2009 Fall – Europe in Bits & Bytes

WESS Newsletter

Fall 2009, Vol. 33, No. 1

Column Editor: Sebastian Hierl


Pan-European Resources

European History Primary Sources (EHPS) at http://primary-sources.eui.eu/ is a new index of scholarly websites that offer online access to primary sources. Access to EHPS is free, though select sites included in the database require registration. The sites listed on EHPS are organized by country, language, period, subject, and type of source, and include a short description. To stay updated on new additions, it is possible to subscribe to RSS feeds and to follow EHPS on Twitter.

The the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), at http://www.doaj.org/, and e-Depot, the digital archive of the National Library of the Netherlands, at http://www.kb.nl/hrd/dd/index-en.html, have joined forces to provide long-term preservation for scholarly publications listed in DOAJ. The directory currently includes 4,000 journals by over 2,000 publishers, in more than 50 different languages. The e-Depot was developed by the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) as its digital repository to preserve its national electronic deposit collection. The archive has since been opened to extend preservation services to international publishers: http://www.kb.nl/dnp/e-depot/operational/suppliers/national_suppliers-en.html.

Similarly to DOAJ, JURN, at http://www.jurn.org/, indexes journals in Open Access. Following its webiste, “JURN is a search-engine indexing free open access ejournals in the arts and humanities, along with other arts and scholarly journals offering free content.” The database now provides access to over 3,000 journals.

The Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN), at http://www.oapen.org/, is a 30-month EU-project intended to develop and implement an Open Access publication model for peer reviewed academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The goal of OAPEN is to become the largest European Open Access online library. OAPEN was created by European university presses, including Amsterdam University Press, Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Museum Tusculanum Press, Manchester University Press, Presses Universitaires de Lyon, Firenze University Press, University of Amsterdam, and Leiden University. OAPEN is scheduled to come online in the summer of 2010.

The PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research) project, at http://www.peerproject.eu/, released a report on its first year of work at https://demo.cms2cms.com/wordpress-5da84adab11c4/wp-content/uploads/attachments/20090928_PEER_D9_4_annual_public_report_final.pdf. The report details the achievements of the participating publishers and repositories. Participating publishers are: BMJ Publishing Group; Cambridge University Press; Elsevier; IOP Publishing; Nature Publishing Group; Oxford University Press; Portland Press; Sage Publications; Springer; Taylor & Francis Group; and Wiley-Blackwell. The repositories are the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG); HAL, Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA); Göttingen State and University Library (UGOE); BiPrints, Universität Bielefeld (UNIBI); Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania; University Library of Debrecen, Hungary, with archival services for the repositories being provided by Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Nationale bibliotheek van Nederland/e-Depot).

Following the launch on Europeana, fourteen European Union member states have joined forces to form EuropeanaConnect an EU-funded project that will channel digital content from Europe’s sound collections into Europeana. The project intends to make thousands of audio files available for downloading from its website at http://www.europeanaconnect.eu/.

Through the Scout Report we are alerted to the online publication of the Codex Sinaiticus at http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/. Considered one of the most important books in the world, the codex was handwritten over 1600 years ago and contains the Christian Bible in Greek and the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. The project is a joint endeavor by the British Library, the National Library of Russia, St. Catherine’s Monastery, and Leipzig University Library.

The Scout Report further announced the online publication of the World Health Report 2008 at http://www.who.int/whr/2008/en/index.html. The report by the World Health Organization (WHO) is completed by a podcast, photos and video clips of the launch of the report, including a speech by the WHO director, Dr. Margaret Chan, and summaries of the report in Arabic, Chinese, French, and Spanish.

Through a posting to the Intute blog by Angela Joyce on 9/22/09, we are alerted that Europa, the official site of the European Commission, has had a redesign at http://europa.eu/. The site includes over 6 million pages and, following the reviewer, is “a must for European researchers.” Nevertheless, visitors are encouraged to visit Intute’s European Union section guides, for “many more quality websites about the EU – selected by Intute’s European Studies editor.”

Following the redesign of Europa.eu, the EU Bookshop Digital Library went live this October. The launch was announced in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair. The site provides access to all publications edited by the Publications Office on behalf of the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies since 1952. Over 12 million scanned pages from more than 110,000 EU publications are currently available free of charge through the EU Bookshop Digital Library.

A message by Richard Hacken to the Western European Studies Section Listserv announced a joint project by the National Archives and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to provide access to primary documents, texts, and testimonies at http://go.footnote.com/holocaust/. The site was free during the month of October, but is now available only through subscription.

