2004 Spring - Europe in Bits & Bytes

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WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2004 > Europe in Bits & Bytes

Europe in Bits & Bytes

Column Editor: Sebastian Hierl

WESS Newsletter
Spring 2004
Vol. 27, no. 2



The Faculdade de Letras and Biblioteca Central of the Universidade do Porto have created a digital library that provides full text access to the latest editions of the department’s scholarly journals and conference proceedings at http://ler.letras.up.pt/revistas/index.htm. Since the critical are not limited to Portuguese literature, but pertain to all of Western Europe’s literatures, as well as North America, the site is listed here rather than under Portuguese Resources. Though still limited in content and designed with a somewhat cumbersome interface, the site provides full text access to articles from Cale, Revista de Faculdade de Letras do Porto, and Portugália, as well as the proceedings of a conference on the Nibelungenlied.

Brought to us by Richard Hacken, www.eupolitix.com is a new online information service designed specifically for EU policymakers and all those with an interest in EU affairs. Eupolitix is a service that provides news, with over 50 news items per day; legislation monitoring, by tracking current EU legislation through all stages from proposal to adoption; and a discussion forum, through which users may access public affairs positions of stakeholders - from corporations to trade associations and non-governmental organizations. The site is free and fully searchable and available in French and English.

William A. Kelly’s Reference resources for cataloguing German and Low Countries
imprints to ca. 1800 is available online at http://altedrucke.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/kelly/. The site may be browsed alphabetically, but a search on the entries is not possible.

The Newseum in Washington, D.C. provides the day’s frontpage of over 250 daily newspapers worlwide, including numerous Western European titles, at http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/. One may follow the link to the newspaper’s web site from the front page to read the latest online articles.


Among other, Jeffry Larson is alerting us to the publication of Le guide du web francophone 2003 (Paris: Micro Application, 2002. 753 p.; 20 cm. ISBN 274292437X; LCCN: 2003256150:; €9.42), which he summarizes as “[A] classed, rated, and annotated annual directory of more than 12,500 Francophone web sites. Skimps gay sites. Includes keyword index.”

The “catalogue des fonds culturels numérisés” at http://www.numerique.culture.fr/fr/f_02.htm, describes collections (textual, iconographic, sound, audio-visual...) that have been digitized or that are currently being digitized by libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions in France. The catalog permits to identify and locate digital resources by name or by the holding institution. In this sense, it is very similar to Archival Resources or Archives USA, but for digital collections.

The Catalogue collectif PMC at http://portail.univ-lyon2.fr/z3950/pmc/page.php provides a meta-search access to the catalogs of French libraries with important holdings in Christian Theology and Semitic Studies.

Via Sarah G. Wenzel and BIBLIO-FR we are apprised of a new portal to cultural events and news in France: http://www.culture.fr/. The site gathers more than 5,000 cultural sites selected for the interest and the quality of their contents. The site includes an agenda and is organized in 14 categories, such as archaeology; contemporary art; libraries; cinema; the French language and regional languages; books and literature; music; museums; etc. Access by region is also possible through the map of France on the bottom left side of the screen.

As one of the new resources featured on www.culture.fr, is a site dedicated to Prosper Mérimée at http://www.merimee.culture.fr/ with helpful resources, including a biography, a bibliography, and articles on the famous 19th Century French author.

Sarah also notifies us that the Centre Pompidou and the Musée national d’art moderne have made available their extensive collections for free online consultation at www.centrepompidou.fr. In total, 50,000 works of close to 5,000 artists will displayed. Unfortunately, most of the images are currently unavailable as duplication rights are being worked out.

The Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes has created a dictionary or “répertoire méthodique” of French codicological terms, with their English, Italian, and Spanish translations at http://vocabulaire.irht.cnrs.fr/vocab.htm.


