2002 Spring – Europe in Bits & Bytes

WESS Newsletter

Vol. 25, No. 2 (Spring, 2002)

Column Editor: Sarah Wenzel
NOTE: links are those in effect at the time of publication and are not systematically updated.

Pan-European Resources

Though it may not be the resource that first comes to mind, Thea Linquist notes that the “Making of America (MoA) contains many 19th-century sources – keyword-searchable, with accompanying page images – of interest to those with an abiding or passing interest in European studies. MoA includes works on European topics with an American imprint (one of the main criteria for selection for the project), works distributed both here and in a European country, and some stragglers published in Europe that managed to make their way into the collection. For example, a citation search on “surtees” in Michigan’s MoA Books returned four items published for the Surtees Society in Durham, England, including one of her favorites, Sir William Dugdale’s Visitation of the County of Yorke undertaken in 1665-1666. Perhaps of interest, in light of our upcoming conference, is that MoA is a rich source on European immigration to North America in the later 19th century. For instance, a search for the phrase “europe* immigra*” returned 61 works, and a proximity search for “german*” within five words of “immigra*” returned 125 works of varying relevance, among them Simon Greenleaf Croswell’s “Should Immigration be Restricted?” (The North American Review 164, no. 485, Apr. 1897: 526-537). A collaborative project of the University of Michigan and Cornell University, MoA holdings currently comprise more than 13,000 volumes and 4 million pages, or 32 journals and just under 9,000 books. Michigan and Cornell each offer their MoA collections on separate web sites (Michigan: http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/; Cornell: http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/moa/) and thus they must be searched independently, preferably with a frames-capable browser.”

Also perhaps not a resource that leaps to mind is the SOSIG Gateway, which has a new section devoted to EuroStudies. “The new EuroStudies gateway will provide access to Internet resources about Europe as a region, ranging from issues of international security to the introduction of the Euro. In addition, it will cover information provided by individual European countries, with a particular emphasis on those located in Central and Eastern Europe, which are generally under-represented on the Web.” (http://www.sosig.ac.uk/eurostudies/)

John Rutledge has investigated some of the new possibilities in live-streaming radio from Europe. He notes that “It is now possible to listen to live-streaming broadcasts from Europe all the time. As someone who is genuinely fond of radio, I continue to explore live-streaming radio from Europe. The only efficient way to do this is to use an index to web-based stations. The most thorough listing I have found is http://www.virtualtuner.com, which provides information about hundreds of stations based in Europe. The real value of virtualtuner.com is that it not only links directly to, but also describes, even if inadequately, the programming the stations offer. There are so many stations that you will have to spend a lot of time sifting to find what you like to hear.

To listen to live-streaming radio you need a player. Most of the online stations use RealPlayer; a few use Windows Media Player; the odd station requires some other system entirely. When you click on the station it automatically brings up the player. I have listened with decent desktop speakers and the sound quality is really not bad. At times, however, the “signal” can fade in and out and acquires a metallic edge reminiscent of short-wave radio.
Sad to report, I found very little out there that I want to listen to. German web-based radio reflects the American model of niche-marketing, “narrow-casting,” and short play-lists. Most stations offer a steady diet of oldies, techno, pop, hip-hop, Rap, and Rock. Much of what is broadcast is of American origin and in English. There are a few stations that offer classical music interspersed with commentary, but you might do just as well listening to http://www.spinner.com – and have more choices to boot.”

While Americanization of “foreign” radio is distressing, live-streaming radio from Europe is truly a marvel. With perseverance you can find “college” stations, alternative, talk and underground. There is broadcasting in Rumansch and Plattdeutsch. The Austrian stations of course sound Austrian.

Virtualtuner.com is a top-rated site, but there are other search engines for Web radio. These would include http://www.web-radio.fm/in_list.cfm (23 French stations, but mostly lacking information about programming), http://www.radio-locator.com (117 German listings, lacking many descriptions), and radiotower.com (brief contents notes).

This site: http://www.zausel.com/media/audio/radio/radiomain.shtml is an “enthusiast’s page” put together by Thomas Mullis. It provides links to some 90 German stations, 17 Austrian, and 20 Swiss stations, but offers no descriptions of the content. RealPlayer itself has a radio tuner with descriptions of 45 German stations. Live-streaming radio is a world in flux and dead links are a problem with all the listing sites.”

