2001 Fall - Europe in Bits & Bytes
Europe in Bits & Bytes
Column Editor: Sarah Wenzel
Fall 2001, Vol. 25, no. 1
Association of College & Research Libraries
©American Library Association
As I continue my quest for good on-line dictionaries, I offer thanks to John Rutledge for pointing out this "source for looking up words in various European languages….[it is] based on the Collins foreign language dictionaries: http://wordreference.com/.
Foreign Language Teaching Resources
Ed Leach announces that the "The online registration form for the 2001 Conference on Information Technology, which includes an exciting selection of informative Learning Center Courses, is now available…http://www.league.org/cit2001/index.htm. This conference should be of considerable interest to Librarians, as we have a Learning Center course designed specifically for Librarians, a Learning Center course on information literacy for faculty members being taught by Librarians, and numerous Forums and Roundtable of interest to Librarians."
A most informative site by Louis Reith is "one for two SVU (Czech and Slovak Society) computer presentations which I made, first at the 20th World Congress of the SVU at American University in Washington, D.C., the other which I gave… at a North American SVU conference on campus of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln…" He promises to be "modifying and improving it over the coming few weeks." To access them, go to http://www.library.georgetown.edu/dept/speccoll/bohemia.htm and click on either of the two links at the top.
Dick Hacken recommends a new web site entitled "Don Juan ou l’Europe démasquée/Don Juan or Europe unmasked" in French & English: http://www.don-juan.org. It was co-funded by the European Commission and the French Ministry of National Education, and written by the Association for Civilisation and European Cultures. The site "establishes Don Juan as the guiding spirit of a new educational tool for the exploration of European literature, art, religion and society in the 17th century....In using different versions of the Don Juan story as a setting-off point - whether the best known stories of Molière, Thomas Corneille or Tirso de Molina or the rare versions by Shadwell or de Preudarca - the site leads the user on an unguarded voyage which illustrates the daily life of the people of the 17th century....With more than 1,000 illustrated pages, this site offers a critical analysis of works on Don Juan, both by country and by topic." He’s also discovered the site http://www.napoleonica.org/us"… a gigantic online primary source for... Napoleonica. [a site created, designed and run by the Fondation Napoléon] You may want to play around a little with the search engine, which can be persnickety." He recommends the "quick search," where you can skip the input of diacritics. The Fondation states that "this site currently presents 4000 original documents taken from the archives of the french Conseil d'Etat. New documents are added every six month [sic]." La Documentation française has a good side on photograpy at http://www.ladocfrancaise.gouv.fr/photographie/. In addition to links to web sites, it also has practical information about preserving, locating and the laws regarding the use of photographs. Their current online exposition is of official French presidential portraits, beginning with Napoléon III. Should you so desire, you may even purchase them — you, too, may have your very own 50x60cm portrait of François Mitterand for your office... Continuing my quest for good dictionary sites, I discovered what a marvelous site for French dictionaries is at Gallica: http://gallica.bnf.fr/dictionnaires.htm. The Bibliothèque nationale de France has digitized dictionaries and encyclopaediae in many fields: General, Geography/History/Topography, Biography, Law, Economy, Arts & Music, French language, Multilingual & foreign languages (includes French dialects such as languedocien), Philosophy/Theology, Sciences, Political Science. These are all out of copyright, so they do tend to be older (ranging from 1491 to 1930) — but what a great historical source! You do have to deal with the slowness & occasional frustrations of the server & software, but how many of us have copies to hand of Sylvain Maréchal’s Dictionnaire des athées, anciens et modernes... (1833), to pick an intriguing one. A good source for information about contemporary French poetry — and links to many useful sites is at http://repertoiredepoesie.free.fr/. Created for libraries, the site includes links to official & other associations, metasites, poets and journals. Leaving the Humanities, the L'Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique du CNRS (INIST-CNRS) has created an online service entitled ArticleSciences (http://articlesciences.inist.fr). Freely accessible, it is a search engine for scientific & technical articles (the interface is in French, English, Spanish & Italian). At the moment, it holds records for over seven million French & international references available at the INIST-CNRS (1990-present) in the following subjects: life sciences, earth sciences, technology, mathematics, physic, chemistry and the social sciences (lest you wonder why I mention it at all…). Over 70% of the articles have an abstract. This service allows you to pay to have articles from the database delivered to you. Dick Hacken also suggests a solution for "those who can't wait until 2004 to visit or revisit the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles," inviting us to "click [our] way to http://www.chateauversailles.fr/exec/360.asp?PIC=glace.vtl&REQ=111.asp&LANG=EN to see a 360-degree rotating view (click to stop the Merry-Go-Round). Clicking on "return" will let you tour the history and visit the personalities of the p[a]lace."