French Resources

The BnF’s long term digital preservation archive is called SPAR: Système de Préservation et d’Archivage Réparti. Additional information about the project, which is not yet fully online, is at http://www.bnf.fr/pages/infopro/numerisation/num_spar.htm. Details on the technical specs are at http://www.bnf.fr/pages/zNavigat/frame/infopro.htm?ancre=numerisation/num_spar_rea.htm.

A new collaboration by the ENS and ARTFL has brought online a full text version of the revolutionary journal L’Echo de la Fabrique and related revolutionary titles at http://echo-fabrique.ens-lsh.fr/. Compared to other revolutionary periodicals of the period, L’Echo de la Fabrique enjoyed a fairly long run, publishing without interruption from October 1831 to May 1834. Additional, shorter-lived titles—the Tribune Prolétaire (1834-1835), Union des Travailleurs (1835), Nouvel Echo de la Fabrique (1835), and Indicateur (1834-1835) complete the site.

Gary Handman, Director of the Media Resources Center at Moffitt Library, UC Berkeley, announced “the most comprehensive collection to date of online audio recordings of lectures and courses by the renowned French philosopher and historian, Michel Foucault” at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/foucault/mfaa.html. The collection contains both English language lectures by Foucault on Truth and Subjectivity and Parrhesia, as well as five complete semester length courses held in French, covering such quintessentially Foucauldian concepts as Parrhesia, governmentality, neoliberalism, security, biopolitics, and sovereignty. The site further provides access to Foucault’s final 1984 course at the Collège de France.

OCLC and the Agence Bibliographique de l’Enseignement Supérieur (ABES) have signed an agreement to load more than 9 million records from the Système Universitaire de documentation (SUDOC) into WorldCat. As a result of this agreement, the collections of 110 participating SUDOC institutions will be visible to searchers through http://WorldCat.org/. These records will join the ca. 13.2 million records from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) which are also being loaded into WorldCat.

Following Hachette’s launch of its online platform, Numilog, at http://www.numilog.fr/, Flammarion, Gallimard, and La Martinière, joined forces to develop their competing e-book platform, Eden-Livres. The site was supposed to come online in September, but so far could not be located, though a preliminary address seems to be http://www.edenlivres.fr. The site was (or is currently being) developed by the French-Canadian company, De Marque, which already provides access to the Dictionnaire Le Grand Robert to North American institutions via CIFNAL.

Not to be left behind, L’Harmattan has launched its own e-book platform at http://harmatheque.com. Beyond e-copies of its monographic publications, the site offers access to articles, videos, and audio recordings.

Providing an alternative to the commercial publishers, Revues.org has launched its e-book platform, entitled Les livres de Revues.org at http://www.revues.org/. As with the periodicals indexed at Revues.org, the site is dedicated to titles in the Humanities and Social Sciences. L’Institut français du Proche-Orient and the Éditions Agone were the first to participate, but the online publications by Droz are eagerly awaited.

The Bibliothèques spécialisées de la Ville de Paris have digitized a number of new resources at http://bspe-p-pub.paris.fr/Portail/Site/ParisAccueil_INT.asp. The materials include manuscripts, photographs, iconographies, and audio recordings. The now almost 3,400 online documents reflect the diversity of the libraries’ collections; some samples are:

  • Bibliothèque administrative: views of Paris by Marville, 995 photographs of the construction of the Métropolitain.
  • Bibliothèque Forney: collection of over 2,600 wallpapers, embroidery patterns, fashion plates.
  • Bibliothèque historique: two major atlases of Paris.
  • Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand: documents and autograph manuscripts of Louise Michel.
  • Bibliothèque du Cinéma François Truffaut: Diary of John Gruault (scenarios for F. Truffaut: Adele H., La chambre verte, Les deux anglaises et le continent, etc …).
  • Bibliothèque du tourisme et des voyages: Le Nouveau théâtre du Monde ou nouvel Atlas (Amsterdam, 1639).
  • Bibliothèque des littératures policières (Bilipo): dust jackets of American illustrated pulp fiction of the 1920s and 30s.
  • Médiathèque musicale de Paris: 4,000 digitized 78 recordings.

Le Très Grand Equipement (TGE) Adonis came online at http://www.tge-adonis.fr/. The goal of this public project is to build a national platform providing unified access to scholarly resources in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The project will eventually provide a meta-search engine, a digital repository for long-term archiving, a social platform permitting to interact with other social networks, courses distributed via podcasts, subject-related RSS feeds, and more.

