The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) Satellite project was a joint effort between NASA, ESA and the PPARC. The IUE spacecraft and instruments were operated in a Guest Observer mode to allow ultraviolet spectrophotometry at two resolutions in the wavelength range from 1150Å to 3200Å : low resolution =300 (1,000 km/sec.) and a high resolution mode =10,000 (19 km/sec.). The IUE spacecraft, its scientific instruments as well as the data acquisition and reduction procedures, have been described in ``Exploring the Universe with the IUE Satellite", Part I, Part VI and Part VII (Astrophysics and Space Sciences Library volume 129, Y. Kondo, Editor-in-Chief, Kluwer Acad. Publ. Co.) and references therein. A more recent overview of the IUE project is given in the conference proceedings of the last IUE conference ``Ultraviolet Astrophysics beyond the IUE Final Archive'' (ESA SP-413, 1998, Eds. W.Wamsteker and R. Gonzalez Riestra) and in ``IUE Spacecraft Operations Final Report'' (ESA SP-1215, 1997, A. Perez Calpena & J.Pepoy). Additional information on the IUE project can also be found at URL: http://www.vilspa.esa.es/iue/iue.html.
From the very beginning of the project (launched on 26 January 1978), it was expected that the archival value of the data obtained with IUE would be very high. This expectation has been borne out fully after 18.6 years of orbital operations (on 30 September 1996 the science operations with the IUE spacecraft were stopped). The average IUE Archive data retrieval rate, during the operational phase of the project, has been some 61,000 spectra per year. This compares to a new data access rate of 5,500 spectra per year. Considering that the demand for observing time continued to exceed the available time by a factor of three until the end of science operations, it is clear that the IUE Archive remains an important source of data. The IUE ULDA/USSP (Uniform Low Dispersion Archive/ULDA Support Software Package) was developed by ESA in the mid-eighties (Wamsteker et al., 1989, Astron. & Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 79, pg. 1-10) as the first astronomical archive with direct access for users on a world-wide basis. Over the ten years that the ULDA has been supporting IUE data retrieval, it has driven more than 50% of all IUE Archive usage. The quantity of data in the IUE Archive is sufficiently large that it is not necessarily simple to address the data efficiently in the context of an astrophysical problem, even though access to the data is extremely easy. Therefore, the series of INES Access Guides is intended to facilitate the use of the IUE Archive for scientists with a specific astrophysical problem in mind.
The extremely good reception of the distributed archive model by the scientific community has led to the decision to develop the Final Archive server with a similar philosophy, in the form of INES (IUE Newly Extracted Spectra). The INES system is a complete system design, with
Detailed information on the INES System and its data content has been published in a series of papers ``The INES System''. The specific references are: Rodriguez-Pascual et al. 1999, Astron. & Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 139, pg.183-198; Cassatella et al. 2000, Astron. & Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 141, pg.331-342; Gonzalez-Riestra et al. 2000 Astron. & Astrophys. Suppl. Ser, 141, pg.343-356; Wamsteker et al. 2000, Astroph. & Space Sci., in press. The INES Users Guide, also collecting these publications, has been published by ESA Publications Division in the INES Newsletter (March 2000).
At the time of this writing 19 National Hosts have functional installations of the INES system Version 2.0 (see below), giving to the end user, direct access to all 104,000 IUE spectra, with the Principal Center (LAEFF) at URL http://ines.vilspa.esa.es/ines/ and its Mirror Site for North America at the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) http://ines.hia.nrc.ca in Victoria. The ESA involvement in the IUE Project activities will come to an end in 2000, and, from that moment onward, the INES system will become a part of the astronomical heritage of the IUE project. More National Hosts are forseen to come on-line in the future. The series of INES Access Guides is forseen to continue and consists of a number of subject-oriented books, for which a specialist in the field has been invited to take the scientific responsibility. INES Access Guide No. 2 treats the data for Normal Galaxies and has been compiled by Liliana Formiggini and Noah Brosch of the Wise Observatory and the School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University. This volume supersedes the ULDA Guide No. 3. Further volumes of INES Access Guides will be published whenever the necessary data compilation has been completed by the authors. The list of previously published ULDA & INES Access Guides is given below, as well as the INES Guides currently in preparation. For details of the access to INES through the National Hosts we refer to the information supplied at http://ines.vilspa.esa.es/ines/, or recommend contacting the INES Helpdesk at LAEFF at VILSPA, Madrid, Spain firstname.lastname@example.org. Other queries about the data or any specific questions about data content in relation to the INES system should also be directed there or to the National Host Institutes.