French Resources

Sebastian Hierl reviews B.A.S.I.L.E.: Le Corpus de la littérature narrative du Moyen Age au XXe siècle: Romans, Contes, Nouvelles — Éditions Honoré Champion. “The Corpus de la littérature narrative is the first volume of B.A.S.I.L.E. (Base Internationale de Littérature Électronique), co-produced by the Éditions Honoré Champion and the CNED – Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale – and implemented in collaboration with the ARTFL Project at the University of Chicago, using PhiloLogic. The database contains a digital library of about 1000 narrative works (novels, tales, short stories) and was designed to cover French programs from high school to university level. Texts included start with the Chanson de Roland in the 11th century and end with Le Temps Retrouvé in 1927. A board of distinguished faculty from the Sorbonne and other French universities listed at http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/ARTFL/databases/champion/basile/frindex.html selected and compiled the database and guarantees the scholarly rigor of the texts included. Though in terms of quantity, the strength of the database lies in the 19th and the 18th centuries, BASILE is particularly interesting for its extensive holdings of medieval and renaissance literature. In addition to providing the text of authoritative editions, BASILE includes access to scholarly translations of medieval and renaissance texts into modern French. Users accustomed to ARTFL and the PhiloLogic search engine will recognize the interface and be familiar with the flexible search capabilities: the database can be search by keywords, author, title of work, title of collection, century, date of publication, year or range of years of publication, publisher, editor, and genres. The contents can also be accessed and browsed through the indexes, providing the same information in alphabetical order or by century/year/range of years or actual date of publication. Finally, BASILE has two interfaces (English and French) and contains a useful and detailed user-manual on how to use PhiloLogic. The price of BASILE is a one-time fee of EURO 4193.55 (USD 3,668) for ARTFL subscribers and EURO 5105.20 (USD 4,466) for institutions not currently subscribing to ARTFL.”

Old Learning is new on Gallica, reports Sue Roberts. “Online since November 2001, the collection “Sociétés savants” contributes richly to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France’s digital library Gallica. Digitized there are 36 periodicals published between 1750 and 1914 by 29 principal learned societies of Aquitaine and the Lorraine. Two brief essays on the rise of provincial learned societies and the Comité des Travaux historiques et scientifiques along with a chronology of this history during the 16th-20th centuries situate the societies and their publications in historical and geographical contexts. These publications contain contributions from a broad array of disciplines and in many types of study, from editions of documents, research articles, reports of archaeological digs to lectures and book reviews.

Each department is treated separately, with a brief history of the learned societies and descriptions of the interests of their members as well as the history and themes of their publications; these are linked to the description and also listed. One can consult the bibliographic record for each issue or consult issues in a split-screen where the Table of Contents contains links to .pdf files of the articles. Adobe makes it possible to browse page by page or jump directly to a desired page, and one can download pages as .tiff or .pdf. The search engine is the least sophisticated aspect of the collection; it allows searches by exact or partial society name and/or publication title, by year, by words in the table of contents, in theory. You may have better luck at: http://gallica.bnf.fr/SocietesSavantes/.”

German Resources

Jeff Garrett informs us that “the online index to the first 20 volumes of the Neue Deutsche Biographie (1953- ) is now available in a beta version (go to http://mdz2.bib-bvb.de/ndb/ndbindex.htm). The index is the result of a project carried out at the Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum as a collaborative enterprise between a number of large scholarly organizations, the Bay. Staatsbibliothek, and the DFG (see above website for details).

This is good news in and of itself, since we may now answer questions whether there is an NDB biography for a given historical figure (through ”Pü”, at least, e.g. ”Pückler-Muskau”) without having to go to the shelf to check. But the good news is made even better by the fact that the new index also cumulates ADB (Allg. deutsche Biographie, 1873-1912) entries, uniting these two staples of German biographical reference into a single searchable resource. Also, the new NDB/ADB index covers genealogical information on an individual in NDB articles devoted to others. For example, using Fürst Hermann v. Pückler-Muskau, we learn that there is a genealogical entry on p. 659 in Bd. 7 of the NDB. However, the full article in volume 20 on this Reiseschriftsteller has not yet been integrated into the main NDB/ADB index (it is still indexed separately at http://www.ndb.badw-muenchen.de/ndb20.htm). This despite what we read in the announcement: ”Das Register des im Mai 2001 publizierten Bands 20 der NDB wurde integriert, aber die Redaktion und Eliminierung von Dubletten hat noch nicht stattgefunden.

The fact that the search interface of this new resource is almost identical to that offered by UB Braunschweig for the Internationaler Biographischer Index/World Biographical Index (http://www.biblio.tu-bs.de/wbi/) invites a brief comparison of the two resources.