The ENSSIB’s guide to “Ressources Electroniques Pour les Etudiants, la Recherche et l’Enseignement” is now available at https://demo.cms2cms.com/wordpress-5da84adab11c4/wp-content/uploads/attachments/repere2009.pdf. The guide is intended to provide French faculty and students with an introduction to electronic resources and online research.

The “service du patrimoine et de l’Inventaire de la Région Aquitaine” has placed online its inventory of cultural resources and electronic documents at http://inventaire.aquitaine.fr/. The sites includes over 6,500 photographs from historical sites or artifacts from the Région Aquitaine, as well as a virtual tour of the cathédrale de Bordeaux, links to library catalogs rich in local history, regional cultural institutions, and more.

Via Sarah and the gallica blog, http://blog.bnf.fr/gallica/, we are alerted that the French ministry of culture & communication has revamped its portal to national cultural collections and museums at http://recherche.culture.fr/.

The site of the Assemblée nationale française (French parlament) proposes a new and free service, permitting to stay alert to newly published parliamentary papers at http://recherche2.assemblee-nationale.fr/agents/login.jsp. The customized service requires prior registration.

Not having reviewed developments with Gallica in this column for some time, it may be judicious to point out that the BnF’s digital library has considerably increased its offering of online resources, including enhanced access through text-to-speech technology permitting to access all of its full text titles in audio format, and the addition of a blog and RSS feeds. At the time of writing, Gallica provided access to 927,066 documents, of which 353,152 in full text. Digitized resources include manuscripts; sound materials; music scores; books, including new e-books offered in pdf, EPUB and MOBI standards (for Sony readers and Amazon Kindles, respectively), as well as basic HTML and text; as well as over 400,000 newspapers issues (including Le Figaro, L’Humanité, Le Petit Journal and many more at http://gallica.bnf.fr/html/presentationPeriodiques.html). The collections are mostly in the public domain.

Gallica further provides access to digitized documents belonging to French partner libraries, as well as a set of copyrighted documents within the framework of the experiment launched in 2008 with the French Publishers Association, some publishers and e-retailers.

Also making waves this fall was the announcement that the BnF and Google are negotiating to digitize the BnF’s holdings. According to the French business paper, La Tribune, quoting statements by Denis Bruckmann, “directeur général adjoint et directeur des collections” at the BnF, the negotiations with Google could be completed within a few months: http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises/communication/telecom-internet/20090818trib000411412/google-en-negociation-avec-la-bibliotheque-nationale-de-france.htm. Of course, we all remember the still fairly recent concerns over Google’s hegemony over the world’s library collections, which was, it seemed, one of the motivations behind the launch of Europeana
. The La Tribune attributes this change of heart to the high costs of mass digitization.

(As a side note, though I know this is not the Spanish portion of this column, according to Jim Campbell and the Inside Google Books blog, at http://booksearch.blogspot.com/, Google is also in discussion with the Spanish National Library.)

A recent post on the Gallica blog confirmed the collaboration between the BnF and CAIRN: http://blog.bnf.fr/gallica/?p=298. The issues of the journal Etudes, which have been digitized by the BnF and that are in the public domain, will now also be made available through CAIRN. Following CAIRN’s general model, there will be a rolling wall of five years, limiting access to recent issues to current CAIRN subscribers.

Speaking of CAIRN http://www.cairn.info, the French-Belgian aggregator has added new titles to its collection, including:
New journals from Armand Colin:

  • Annales historiques de la Révolution française
  • Langages
  • Langue française
  • Le Français aujourd’hui
  • Littérature
  • Revue de l’histoire des religions
  • Revue d’histoire des sciences
  • Romantisme

New journals from Vrin:

  • Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen âge
  • Revue de philosophie Économique
  • Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques

New magazines:

  • ”Les Grands dossiers de Sciences humaines
  • ”L’Histoire
  • ”Le Magazine littéraire
  • ”Manière de voir
  • ”Le Monde diplomatique
  • ”Alternatives Économiques
  • ”Alternatives internationales

In addition, ebooks will progressively be included in the collection, including the Que sais-je? series from the Presses Universitaires de France (750 ebooks) and the series entitled L’État du monde, by La Découverte, which provides statistics and annual surveys for 200 countries since 1981.
We are furthermore alerted by the CAIRN sales representative, that the platform will go through significant changes in 2010 and integrate a new search engine that will implement clustering and semantic searches; improve general user-friendliness; include DOIs and bibliographic linking between articles; compliance with COUNTER 3 and SUSHI protocols; and provide MARC 21 records for export.

