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Searchable Ornithological Research Archive (SORA)

Chris Merkord
  • Global

The SORA project (http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora) is an open access electronic journal archive and is the product of a collaboration between the American Ornithologists Union, the Cooper Ornithological Society, the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Wilson Ornithological Society and the University of New Mexico libraries and IT department. This archive provides access to an extensive Ornithological literature of international scope, and detailed material documenting the history of Ornithology in North America over the last 120 years. The content of this site includes the following titles: The Auk (1884-1999), The Condor (1899-2000), The Journal of Field Ornithology (1930-1999), The North American Bird Bander (1976-2000), Pacific Coast Avifauna (1900-1974), Studies in Avian Biology (1978-1999), and The Wilson Bulletin (1889-1999). Also available with browse-only capability is Ornithologia Neotropical; we hope to be able to index this journal soon, and include searching across its contents. We hope to be able to expand the content available as more Societies and journals join.


The content is available in searchable and browseable formats and documents can be downloaded as pdf or djvu files. Djvu files rely on an “acrobat” type browser plug-in (www.lizardtech.com) for viewing and are approximately 1/4 the size of pdf files for faster downloads. Web browsers must have the ability to read java script (make sure it is turned on). The site is still under development and additional features and journals (JFO browse feature and NABB for example) will be added as the materials become available and the programming is completed. This site is still undergoing some modification and problems (broken/bad links, etc.) can be reported to the SORA Coordinator, Blair Wolf, through the site link. He will not be providing browser support, but is interested in functional issues/ideas relating to the site.


The SORA project is an outgrowth of the Cooper Ornithological Society’s efforts to produce an electronic archive of The Condor. The interest and participation of the other North American Ornithological societies has allowed for the creation of SORA. The project was financed solely by the individual societies, and the University of New Mexico Centennial Science Library and IT department invested the time and resources to develop the databases and website. Princeton Imaging scanned the journals, produced the supporting SGML and has provided extensive support towards getting the content online. Dana Gardner kindly painted the attractive banner and Sora for the web page.

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