The WBI mentions the existence of ADB and (frequently) NDB articles, but without volume or page references. (The user is always directed to the index volume, which for the ADB is volume 56.) The new NDB/ADB index provides more information, but in its current version is often still incomplete, i.e. lacking page numbers. E.g. for the Dresden librarian Friedrich Adolf Ebert we find ”Bd. 4, S. 253 f.; ADB Bd. 5, S. yyy” (whereby the first entry is for the NDB). We also find out who wrote the NDB article (”Lülfing, Hans”).

The special strength of the WBI, of course, is that it indexes entries in far more biographical works than just the ADB/NDB. For Pückler-Muskau, for example, there may be no reference yet to the recently published NDB article, but we find references to 13 other biographical articles, including 3 in the African Biographical Archive that only the most persistent library explorer might have located otherwise. And, of course, the WBI is not limited to German biography, but is comprehensively international in scope.

Finally, at least for German biography, we mustn’t overlook the fact that Saur’s Deutsche biographische Enzyklopädie (DBE) was completed last year. These articles are not indexed in Saur’s own WBI, the 7th edition of which is now online at Braunschweig.

Summa summarum: we need to include both the WBI and the new NDB/ADB index in our bookmark file of online reference tools.”

Kristine Thorsen points out that “one of the fertile and fascinating new areas of investigation for Germanists, literary critics, and film scholars is the growing corpus of immigrant literature and film in German. Heidi Rasch’s web site at Berlin’s TU (http://www.tu-berlin.de/fb2/fadi/hr/Bibliografie.htm#Inhalt) currently lists 62 essayists, fiction writers, poets, children’s authors, and filmmakers in alphabetical order. Each entry has a brief biographical sketch, a list of published books with title, place of publication, publisher, and date, and a list of secondary literature. There are plans to update with additional entries.”

John Rutledge presents us with the very useful Verlagsportraits: Austria at http://www.literaturhaus.at/buch/verlagsportraits/. There “you can find a listing of about 200 Austrian, German and Swiss publishing houses. If the word “portrait” stands beside the name of the firm, then you will find a description of the firm by Literaturhaus. Usually there is an indication of the editorial emphasis of the firm, plus a fair amount of Verlagsgeschichte. In all of these Verlagsbiographien the best aspects of the firm are highlighted. The tone is elevated and criticism is absent. It is a good source of information about some of the most important firms publishing in Austria. If the word “portrait” is not present, then the click takes you directly to the publisher’s web page. Of course a Google search on the publisher usually yields the publisher’s web page as well and often the “portrait” done by Literaturhaus. So, if you are looking for a known item, then Google may serve better than a list.

Another list of approximately 100 Austrian publishing houses can be found here: http://www.kultur.at/linx/verlag/. The list links directly to the publisher’s web page, without intervening thumbnail sketch, however. At times clicking on a name will only pull up a mailto screen—an annoying feature of this site. Regional and foreign-language presses are included, however.”

Italian Resources

Sebastian Hierl provides this “Brief Review of the ITALINEMO (italianistica nel mondo) http://www.italinemo.it/ project:

“ITALINEMO (italianistica nel mondo) is an exciting new project developed by an international team of eminent scholars in Italian literature and cultural studies. The goal of ITALINEMO is twofold: to provide an easily accessible index with abstracts to the contents of periodicals in Italian literary and cultural studies; and to offer a user-friendly and multi-structured point of access to the contents of the periodicals. Both of these goals are effectively realized, as ITALINEMO indexes and provides summaries to 3634 articles in 62 journals, with coverage starting in 2000. The search interface provides keyword and advanced search options for articles and reviews and is fairly easy to use. In addition, ITALINEMO contains bibliographic descriptions of the journals and allows for the browsing of the issues through tables of contents. On the negative side, results cannot be sorted or checked for selective printing or emailing and addicts of citation management software will not be able to export data. One can, however, easily copy and paste relevant entries into a Word file for printing or into one’s email program. Free of charge, this is a wonderful new resource in the field that complements existing indexes such as MLA, IBZ, and AIDA (”Articoli italiani di periodici accademici”) – ITALINEMO contains 30 journals not covered by MLA, 38 titles not indexed by AIDA, and 42 journals not covered by IBZ (for a detailed comparison of holdings, refer to http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~hierl/Italinemo.html). The main drawback is that ITALINEMO is not yet complete (not all issues of the 62 journals since 2000 are indexed).”