The proceedings of the 12th “journées des pôles associés et de la coopération (JPAC),” held at the BnF on June 25 and 26, are now online at http://www.bnf.fr/pages/zNavigat/frame/infopro.htm?ancre=journeespro/po_2009.htm. The site provides access to presentations on digital cooperation in France and Europe. The conference brought together over 350 participants.

ReseauDocs is a new portal launched by The Cartonnerie, the CNV, Irma, and Réseau Ressource to provide unified access to the rich musical rescources held by the participating institutions at http://reseaudocs.org/.

Mir@bel, the “Mutualisation d’Informations sur les Revues et leurs Accès dans les Bases En Ligne” is a new OA index of online journals, launched by the L’IEP de Lyon, l’IEP de Grenoble and l’ENS-LSH. Mir@bel especially covers Francophone journals in humanities and social sciences at http://www.reseau-mirabel.info/.

The Agence nationale française de la recherche (ANR) has launched a new database, Ariane, to provide information and access to the research projects which it finances at http://www.agence-nationale-recherche.fr/Ariane/.

Somrev, the indexing and abstracts database by the Institut d’Études Politiques (IEP) of Lyon, which covers journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences, has gone through significant changes in the past two years of its existence:

  • Somrev offers free access to more than 7,000 tables of contents from 120 journals.
  • Of the 107,000 indexed articles, one third contain direct links to the full text.
  • Journals may be browsed or searched by title, author or year.
  • RSS feeds provide regular updates on newly indexed articles by journal.

In addition to the manual entry of bibliographic notices by archivists and librarians at participating institutional partners (Bioforce, ENS-LSH, IEP Aix en Provence, IEP de Grenoble, IEP Lille, Lyon 2 University), Somrev harvests major OA portals, such as Cairn and Persée. Learn more about Somrev at http://www.somrev.info/.

Richard Hacken recently updated his EuroDocs site and sent a progress report to the WESS list on BYU’s project to digitize its French political pamphlets, which I’m copying verbatim for the sake of saving time:

A growing digital collection–ultimately to grow to 2,100 political pamphlets–from the holdings of BYU Special Collections. (1547-1626; facsimiles)

The widely beloved and subscribed Biblio-Fr list was closed this summer. The list BiblioPat : liste de diffusion sur le patrimoine en bibliothèque, is meant to take its place. BiblioPat claims to be complementary to the list entitled Patrimoine-bibliothèques, by the Bureau du patrimoine de la direction du livre et de la lecture, as it aims to open its doors (or postings) to libraries of all sizes, including institutions with only limited special collections, public libraries, and private libraries. If you want to subscribe to the BiblioPat listserv, log on to http://listes.enssib.fr/wws/info/bibliopat and click on “subscribe” or send a subscription request directly to the moderator at moderateur-bibliopat@no-log.org.

Italian Resources

MIRABILE is an online content aggregator for Medieval resources that enables users to perform a federated search in the databases of the Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino (SISMEL) and online publications of the publisher Edizioni del Galluzzo. The databases provided by SISMEL include: Medioevo latino (MEL); the Bibliotheca Scriptorum Latinorum Medii recentiorisque Aevi (BISLAM), providing an authority list for names of Latin medieval authors, with more than 15,000 entries and 80,000 variants; and the Compendium Auctorum Medii Aevi (CALMA), the authoritative index of medieval authors and works, with more than 3,000 records. MIRABILE further includes the recent issues of the following journals in full text:

  • Documenti e Studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
  • Filologia mediolatina
  • Hagiographica
  • Iconographica
  • Itineraria
  • Micrologus

Additional information on MIRABILE is available at http://www.mirabileweb.it/. Access via IP recognition has been announced for this December.

Jim Campbell, through Webuser, announced to the list that the Central National Library of Florence is said to be close to reaching an agreement with Google on the scanning of its collections: http://www.webuser.co.uk/news/top-stories/394663/google-books-in-library-deals.

The site Gli Anni stregati, at http://www.fondazionebellonci.it/test/, presents a historical overview of the “Premio Strega” and the works that have been awarded Italy’s most prestigious literary award since 1947. In addition to providing information on the prize and brief descriptions of the recipients, including cinematographic adaptions and cultural influence, the site presents the historical, social, and economic context year by year, thus, offering a socio-cultural history of post WWII Italy.