The “Nederlandse Literatuur” at http://www.dbnl.org/letterkunde/ provides a comprehensive site on Dutch literature from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century, with numerous helpful links, online reference resources, audio recordings, and the full text of countless literary works as well as of 20th Century literary criticism. The site is part of the DBNL (digitale bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse letteren) athttp://www.dbnl.org/. Fully searchable, the site is an indispensable resource for Dutch literature that is already listed on our WESS Dutch Studies Web: Literature and Language. Yet, it has recently been updated with the “Achttiende Eeuw in honderd artikelen.” As the name indicates, this section focusing on the 18th Century, includes 100 critical, contemporary articles on Dutch literature, with links to resources such as maps and reference titles, as well as the full text of important 18th Century literary texts, biographies of important authors, complete with short bibliographies, and more. The complete list of reference titles, primary, and secondary literature is athttp://www.dbnl.org/tekst/tekstlit.htm.

The Atlantic World: America and the Netherlands is a site created by the Library of Congress in conjunction with the National Library of the Netherlands that explores the history of the Dutch in America and the interactions between the United States and the Netherlands from 1609 to the post-WWII period. The project also has enlisted the cooperation of other leading Dutch libraries, museums, and archives, and is available at http://international.loc.gov/intldl/awkbhtml/awkbhome.html. Though not truly a “Western European” resource it nevertheless documents the rich history and influence of the Low Countries. The site is co-sponsored by the National Library of the Netherlands’ Geheugen van Nederland at www.geheugenvannederland.nl, which includes numerous new and interesting resources, such as a collection of 3,800 posters documenting the history of the women’s liberation movement in the Netherlands (http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl/vrouwenbeweging), as well as numerous other collections of cultural materials.


The University of Leicester is in the process of creating a digital library of eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century local and trade directories from England and Wales at http://www.historicaldirectories.org/. As the site aptly summarizes, “[d]irectories of counties and towns are among the most important sources for local and genealogical studies. They include lists of names, addresses and occupations of the inhabitants of the counties and towns they describe, and successive editions reflect the changes in the localities over a period of time.” Users may browse or search the extensive database by name, occupation, addresses and key words. Results are in the format of TIFF or PDF documents and search hits highlighted within the text. An impressive project and site. Lottery funded.

The Newton Project, at http://www.newtonproject.ic.ac.uk/, claims to provide “the most extensive publication of Newton's personal and theological material that has ever taken place.” The latest release, consisting of about 200,000 words of text and nearly 1,000 images, brings together substantial amounts of previously unpublished Newton material from a number of major scholarly institutions in Europe and the US.

Caxton’s Canterbury Tales have been made available by the British Lirbrary at http://www.cta.dmu.ac.uk/Caxtons/. Also released on CD-Rom; the database is fully searchable.

The National Library of Scotland has made available in digital format a copy of the Auchinleck Manuscript (NLS Adv MS 19.2.1), hailed as one of Scotland’s greatest treasures. Produced in London in the 1330s, it provides a unique insight into the English language and literature from before Chaucer. It was Lord Auchinleck who discovered the manuscript in 1740 and donated it to the precursor of the National Library in 1744. It is available at http://www.nls.uk/auchinleck/. The digital library athttp://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/index.html provides further valuable resources.

In keeping with Scottish resources, the Edinburgh University Library’s Walter Scott Digital Archive has recently compiled a ‘webliography’ of over 300 Walter Scott e-texts made available by external sites. These can be accessed via the following page: http://www.walterscott.lib.ed.ac.uk/etexts/index.html.

Furthermore, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland has engaged on a project to digitize the entire run of the Proceedings, Archaeologia Scotica, and the Society's out-of-print monographs at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/library/psas/index.cfm. The project is funded by Historic Scotland, the ARCHway Project, and the Russell Trust. Users must click on the license agreement before being able to access the full text.


There are several Italian digitization projects featured in this issue of Europe in Bits & Bytes. These are not all brand new, but many of these have not been widely publicized and are included in this column as a reminder; others are new or have added new content.

