2001 Spring - Europe in Bits & Bytes

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WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2001 > Europe in Bits & Bytes

Europe in Bits & Bytes

Column Editor: Sarah Wenzel

WESS Newsletter
Spring 2001
Vol. 24, no. 2


Pan-European Resources

Jim Campbell recommends http://eiop.or.at/euroint/: "Internet resources for the study of European integration. The lists of working papers and e-journals can be useful for collection development."

Georg Vogeler wrote on SHARP-L that he "would like to draw [our] attention to a new site about codicology which is part of the German branch of the virtual library history section historical auxiliary sciences. At http://www.vl-ghw.uni-muenchen.de/kodikologie.html Prof. Enzensberger (Univ. Bamberg), Dr. Klaus Graf (Univ. Freiburg), Patrick Sahle (Univ. Koeln) and me [sic] collected links dealing with manuscripts and books as a part of the medieval culture including important manuscript libraries, watermark collections etc. As it is good standard within the VL we added short comments [in German] to the links to give scholars an easy access to the web ressources [sic]."

Foreign Language Teaching Resources

New resources from France include a study on the "Enseignement des langues," published by the central administration of the National Education Ministry, which covers on-line references on language teaching in France & the EU ó from policy to multimedia resources: http://www.education.gouv.fr/thema/default.htm. Also of interest might be the study on "Apprentissage des langues et TIC" at http://www.educnet.education.fr/documentation/dossier/langues. New and fairly comprehensive sites specifically devoted to the teaching of French, at all levels, include http://www.portail.lettres.net/ and http://www.lettres.net.

Dutch Resources

At http://www.dbnl.org/, the Digital Library for Dutch Literature is a site submitted by Laura Dale Bischoff: "The Digital Library of Dutch Literature is a growing collection of primary and secondary information on Dutch language and literature and its historical, societal and cultural context. Researchers and others who are interested, from the Dutch-speaking areas and beyond, can get direct or controlled access to this information via the Internet. The site is an initiative by the Digital Library of Dutch Literature Foundation, founded by the Society of Dutch Literature (Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde), with financial support from the Dutch Language Union (Nederlandse Taalunie) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek)." A new verb for me on the homepage (startpagina) is "downloaden."

Dick Hacken informs us that "for those interested in the Netherlands during World War II, a new website has been assembled with digital facsimiles of the illegal issues of "Het Parool" from July 1940 to May 1945: http://www.hetillegaleparool.nl/. The webmaster, Kees van der Griendt, has included a link to an English-language summary of a thesis on this newspaper. To illustrate the changes in fortune from the publication's early stealth to its later relative wealth, it is interesting to see how the July 1940 issues are mimeographed messes, while by May of 1945 there was a masthead, proper layout, columns, etc." He suggests that we "Ö check out the May 1, 1945 note on the disappearance of Hitler's chauffeur (presumably in a Reichs-Mercedes)."

French Resources

Jeffry Larson asks "Want to find out what kind of a publisher L'Harmattan is? Go to
http://www.calcre.com/ and click on "Quoi de neuf" in the left-hand column. There you'll find out, by means of links to articles in Le Monde (and the critiques thereof) and to texts of legal decisions, that this publisher has become a vanity press in all but name only. This web site, headlined "ECRIRE @ EDITER: L'INTERACTIVITÉ AU SERVICE DES AUTEURS", is maintained by Calcre, Association d'information et de défense des auteurs (in their feistier days they called themselves the Comité des Auteurs Luttant Contre le Racket de l'Édition). The group and its publications, including Audace, ARLIT, and Safêlivre (all evaluative directories often mentioned in "New Publications of Note"), are devoted to the interests of struggling authors. But many of their observations are of immediate interest to librarians. Nowhere else will you find such frank commentary on the French publishing scene. But beware: the French is hardly classical or academic, and you'll have to roll with the colloquialisms to get their drift."

The Bibliothèque nationale de Franceís Research Guide is a well-done site on how to do library research (http://www.bnf.fr/web-bnf/guides/marelle/index.htm).

Also at the BNF is their collection of links ó the "Signets," limited to around 2000 reference resources, are divided into 140 categories. Impressively, given the multitude of rarely updated pages (mea culpa), the signets are reviewed monthly and signed by the department responsible for their maintenance: http://www.bnf.fr/web-bnf/liens.

Two pages with good collections of electronic mailing lists for teachers & professors of French literature are found at http://www.wfi.fr/volterre/emailfr.html and http://www.portail.lettres.net/f__listes-discussion.htm.

German Resources

Reinhart Sonnenburg discovered a new email service that delivers daily summaries of major stories in major German newspapers (available at http://newsletter.zeit.de). You can choose the type of email announcement that you receive: political, cultural, etc.

Thanks to Stephen Lehmann for pointing out that the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has recently come on line at http://www.faz.de.

He also mentions that "the Zeitschriften Datenbank (previously a service of the now-defunct Deutsches Bibliotheksinstitut) is available through the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin at http://zdb-opac.de, providing access to holdings of 4,000 German libraries to over 1,000,000 serials titles. It is described as being in a "test phase," but the major functonalities seem to be in place."