The RAI TV program La Storia siamo noi: la televisione da conservare has a web presence at http://www.lastoriasiamonoi.rai.it. The site provides access to the archives of this recognized cultural and news TV magazine, permitting to view episodes and related materials, such as photographs, articles, biographies, links, and more. Though coverage of the magazine is international, it focuses on Italian historical events. Topics include the Italian resistance and forgotten events during WWII; political terrorism; the Italian feminist movement; the Mafia; etc. An excellent site for Italian Cultural Studies, though I encountered technical difficulties with the streaming of the videos.

Spanish Resources

Dick Hacken alerts us that the “Letters of Philip II of Spain, 1592-1597” have been re-scanned and put into a more user-friendly interface by BYU’s Special Collections at http://lib.byu.edu/dlib/phil2/. The letters are available in facsimile as well as in searchable transcript form.

Adan Griego has sent various messages to the WESS lists regarding new digital developments in Spain. Among these are the announcement in El País that the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the United Nations Library in Geneva have signed an agreement to digitize the collections of the International Committee for the Rescue of the Spanish Treasures, the “Comité Internacional para el Salvamento de los Tesoros Españoles,” which safeguarded works of art during the Civil War. Read more about the project in El País at http://www.elpais.com/articulo/cultura/Digitalizados/Ginebra/documentos/Guerra/Civil/elpepucul/20090917elpepicul_7/Tes.

Adan and El País further inform us that the Biblioteca Nacional launched an Internet portal providing access to the manuscripts of letters from the peak of the Siglo de Oro http://www.elpais.com/articulo/cultura/Siglo/Oro/puno/letra/elpepucul/20090504elpepucul_1/Tes. The site completes the new Teatro del Siglo de Oro portal of the National Library at http://teatrosiglodeoro.bne.es/es/Presentacion/index.html, which—at the time of launching—offered a collection of 137 autographs by authors such as Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, and Calderon de la Barca. The goal of the project is to digitize up to 2,000 manuscripts.

The blog ALFIN RED: Foro para la alfabetización informacional (“Forum for Digital Literacy”) was launched at http://www.alfinred.org/.

Though the development stems from 2002, the launch of the Spanish Association of Digital Magazines, “Asociación de Revistas Digitales de España” or ARDE, at http://arde.org.es/, was not yet included in this column. ARDE was established by the editors of the online magazines http://www.literaturas.com/, http://www.babab.com/, http://www.ariadna-rc.com/, http://www.margencero.com/, http://www.literatura-pretaporter.com/, and http://www.espacioluke.com/.

German Resources

The three-year project to digitize the Heidelberger Bibliotheca Palatina, one of the most valuable collections German manuscripts of the medieval and early modern periods, is now complete. The Heidelberg University Library has digitized its collection of 848 Codices Palatini germanici of the former Palatine Library (Bibliotheca Palatina) with a total of approximately 270,000 pages and 7,000 miniatures. The 7,000 miniatures have also been included in the Heidelberg image database HeidICON, in order to provide additional metadata and increase access. The project, which established the Heidelberg University Library as a leader in the digitization of medieval manuscripts, was funded by the Manfred Lautenschlager Foundation. The Bibliotheca Palatina is available free of charge at http://palatina-digital.uni-hd.de/. Additional information on the project may be found at http://palatina-digital-presse.uni-hd.de/.

Concurrently, free trial access to The Parker Library on the Web at http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/ has ended. Institutions wanting to preserve access for their users must acquire or subscribe to the database via Harrassowitz. The project by Corpus Christi College and the Stanford University Libraries provides access to and is designed to support the use and study of the manuscripts in the historic Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Quoting and summarizing from the description of the project, the “Parker Library’s holdings of Old English texts account for a substantial proportion of all extant manuscripts in Anglo-Saxon …as well as key Anglo-Norman and Middle English texts …. represented in the collection are theology, music, medieval travelogues and maps, apocalypses, bestiaries, royal ceremonies, historical chronicles and Bibles. The Parker Library holds a magnificent collection of English illuminated manuscripts, such as the Bury and Dover Bibles (c. 1135 and c. 1150) and the Chronica maiora by Matthew Paris (c. 1230-50). … For further information on the Parker Library visit http://www.corpus.cam.ac.uk/parker-library.”