The Emeroteca Digitale of the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, at http://emeroteca.braidense.it/, has been active in digitizing its holdings of 19th and early 20th Century periodicals since 1995, but has made its extensive digital collections available via the web in DjVu format. (A link to download the Lizardtech DjVu plugin necessary to view the files in your browser is provided on the home page.) The digitized periodicals are organized in two different collections, the EVA, or “Emeroteca virtuale aperta,” and the GEA, or “Giornali & altro.” As their names indicate, the EVA is essentially composed of journals from Milan and Lombardy published in the 19th and 20th Centuries; and GEA mainly provides access to newspapers. The interface allows for browsing, printing, and the saving of selections.

The following site at http://www.amanuense.it/fondi_online/elenco_fondi.asp is listed here as it provides links to valuable resources. Unfortunately, the Java script displaying the images is not working properly and will have to be fixed before the site can be explored. Just from the descriptions and images of the front page, www.ammuense.it promises to become an important resource. Their encouraging motto provides hope that the technical difficulties will soon be fixed: “La nostra strategia è rendere accessibile il patrimonio delle Biblioteche e degli Archivi Italiani al maggior numero possibile di persone attraverso Internet e le nuove tecnologie digitali.”

The Istituto di Storia del Diritto medievale e moderno at the Università degli Studi di Milano has digitized numerous titles in early Italian law at http://www.historia.unimi.it/scripts/diglib/digliblista.asp. Providing images of the originals that may be blown up or minimized the site does not allow for full text searching or the downloading of images. The home page provides background on the project and some helpful links (http://www.historia.unimi.it/).

Jeffry Larson notifies us of the following print guide: Biblioteche elettriche: letture in internet: una risorsa per la ricerca e per la didattica: con un’appendice su Forme tradizionali di comunicazione intellettuale. Ed. Francesco Santi. Tavarnuzze (Firenze): SISMEL edizioni del Galluzzo; Firenze: Fondazione Ezio Franceschini, 2003. xiii, 172 p.: ill.; 24 cm. (Textus; 1) ISBN 8884500419: €25.00. The guide contains collected essays on the use of humanistic web resources in libraries, e. g. at the Vatican. The series’ object is expounded in the preface: “the applications of digital technologies to the study and analysis of Medieval Latin texts and, more generally, to the larger field of the humanities [in English in the original].”

Full text access (in PDF) to the journal Archeologia Medievale is now available at: -- brought to you by the Portale di Archaelogia Medievale, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti, Università di Siena.


The University of Barcelona has digitized parts of its Fons Rudolf Grewe at http://www.bib.ub.es/grewe/grewe.htm. The Grewe collection, located in the Special Collections of the University, focuses on culinary materials from the 16th to the 18th Century in all Western European languages. The digital library of the Fons Grewe contains close to 50 early imprints in image format, without full text searching capability. The titles digitized range from Claudi Galè’s De alimentorvm facvltatibvs libri, published in Paris in 1530, to Johann Friedrich Zückert’s Materia alimentaria in genera, classes et species disposita, published in Berlin in 1769. The web site is in Catalan and easy to use. While we are talking about the digital library projects of the University of Barcelona, it should also be noted that the Fons Grewe is part of a growing online collection: other digital projects available under “Llibres d'imatges digitals” at http://www.bib.ub.es/bub/llibresdigitals.htm. These include a collection of 1,700 engravings from the 16th to the 19th Century; images of political posters from the Second Republic and Spanish Civil War; as well as a freely available copy of the Canones Paenitentiales (further online law resources are restricted).

An alphabetical list of titles digitized by the Special Collections department at the University of Grenada is at: http://www.ugr.es/~biblio/libros_electronicos/adrasteatitulos.html. This is an impressive list of titles that may be viewed in your browser with the free Alternatiff TIFF viewer/plugin (www.alternatiff.com). As impressive this list is, the individual titles are not always easy to read. Nevertheless a site to list on our guides to Spanish resources.

