaeology.

Subject Searching

DYABOLA has set up an area where you can browse. Keep in mind that a given search term can appear in widely separated parts of the hierarchy. (See Fig. 5, where "Alexandros" appears twice under different aspects.)

(Note that you can also use a keyword search to find items on a topic of interest, but this may be very unprecise. A trick is to find a record for a work on your topic and use a precise term or phrase in the subject heading as a keyword search. For instance, from the record in Fig. 5, I know that "Alexandros" is the form used in subject headings to refer to Alexander the Great—ancient names are always cataloged under their Greek or Roman forms—and a keyword search on it gives respectable results.)

Go to the search screen, and scroll down to "Browse Tree of Subject headings" and click browse. This is what you will get:

Figure 7

Fig. 7

Clicking on the plus signs will expand each rubric. For instance, let’s take plastic art and sculpture. The first level of expansion is:

Figure 8

Fig. 8

Only subjects marked [poly] are directly expandable as links, while topics marked [all sub] are further up the tree and will not lead you to a general result. Also note the tiny boxed "i" next to Collected material. Wherever you see this, there will be an explanatory note of some kind (in German).

Say you’re interested in statues of gods. By exploring—unfortunately, you have to poke around in the dark and there is no back key, so if you go down the wrong alley, you have to start browsing all over again—you eventually find out where your topic has been classified:

Figure 9

Fig. 9

At this point, using the A-Z search box, you could search for images of only Apollo, but if you want to see the whole lot, you can click on the broader term, and get a list of items. This gives an unwieldly result, and you have the option of restricting by date range, for instance to retrieve more recent material. I’ve done this, limiting the result to items published after 1990, with this result:

Figure 10



Fig. 10

Combining Searches  

If you’ve been following along, you’ve noticed that the left panel adds options once you have search results. If you go back to the search set "gods and mytholog … " by clicking on it in Session Results, and then click on the blue Search result options, the lower left part of the screen looks like this:

Figure 11

Fig. 11

The Combine Results box gives you a limited ability to narrow or broaden your searches.

Say you want to narrow my result for statues of gods to statues of Aphrodite. You can do a key word search for Aphrodite (after figuring out that this is the form of name used in the DAI catalog). Once you’ve done this, you can click on the blue Search button, and get this partial screen:

Figure 12

Fig. 12

All the searches you’ve done appear in the drop-down menus, and you can combine the results of any of two of them using regular Boolean operators. Note: you must give the new result a name in the fill-in form. In this case, combining the sets "Aphrodite" and "gods and mytholog…" (remember, this result was drawn from within the subject hierarchy concerning statues, and limited to date 1990-) will yield a new result, records for items published since 1990 concerning statues of Aphrodite, which I’ve called Aphrostats:

Figure 13

Fig. 13

In the case of an author listed under several forms of entry like Andrew Stewart, you could create two separate search results, one for "Stewart, A" and one for "Stewart, A F" and then combining using the operator "or" them into a new result, "Andy" to give a complete listing of his works held by the DAI.

Manipulating Results 

On occasion you might want to combine completely different results—say if you were compiling a course bibliography covering a broad range of topics. You can do this using the plus button next to a search result:

Figure 14

Fig. 14

If you wanted to add any citation (however found and whatever about) to Aphrostats, you would retrieve its "card" into the left panel, and click on the plus symbol next to the result.

Printing and Exporting Results  

DYABOLA allows you to print or copy into another application. There are no options here: click on the blue Search button, go to the very bottom of the page and you will find this box:

Figure 15

Fig. 15

Again, all your results will be available in the drop-down menu. Click on the one you want, and brief citations for all items in the result will appear in a preview screen. To print them, press control-P on your computer; if you want to import them into a Word or other software, you can press control-A to select all the items, then copy them in the usual way (control-c in DYABOLA, control-v in Word or whatever system you use). A word of caution: the citations give only DAI’s abbreviations for journal titles, and these are not the ones you are likely to be used to.

User Guide


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Jeremy Ott