BLO, the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online (Bavarian Regional Library Online) has revamped its online presence and increased its holdings at http://www.bayerische-landesbibliothek-online.de/. Hosted at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, BLO constitutes the “central arts and humanities portal on the history and culture of Bavaria.” In addition to improved browsing, a number of previously offered resources have been updated, and new resources have been made available:

The publisher Nomos is providing online, full text access to eleven of its journals at http://www.nomos-zeitschriften.de/. The journals include:

  • integration
  • Vereinten Nationen
  • Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen
  • Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen
  • Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft
  • Zeitschrift für Politik
  • Soziale Welt
  • Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft
  • integration
  • Zeitschrift für Staats- und Europawissenschaften
  • Zeitschrift für gemeinnützige und öffentliche Unternehmen

Unfortunately, the site is currently not available for institutions via IP recognition, which precludes North American research libraries from subscribing. Without further research, it seems that Nomos doesn’t provide provisions for long term digital preservation, which again, would guarantee that the publisher is excluding himself from the North American market, though the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek is developing long term preservation services through nestor, as German publishers are required to deposit copies of their digital publications in the same manner as print.

GiNDok is a new Open Access repository that is part of Germanistik im Netz, the DFG-funded Subject Portal for German Language and Literature, hosted by the Library of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Accessible at http://www.germanistik-im-netz.de/gindok/, GiNDok welcomes pre- and post prints of monographs and articles, as well as working papers, conference reports, conference papers, and teaching and learning materials, as long as they are produced by graduate students and faculty in Germanistik. The materials are deposited without charge and the authors retain copyright, thus fully permitting them to exercise all rights related to their scholarly output and to publish their works elsewhere. In addition to increasing access to scholarly publications in German Language and Literature, GiNDok ensures that the materials are preserved for the foreseeable future.

Not yet announced in this column are the Olms Kataloge der Frankfurter und Leipziger Buchmessen, 1594-1860 (aka the Messkataloge) and Reprints Collection: http://www.olmsonline.de/index.php?id=11&L=1

  • The database of the Messkataloge provides browsable access to the online facsimile editions of book-trade catalogs, offering insight into the German and European book production between 1594 and 1860. Developed in the 16th century, the book catalogs for the Spring or Easter and Autumn or Michaelmas book fairs provided the widest possible overview of the books on offer during this roughly 300-year period. By uniting the scattered holdings of the book fair catalogs from libraries across Germany, the database forms an important historical bibliography on the History of Book and the propagation of knowledge in Germany and Central Europe. http://www.olmsonline.de/en/kollektionen/messkataloge/
  • The Online Reprints database provides fully searchable access to hundreds of German canonical works, with a focus on German philosophy and literature, from the 16th to the 20th Century. Included in the database are the complete works of such authors as Christian Wolff (including the Latin works), the Brothers Grimm, and Bernhard Suphan’s Herder edition, in addition to titles by Christian Thomasius, Hermann Cohen, Theodor Fontane, as well as early works of women’s literature and select dictionaries and reference titles. The electronic facsimile editions (in black and white) are enhanced with new introductions and afterwords, as well as editorial notes by scholars in the field. http://www.olmsonline.de/en/kollektionen/reprints/

Both databases were developed with the participation of the Center for Retrospective Digitization, Goettingen (GDZ) at the Goettingen State and University Library. Access to the Messkataloge and the Reprints Collection can be purchased at a discounted, one-time fee through GNARP.

Speaking of the Center for Retrospective Digitization, Goettingen (GDZ), the latter–which was first featured in this column by Jennifer Vinopal in 1997!–continues to energetically digitize and provide free access to key resources from its vast collections (and other German libraries, archives, and publishers through cooperative projects). To summarize the Center’s offerings, I’m pasting the current list from its website below:

  • Autobiographica (53 Volumes)
  • DigiWunschbuch (1233 Volumes)
  • History of the Humanities and the Sciences (630 Volumes)
  • Maps (182 Volumes)
  • Mathematical Literature (3809 Volumes)
  • North American Literature (639 Volumes)
  • Reviews (108 Volumes)
  • RusDML (603 Volumes)
  • Sibirica (591 Volumes)
  • Travel Literature (1177 Volumes)
  • VD17-nova (1203 Volumes)
  • VD18 Göttingen (145 Volumes)
  • Varia (1125 Volumes)
  • Zoologica (684 Volumes)

The Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachraum erschienenen Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts (VD16) aims at providing a national union catalog of 16th century German imprints. In addition to containing titles that are not described in the print version, the database now provides access to digitized copies at http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/ausgaben/uni_ausgabe.html?projekt=1128498246. The online bibliography itself is available at VD16. In addition to the VD16, the DFG and its partners (major German research libraries) have engaged in the VD17 and have recently launched, in May 2009, the VD18. The bibliography of the VD17 may be searched at VD17. The projects are described at VD17 and VD18. Additional information on online copies of titles in the VD17 and VD18 is also available via the Center for Retrospective Digitization, Goettingen (GDZ) described immediately above–as well as the digital library sites of the libraries participating in the projects.