The Biblioteca Virtual de Andalucía is an exciting and ambitious project to place online rare books and manuscript holdings, as well as all other materials, including maps, audio, and video recordings, of major collections in Andalucía: http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/cultura/bibliotecavirtualandalucia/informacion/proyecto.cmd. Resources are focused on the history of Andalucía. The site promises to become a resource of extraordinary wealth. Unfortunately, while the architecture of the site is established and populated with numerous titles in image format even more leads, as to literary materials, for example, are not yet populated. The site may be browsed or the catalog searched. To access images of the texts, click on the image (“imagen”) symbol at the bottom of the catalog record, above the page indication. Another site to monitor.

The Biblioteca de la Facultad de Derecho of the Universidad de Sevilla has created a digital library at http://bib.us.es/guiaspormaterias/ayuda_invest/derecho/pixelegis.htm. The site currently contains 32 titles from the 18th Century to the late 19th Century. Titles are in pdf format, providing tables of contents and easy browse features, as well as the capability to print, email, and save individual pages or the complete document, but do not allow for copying and pasting or full text searching. Unfortunately, some titles take a long time to load, presumably due to the high resolution of the images and because the pdf format does not allow the selective uploading of pages, but loads the whole document at once. The collection includes titles in Latin.

Staying in Sevilla and going beyond law, the Library at the Universidad de Sevilla has launched a more comprehensive project to digitize its holdings of rare books and manuscripts. The Library, founded in 1505, has a collection of about 917 manuscripts, 330 incunabula, 8,000 16th Century and even more ample holdings of 17th and 18th Century titles. The goal of the project is to digitize all materials prior to the 19th Century.
The project “Fondo Antiguo” is further described at http://www.fondoantiguo.us.es/. A list of titles already digitized is at http://www.fondoantiguo.us.es/obras/tree.html. Titles are made available in JPEG format and may be browsed online. Individual images are available in three sizes (small, medium, and large) and may be downloaded. Unfortunately, the site provides no search feature. The collection includes titles in other literatures, such as Ariosto’s Orlando furioso.

The University of Valencia also has started a digital library, available at http://digitheka.uv.es/. The catalog of close to 1,400 digitized titles is fully searchable and available in Valencià, Castellà, and English and provides short bibliographic records with a link to the JPEG images of the texts. The texts themselves are not searchable, but may be manipulated online or downloaded individually. The collection includes numerous incunabula and titles from other Western European languages and literatures.

The province of Biskay has created a provincial catalog at http://bibliotecaforal.bizkaia.net/screens/mainmenu_eng.html that includes a digital library: http://bibliotecaforal.bizkaia.net/screens/bibdigital.html. The collection focuses on the rare holdings of the provincial library and has for goal to digitize the complete collection. At present, nearly 2,000 books may be consulted and this number is supposed to grow to 4,000 titles by the end of the year. Areas of particular strength are printed editions of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, as well as a collection of 36 incunabula, printed before 1501. The oldest work available in the Digital Library is an incunabulum from 1483 of "El Chronicon a S. Hieronymo latine versum et continuatum" by Pamphilus Eusebius. The collection contains titles in Basque, Latin and Spanish.


The Max-Planck Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte has created a new digital library of “Juristische Zeitschriften des 19. Jahrhunderts” at http://dlib-zs.mpier.mpg.de/. A wonderful resource that, as so many others, is funded by the DFG and will be listed on WESS’ “Indexes and Guides to Western European Periodicals in the Humanities and Social Sciences”-page. While the digitization of titles is in process and needs to be completed, the site allows for browsing and full text searching. On may also limit searches to sections or parts of the journals. Results are displayed as gif images of the original.

Cooperating with the Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln, the prestigious Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel has created the Verteilte Digitale Inkunabelbibliothek at http://www.hab.de/forschung/projekte/incunabula.htm. The purpose of the site is to digitize and make available the combined incunabula holdings (about 1,000) of both libraries. In this project, Wolfenbüttel focuses on incunabula after 1485, while the Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln focuses on pre-1485 titles. The creators of the site estimate that the 1,000 digitized incunabula will represent about 5 to 6 % of incunabula available worldwide. Titles are available via the pica search interface of the catalog, but are not searchable in full text. Images are provided in high, medium, and low resolutions and may be browsed through a functional interface.