Helene Baumann has studied Early Modern Italy: A Comprehensive Bibliography, compiled by Professor Gregory Hanlon of Dalhousie University in Halifax, which has “currently about 6,600 entries. As a web-only document the author is able to update the work several times a year. This is the 4th edition (February 2002). It costs $80 and a license agreement has to be signed. For purchasing information, journals consulted and other details see http://www.earlymodernitaly.com or contact Prof. Hanlon at ghanlon@earlymodernitaly.com. Downloading options include MSWord, Corel WordPerfect or Adobe Acrobat. Photocopying is prohibited.

The bibliography aims to cover the entire range of English and French scholarship on Early Modern Italy for the historical period 1550 to 1800. The cited works (monographs, articles and dissertations) were published from the 1860s to today. Translations into English or French are also included. Both the English (comprising about two thirds of the whole) and the French sections are each subdivided into 10 chapters: 1) General Studies and Historiography; 2) Travel and Historical Geography, 3) Politics and Administration; 4) Economics and Demography; 5) Social Stratification and Behavioural Studies; 6) Religious History; 7) Language Arts and Erudition; 8) Music and Spectacle; 9) Beaux-Arts and Architecture; and 10) History of Science. Within the chapters the entries are arranged alphabetically by author or editor.

The citations are not evaluated or annotated. Indeed, the entries are concise, if not Spartan, although easily identifiable in the average OPAC. Entries include author or editor (up to two) initials of first names, title, place of publication and year of publication, or journal title, volume numbers, pages and dates. An excellent four-page introduction explains the limitations of the bibliography and details the choices that had to be made (for instance, accent marks have been left off). The introduction also includes an analysis of the historiographical trends that can be gleaned from the number of works published in the various decades both in English and French, including the names of the major scholars. See also the fascinating chart at http://www.earlymodernitaly.com/graph.htm, which shows the exponential growth of English language scholarship vis-à-vis the French over the last 30 or 40 years.

Searching the bibliography is limited to scrolling up and down through the various sections, similar to a book without an index. The bibliography is most useful for undergraduates looking for easily accessible works on Early Modern Italy.”

John Dillon writes that “ALIM (Archivio della latinità italiana del Medioevo: http://www.uan.it/alim/index.html) is an ongoing electronic archive of Latin texts written in Italy during the Middle Ages. Sponsored by the Unione accademica nazionale and by five Italian universities, it presently offers an impressive and growing number of historical, literary, and other writings from the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. Works of non-Italians resident in Italy are included (e.g., the dictaminal authors James of Dinant and Geoffrey ”of Bologna” thought by some to be G. of Vinsauf). Fully searchable files are accessible though a) an alphabetical list of authors (caution: some attributions used here are no longer widely accepted), or b) a menu of literary genres, or c) picks for individual centuries (but at least one 13th-cent. text is miscoded as 12th-cent.). The database as a whole is also searchable through a query form using Excite for Web Servers. Clicking on the italicized portion of a file’s own heading brings up source documentation and other useful information. Many important texts are already here; more are apparently on the way.”

Scandinavian Resources

Dick Hacken discovered the Danish Emigration Archives, found at the URL http://www.emiarch.dk/home.php3. Naturligvis also available in Danish, they are of interest for those researching local and family history, especially for Danish-Americans. The database itself is searchable by name; occupation; last known Danish city, parish, or county residence; emigration destination city, state or country; contract number (not as in Mafia ”contract”); or date of registration.

Libraries & Museums

Sarah McDaniel writes that Éphémérides (http://pages.globetrotter.net/charro/ephe/default.htm) is a new online news digest monitoring current debates in librarianship through excerpts from press releases and newsletters of professional organizations in the field. Modeling itself on the English-language digest “Library Juice” (http://libr.org/Juice/), Éphémérides provides direct quotations mainly in French and English with editorial commentary in French, and accepts submissions from all associations and groups concerned with librarianship. The focus is on events and debates that shape the theory and practice of librarianship internationally.As of March 2002, only Issue 1 (December 2001) was online: hopefully subsequent issues will appear soon, as the digest’s international scope is useful to librarians who wish to stay abreast of professional debates on an international scale.

I want to offer my sincere gratitude to all contributors to this column. The numbers and variety of electronic resources available for, about and by Western Europe, constantly amaze me. I will be assuming the role of Newsletter Editor this summer, and turning over the column to our accomplished colleague, Sebastian Hierl. I look forward to continuing to read and learn – and bookmark – from this column.