John Rutledge submits a review of the resource:

This database of journals in all languages is an exciting new tool for serials work. Searching is fast and intuitive. It can pull up some very useful information about roughly one million journals (1500 to the present). There is an English front page, but subsequent pages are only in German ó and abbreviations are rife. The bibliographical citation provides earlier and later title variants. Helpful also is space that shows the course of publication over time, the Erscheinungsverlauf. There are "advanced" searching modes that allow you to include or exclude MRDFs [machine-readable datafiles], microfilm, and Internet resources. Using the pull-down list you can search by keyword, keyword in title, corporate author, place of publication, name of publisher, and eleven other options. The search history feature allows you to combine these searches. In short, this is a powerful tool that covers a very large amount of material. If a search retrieves no direct "hits", the ZDB gives you a list of items closest to your search (good for misspellings).

The ZDB does not offer quite as much information about each journal as one would find in WorldCat. For example, there is no indication of periodicity. The central question is: When would the searcher be more successful using the ZDB rather than WorldCat? What does the ZDB provide that WorldCat does not? First, the ZDB indicates how many German libraries hold a particular title. This gives one, arguably, an idea of the relative importance of the journal within Germany. Perhaps more importantly, the ZDB can function as a collection development tool. It retrieved several serials about Kleist and a few about Brecht that could not be found in WorldCat.

Italian Resources

Jeffry Larson writes also that "in checking the bibliography of Antonio Spadaro's Laboratorio Under 25: Tondelli e i nuovi narratori italiani (Reggio Emilia : Diabasis, 2000), I found a reference to the following web site that offers reviews, guides & present-state studies of CD-ROMs & Internet products:
ESB Forum: Recensioni e contributi su cd-rom e altre fonti informative elettroniche <http://www.burioni.it/forum/>.

It offers reviews, etc., in the following categories:

  • Recensioni e guide di singoli cd-rom
  • Confronti fra più cd-rom
  • Altri contributi su cd-rom e banche dati
  • Contributi sui periodici elettronici
  • Contributi sugli strumenti per la ricerca in Internet
  • Altri contributi su Internet
  • Contributi sull'informazione elettronica
  • Convegni e seminari ESB
  • Indici accessory

Most of the texts are in Italian; a few are in English, e. g.: "Bibliography Formatting Software: An Evaluation Template; Head-to-head comparison between: ProCite® (Windows v. 5), EndNote® (Windows v. 4), Reference Manager ® (Windows v. 9), Papyrus ® (Macintosh v. 8), via an evaluation grid", which went thru 4 editions between May & December 1999.

The Forum is a subset of a web site operated by E. S. Burioni, a distributor of electronic products and related books. Its owner gave a presentation on the topic at the meeting of the Associazione italiana biblioteche in Turin last May."

Spanish Resources

Jeffry Larson was also able to annotate a new book/CD-ROM combination:

Diccionario de diccionarios. Ed. Antón Santamaría. La Coruña: Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza, Conde de Fenosa, 2000. 62 p.; 24 cm. (Biblioteca Filolóxica Galega) ISBN 8489748691. Ptas 5000.

The booklet (in Gallegan) serves as a userís guide and introduction to the simultaneously searchable text of 11 historic Gallegan dictionaries on an accompanying CD-ROM. There are no installation instructions. Said to run on Windows 95, 98, or NT, but our Systems Office was unable to get it to load fully.

Libraries & Museums

Renardus (http://www.renardus.org) is "a collaborative project that aims to improve academic users' access to a range of existing Internet-based information services across Europe." Sponsored in part by the Conference of European National Libraries, it focuses on "exploit[ing] the success of subject gateways, where subject experts select quality resources for their users, usually within the academic and research communities. Ö Renardus proposes a distributed model where major subject gateway services across Europe can be searched together through a single interface provided by the Renardus broker." It deals with coding, metadata, service models & content. You can sign up to receive their newsletter detailing the progress of the project, which looks like one to watch!

Lately brought on line is the French "Les Bases de données gratuites sur Internet" at http://urfist.univ-lyon1.fr/gratuits/index.html. There are currently over 575 databases listed there.

The beautiful new website of the Musee national du Moyen Age is now up (http://www.musee-moyenage.fr). The site gives the history of the museum, images of its sculptures, and announcements of exhibits. A caveat: it crashed my Netscape browser, although it worked fine with IE.

LibDex is an international "new index of library home-pages, web-based OPACs, library

friends, and links to libraries running e-commerce affiliations." It contains over 16,000 entries, and is searchable. The list of countries it indexes is impressive: http://www.libdex.com/.

"The British Library Newspaper Library's catalogue of over 50,000 newspaper and periodical title holdings in Colindale was launched on the web on 15 December and is now available at: http://www.bl.uk/collections/newspaper/newscat.html.

The catalogue includes all UK national daily and Sunday newspapers from 1801 to the present; most UK and Irish provincial newspapers, some from the early 18th century onwards; selected newspapers from around the world in western and Slavonic languages dating from the 17th century onwards, including extensive holdings from Commonwealth countries and many other nations; and a wide range of UK and Irish popular periodicals covering all subjects from fashion, pop music, and cinema, to sports, hobbies, and trades." -- and donít forget that the new BL opac contains the records from the British Museum catalogue that were previously accessible only by subscription: http://blpc.bl.uk.

Sarah Wenzel
Humanities Library
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2001 > Europe in Bits & Bytes

Editor: Elisabeth Remak-Honnef
Association of College & Research Libraries
©American Library Association

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