Remaining on the topic of incunabula, the library of the University of Tübingen has updated its federated search interface to holdings of incunabula at major German libraries. INKA, the Inkunabelkatalog deutscher Bibliotheken, is available at http://www.ub.uni-tuebingen.de/pro/kata/inka.php. Note that it includes Wolfenbüttel, but not the Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln. The catalog is based upon the "Inkunabeln in Baden-Württemberg" project and includes holdings from the ISTC.

Reinhart Sonnenburg informs us that several new projects, notably for the digitization of incunabula, have been added to his page “German Studies Web: Major Digital Projects” at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~wess/wessdig.html. Among the most important of these projects is Manuscripta Mediaevalia: digitalisierte Handschriften at http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/hs/hs-online.htm. While the growing digital holdings of the UB Heidelberg have already been mentioned in this column, this overarching project warrants a new and more detailed description. The site provides page images (some in color) of currently 88 manuscripts held between Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Marburg, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, and the Hessische Landesbibliothek Fulda. In addition to image access to these rare manuscripts, the site provides access to the Handschriftendatenbank, containing information on about 64,000 manuscripts held at libraries throughout Europe (the URL is too long to be represented here). This catalog includes a thesaurus of terms used to describe these manuscripts (currently under construction) and the “Ikonographie-Register,” providing an overview of the illustrations, cataloged by title and subject, of the illustrations contained in the manuscripts. Furthermore, Manuscripta Mediaevalia includes the Handschriftenkataloge online, which is different from the Handschriftendatenbank in that the Handschriftenkataloge online provides page images of 181 print catalogs describing about 24,000 manuscripts held at libraries in some 56 German cities and towns, which are unsurpassed in their detail of description.

Reinhart also notifies us of the new availability of Kant’s complete works and letters at the Universität Bonn, to which Linwood DeLong also alerted us on german-e, and which is available at: http://www.ikp.uni-bonn.de/kant/. The full text search interface is at: http://linux-s.ikp.uni-bonn.de/cgi-bin/Kant/lade.pl?/default.htm. I am including this resource in this column to reach those possibly not subscribed to german-e and as a reminder.

One further new addition to the “German Studies Web: Major Digital Projects” web site maintained by Reinhart, is the Compact Memory project from the University of Aachen: Retrospective digitization of Jewish periodicals at: http://www.compactmemory.de/. The site provides free page images of 19th and 20th Century Jewish newspapers and periodicals published in Germany. Some of the titles include: Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums (1837-1922); Der Jude (1916-1928); Die Welt (1897-1914); Jahrbuch für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur (1898-1931, 1936-1938); Mitteilungen des Gesamtarchivs der deutschen Juden (1908-1914, 1929-1938/39); and more. Unfortunately, the site does not provide an index.

Richard Hacken informs us that "[t]he Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe has finished a digital version of the Nibelungenlied in its manuscript version C that is thoroughly thought out and scholarly. It is located at the URL http://www.blb-karlsruhe.de/blb/blbhtml/nib/uebersicht.html. You can look at the manuscript form with synoptic transcribed reading helps, you can get an overview of the various ‘adventures’ or chapters by thumbnail images, you can refer to leaf-specific and chapter-specific indices, you can amaze your eyes with large format copies of various illustrated or initialed pages, you can amaze your ears with an audio reading of the Middle High German pages, you can refer to a transcription that recapitulates the line and page boundaries of the original, you can compare the original to modern German, you can read an introduction, a description of manuscript C, a description of orthography, suggestions and notes for reading, all online. You can leap to recommended secondary websites. This is a glimpse into the digital future of literary scholarship of the past."