The DFG supported projected Die Fürstenbibliothek Arolsen als Kultur- und Wissensraum vom 16. bis zum frühen 19. Jahrhundert und ihre Einflüsse auf Genese, Formung und Identität des Fürstenstaats (The Library of the Prince of Arolsen as a space of culture and knowledgefrom the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries and its influence on the genesis, formation, and identity of the principality) is now online at http://fwhb.uni-kassel.de/. The massive project aims at fully describing and digitizing the particularly rich collections of the Hofbibliothek, which played an important role in the development of German intellectual discourse, in particular in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The project is further described at http://fwhb.uni-kassel.de/index.php?id=5&L=2.

The beta version of the Literaturlexikon-online may be accessed at http://www.literaturlexikon-online.de/. The project aims at providing a new, free online encyclopedia covering German-speaking authors. Entries are written by literary scholars for literary scholars of all levels. Available so far are the Thomas Mann-Figurenlexikon; the Lexikon zu Thomas Manns’ Joseph und seine Brüder (Arbeitsversion); and the Figurenlexikon zu Robert Musil’s Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften”.

The Hofmannsthal bibliography came online this summer at http://hofmannsthal.bibliographie.de/. The bibliography lists primary and secondary literature by and on Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The secondary literature is currently covered from the year 2001 on. This will gradually be expanded to include 1977 to the present. Published by the Hugo von Hofmannsthal-Gesellschaft.

The Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel has launched a Lessing-Portal at http://lessing-portal.de/. Gotthold Ephraim Lessings (1729-81) served as the librarian of the “Herzoglichen Bibliothek” as of 1770 and composed his dramas Emilia Galotti and Nathan der Weise in Wolfenbüttel. The portal aims at providing researchers and the general public with access to Lessing’s works, including the DFG supported Digitale Edition sämtlicher Übersetzungen Lessings und ihrer Vorlagen and other primary documents; secondary literature; and biographical information; as well as links to recommended online resources and a list of events. The content of texts and criticism is to gradually grow.

Perspectivia.net, at http://www.perspectivia.net, is a new international, cross-epochal online publication platform for the institutes of the Foundation of German Humanities Institutes Abroad (DGIA). The objective of the Open Access database is to offer barrier-free access to select research publications by the institutes. The journals, reviews, monographs, and conference proceedings included in perspectivia.net are searchable in full text and via their metadata.

The exhibit “Publishing in Exile: German-Language Literature in the U.S. in the 1940s,” organized by the Goethe-Institut New York and the Leo Baeck Institute, documents the history of German several exile presses that were established following Hitler’s rise to power. The presses include the Querido Verlag, the L.B. Fischer Publishing Corporation, the Johannespresse, the Aurora-Verlag, the Pazifische Presse, and Pantheon Books. For a detailed look at the exhibit, a visual tour is available at http://lbi.org/PublishingInExile/Introduction.html — the tour may also travel the US (for details please contact the Goethe Institut in NYC).

Austrian Resources

Rezensionen-online is a new site for online reviews published in Austrian magazines. Currently, fourteen Austrian magazines and libraries participate and contribute their reviews to the online database at http://www.biblio.at/literatur/rezensionen/suche.html. The site offers thematic book lists (such as award-winning titles, subject lists, etc.) and links take readers directly to booksellers and to the Katalogisate online project, which provides MAB2 records.

Scandinavian Resources

As announced on May 9, the World Book and Copyright Day, Kopinor and the National Library of Norway have launched a pilot project to provide free access to Norwegian online books at http://www.nb.no/bokhylla. Bokhylla (“Bookshelf”) provides access to Norwegian books from the 1790s, 1890s, and the 1990s. The project will eventually include approx. 50,000 books, including titles that are under copyright. The latter will not be available for printing or downloading, but will be made available for online reading by users with Norwegian IP-addresses. The project currently provides access to over 10,000 books under copyright and more are gradually being added. The project will continue until the end of 2011.

Also by the Norwegian National Library, Vademecum, at http://www.nb.no/vademecum/ provides access to a collection of caricatures by Henrik Wergeland, which he composed when he was sixteen years old. Most texts are written in verse. The manuscript is located in the Manuscript Collections at the Norwegian National Library.