George Crafts suggests http://www.phil.uni-erlangen.de/~p1ges/zfhm/zfhm_na.html#glimpse to "keyword search the tables of contents of a large number of German historical journals, plus a few British titles like Past and Present. To me, its main value would be in retrieving citations too old to be included in Historical Abstracts. There's a goodly number of journals included, and indexing usually goes back to the first issue, even if the title began in the 19th century."
Dick Hacken notes that "Luis Bouza-Brey, professor of political science at the University of Barcelona, has put together (and maintains) a website on the current and latest political tidbits from Spain [Comentarios sobre la actualidad politica española], including the Catalonian, Basque and Galician regional and/or autonomous factions. Some of the topics include the political infrastructures, crises, destabilization, quotes of groups and political leaders, rights and claimed rights, nationalism vs. regionalism, controversy on proposed laws, articles, commentaries, manifests, pacts, communications, links, and whatever other means of posting information there is on what is going on politically in Spain." URLs are: General: http://personales.mundivia.es/lbouza/ Spain: http://personales.mundivia.es/lbouza/espana.htm Catalan: http://personales.mundivia.es/lbouza/cataluna.htm Basque:http://personales.mundivia.es/lbouza/EUSKDI.htm Galicia: http://personales.mundivia.es/lbouza/galicia.htm
Libraries & Museums
A new EU initiative is The European Library (TEL), which sees itself as "The Gate to Europe's knowledge": http://www.europeanlibrary.org/. Its site notes that "Europe's national libraries have important digital and other collections of the cultural and scientific publications of their respective countries at their disposal. As global networks grow in significance it is becoming more important to share knowledge and standards. By combining the resources of some of Europe's national libraries the idea of a single European Library has moved a step closer to becoming a reality. This new 'virtual library' will allow users to search for, and access, digital and other collections from all the participating libraries. The European Library (TEL), a 30-month co-operative project will provide the groundwork on which to build a pan-European service. The project uniting ten European partners as a consortium will make recommendations on how to improve 'interoperability' across national boundaries. TEL is largely being funded by the European Commission as an 'accompanying measure' under the cultural heritage applications area of Key Action 3 of the Information Societies Technology (IST) research programme." Interestingly, not all EU national libraries are participating. On the French front, Jeffry Larson has closely examined the French National Bibliography, which is now (uniquely) online. He writes that "This summer it was announced that the French National Bibliography has ceased being published on paper and is now available for free on the web at.http://bibliographienationale.bnf.fr. It catalogs books and serials published, printed or distributed in France and received by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France through legal deposit. The arrangement is the same as in the paper version, by the CDU classification scheme. This summer's press release inaccurately claimed the records are also sorted by author and title, and that there is a separate list of official publications; in fact there are indexes for author, title, subject, printers, publishers, and official publications, which refer back to the full records in the classified list. There is also an index of school textbooks (mislabeled "scholarly books" in the announcement). The BNF online will be made available in chronological tranches or installments, so that one can scan most recently cataloged materials without having to enter the comprehensive BNF OPAC listing everything they've ever cataloged. The frequency of the books installment is to be fortnightly (and not bimonthly as announced). The installments will remain online for one year, so people who wish to use it, say for selection, have a deadline." Caroline Szylowicz notes that she’s "just added the SUDOC website to the Wess French pages… It's a fairly recent product (2000) of the Agence bibliographique de l'enseignement supérieur, which merges into one big database the holdings of all French academics libraries and major institutions, the holdings of the former CCNPS (Catalogue collectif national des publications en série) and of Teletheses (dissertations since 1986). It serves as an interlibrary loan network for qualifying (French?) institutions. It also provides a directory of all 3,000 participating institutions with basic info such as websites, addresses, opening hours, etc. See http://www.sudoc.abes.fr for access to the catalog and the directory, and http://www.abes.fr for background information and details.
All work & no play…
Much of the joy of the web is in the humorous found serendipitously — or in the case of this site the humorous created & submitted by Dick Hacken (no doubt to great acclaim). He writes that "’Just Along For the Ride, … is a verse (or worse) junket through the intricacies of European and World History, revealing sides of historic personalities heretofore unexplored and unlibeled: http://home.byu.net/estu7/poetry/jaftr.html." My particular favorite is "Once upon a Renaissance."
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Editor: Elisabeth Remak-Honnef
Association of College & Research Libraries
©American Library Association