As announced to SHARP-L by Bettina Wagner, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has completed the retro-conversion of its catalogue of books printed between 1841 and 1952. The catalog is available athttp://www.bsb-muenchen.de/opac/qk.htm and includes images of the old, frequently handwritten, catalog cards. It may also be browsed alphabetically. Bettina Wagner promised that an improved search facility is under development. With the completion of this retrospective conversion, the entire holdings of the BSB since 1501 are now available online.

Google News Alerts are now also available online: http://www.google.de/newsalerts?hl=de. This service by Google sends automatic email notifications when new articles that correspond to the user’s profile are published online.

The Goethezeitportal at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München is about one year old now and provides authoritative online information on what may be considered Germany’s foremost period in the history of ideas, literature, and art: the time of Goethe. The portal, available at http://www.goethezeitportal.de/, is divided into a “Kulturportal” and a “Fachportal.” The “Kulturportal” provides information on the cultural background in Germany surrounding Goethe’s work. The “Fachportal” provides scholars in the field with a virtual meeting place, a calendar of events, online articles and reviews, links to resources with relevant online materials by other institutions and projects, a bibliography of critical studies, and more. A one-stop site for Goethe specialists and students.

The Österreichische Bibliografie is now freely available electronically under the name "OeB-online" at http://bibliographie.onb.ac.at/biblio/. Dating back to January 2003, "OeB-online" provides bibliographic references to all new Austrian publications and is organized following the Dewey Decimal System.

The Institute of History at the RWTH-Aachen had created a freely available “Lexikon zur Zeitgeschichte” at http://www.histinst.rwth-aachen.de/default.asp?sectionId=9. To access the articles, click on “Artikel” on the right of the screen. Though limited in number, the articles include interesting topics such as a study entitled “Werbung in Westdeutschland, 1945-1990.” The latter contains links to resources and a scholarly study in pdf format.

The Bibliothek für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte in Köln has created an online directory to full texts titles pertaining to economic and social history at: http://www.wiso.uni-koeln.de/wigesch/bibliothek/eb2_digit-books-on-net.htm.

100 years of the University of Frankfurt’s course listings and staff directories have been digitized and are available online at www.uni-frankfurt.de/uniarchiv/vorlesungsverzeichnisse.html. The course listings and staff directories can be queried by semester in pdf.

Via Sarah G. Wenzel and Humbul, we are notified of a new site providing access to “Briefe adeliger Frauen (16.-18. Jh.): Beziehungen und Bezugssysteme” at http://www.univie.ac.at/Geschichte/Frauenbriefe/. Following Humbul, the database is a sub-site of the Department of History at the University of Vienna and features an excellent collection of online primary sources for the study and teaching of the Early Modern History of Gender in Austria and Central Europe. Documents included are: letters, wills, documents related to marriage, inventories, and bibliographies of secondary literature. Unfortunately, not all documents are available in full text. Read more about this site at Humbul: http://www.humbul.ac.uk/.

The Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, with funding from the DFG, have embarked on a digitization project aiming at creating an online database of “Durchreibungen von Bucheinbänden” of the 15th and 16th Centuries at http://www.hist-einband.de/index.shtml. The database permits to identify and assign bound manuscripts and publications to book binders working mostly in Germany during the 15th and 16th Centuries, through the various identifying symbols used in their ateliers. The database is fully searchable and contains tens of thousands of image scans of the symbols, together with information on their corresponding binding ateliers. One may also browse holdings through a “Terminologieliste” (or index) or search by location of the ateliers.


The Academic Archive online, also entitled DiVA, provides full text access to theses, dissertations and other publications from the universities of Stockholm, Södertörn, Umeå, Uppsala and Örebro. The publications are available in pdf format. DiVA is maintained by the Electronic Publishing Centre at Uppsala university library: http://www.diva-portal.se/index.xsql?lang=en. The database contains over 1,000 theses and over 300 reports.

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

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2004 > Europe in Bits & Bytes

Editor: Sarah G. Wenzel

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