The site of the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen is a treasure-trove of digital resources and new projects in Denmark http://www.kb.dk/en/kb/nyheder/index.html. Among the announced collections and newsworthy developments are:

  • The announcement that the Royal Library has signed an agreement with ProQuest for the digitization of their older book holdings: http://www.kb.dk/da/kb/nyheder/nyheder/Proquest.html. According to the announcement, which I could only find in Danish, the goal of the project is to digitize the Royal Library’s book holdings from 1482 to 1600 and to make these freely available to universities, libraries and institutions in Denmark. Presumably, libraries or users outside of Denmark will have to pay (emulating a similar agreement between the British Library, JISC, and Cengage on the digitization of the BL’s historical newspapers collection).
  • The pictorial history of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, with over 50,000 historical images of the two cities and surroundings at http://www.kb.dk/en/kb/nyheder/nyheder/copenhagen-images.html.
  • The electronic resources at http://www.kb.dk/en/nb/materialer/e-ressourcer/index.html, which include numerous freely accessible collections and web exhibitions.

BeNeLux Resources

Following the NRC Handelsblad, SPARC Europe, and Gavin Baker on Open Access News, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (http://nwo.nl/) has created a 5 million Euros Open Access fund in order to enable Dutch scientists to make their publications freely available on the internet. The NWO announced its support for the fundamental principle that research funded with public money should be freely accessible to the public. With annually distributed grants of 550 million Euros, the NWO is the Netherlands’ main supporter of scientific research.

The Cahiers de la documentation are being placed online by the Association belge de documentation at http://www.abd-bvd.be/index.php?page=inc/cahdoc-fr&lang=fr. So far, the years 1999 to 2008 are freely available at the site.

Brepols’ journals have come online, via metapress. Learn more at http://www.brepols.net/publishers/index.html and http://brepols.metapress.com/. The next step is to include Brepols’ journals in a long term digitization project. According to the publisher, discussions with Portico are underway.

The Université Libre de Bruxelles has announced the launch of an institutional repository at http://difusion.ulb.ac.be/.

ORBi, the institutional repository of the University of Liège, available since November 2008 at http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/, now provides access to the full texts of almost 9,000 publications.

English Resources

Via the Intute blog http://www.intute.ac.uk/blog/, we are alerted that Intute has launched new research guides for historians on the following subjects:

  • Crime and Punishment in 19th-century Britain:
  • The History of British Healthcare:
  • British News Media History:
  • British Electoral History:
  • The History of Ireland and its relations with Britain:

The guides are introduced by academic experts in the fields and feature links to the carefully selected websites for new researchers and those seeking primary sources. The projects is supported by JISC, the British Library Newspaper Collection, the British Cabinet Papers 1915-1978, the John Johnson Collection of Ephemera, the Nineteenth-Century British Pamphlets Collection, and other sites that have contributed their expertise and holdings. A full list of digitized primary source collections made available via the JISC can be found at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/digitisation.

In addition to launching new primary collections, Intute has recently revamped its web presence at http://www.intute.ac.uk/. The site includes novel features, such as newly designed Virtual Training Suite tutorials at http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/tutorial/modernlanguages/, and easier procedures for remaining up to date via email and RSS feeds, as well as the possibility to export bookmarks to social bookmarking sites. In addition, one may follow the Intute blog or receive postings on Twitter, as well as become an Intute fan on Facebook, or join the JISCmail list.

Via the Scout Report at http://scout.wisc.edu/, we are alerted to several online databases and projects not yet described in this column. These include:

Who says usage of the German language is disappearing? At least in select intellectual circles, the usage of compelling German words continues enjoy great popularity, as illustrated by the Kultur project, funded by JISC. The Kultur project is a joint pilot repository for the University of Southampton, University of the Arts London, the University for the Creative Arts, and the Visual Arts Data Service, with Leiden University as an associate partner. According to Dr. Leslie Carr, Technical Director of EPrints, at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science, the pilot—which ended in March—provided an opportunity to use EPrints to develop the first comprehensive institutional repository for the arts. The project demonstrates that productions in the arts, ranging from digital versions of paintings, photography, film, graphic and textile design to records of performances, shows, and installations can be successfully preserved. Read more about the outcomes of this now completed project at http://kultur.eprints.org/.

Please continue to submit notifications and reviews for inclusion in the upcoming issue of Europe in Bits & Bytes, as well as any comments to Sebastian Hierl.