Part 1. Alphabetisches Verzeichnis: A-I [Alphabetical Listing: A-I]. 1998. xxxii, p. 1-878
Part 2. Alphabetisches Verzeichnis: J-Z [Alphabetical Listing: J-Z]. 1998. v, p. 879-1,789
Part 3. Indices. 1998. ix, 1,158 p.
The bibliography contains around 25,000 entries as well as 8,000 book
review citations. Their selection and organization are thematically and
chronologically meaningful. However, titles published in non-Latin alphabets
are excluded, which is regrettable, especially with regard to Russian scholarship.
Also excluded, wisely, are Christianity and Coptic Egypt and papyrology.
No fewer than twelve separate indexes are the real treasure of this bibliography.
The bulk consists of a subject index, well-organized with detailed subsections.
There is also a listing of all, even the smallest, museums, private collections,
exhibits and auctions featuring Egyptian antiquities worldwide. An electronic
version is planned. [ee/hsb]
These Internet guides tend to be directed toward a clientele that experience shows to be hard to win over to digitized information. The advantage of the Internet for text- and source-based disciplines such as classics is obvious, providing as it does easy access to a wealth of Greek and Latin texts as well as to a rich treasure of information pertaining to antiquity.
The selection in this volume is based on "quality" and "relevance"--criteria that are not, alas, further elaborated. The big question remains unanswered: on what basis does one recommend a Web site, either in a guide such as this, or, in the library context, by providing a link on a page? Some of the Internet addresses in the second part are annotated, and some are not. Where they exist, the annotations tend to be rather skimpy and to repeat the information that is already on the Web pages. One would like to know how many titles are in a bibliographic listing, when it was begun, who is responsible for it, when it is updated, what its relationship is to other relevant bibliographies, etc. With collections of full texts it is important to know who has assembled them, on which editions they are based, etc. Of course it costs time and effort to gather this kind of information and provide critical commentary, but only then does an Internet guide make sense: anyone can gather a bunch of URLs; the art lies in evaluating them.
Bottom line: academic libraries do not need this book. [kh/sl]
Vol. 9. Werla-Zypresse, Appendix. 1998. viii p., 1,094 cols. ISBN 3-89659-909-7: DM 290.00.
Index. Ed. Charlotte Bretscher-Gisiger. 1999. 776 cols. ISBN 3-476-01688-9: DM 298.00
Lexikon des Mittelalters. [Study edition]. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 1999. Vols. 1-9. 25 cm. ISBN 3-476-01742-7: DM 1,980.00 [99-1/4-419]
Dictionary of the Middle Ages. American Council of Learned Societies. Editor-in-chief Joseph R. Strayer. New York: Scribner, 1982-1989. Vols. 1-13. ill. 29 cm. ISBN 0-684-19073-7: $1,670.20 [99-1/4-420]
Dictionnaire encyclopédique du moyen âge [Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Middle Ages]. Ed. André Vauchez. Paris: Éditions du Cerf [et al.] 28 cm. [99-1/4-421]
Vol. 1. A-K. 1997. xxviii, 858 p. ill. ISBN 3-204-05865-3: FF 1,890.00 (with vol. 2)
Vol. 2. L-Z. 1997. p. 860-1692. ill. ISBN 3-204-05866-1: FF 1,890.00 (with vol. 1)
Specialists can always find fault in a work of this scale. Nevertheless, the two-and-a-half-page errata list for the entire set at the end of volume 9 testifies to the high editorial quality of this mammoth project. Also in volume 9 are a selection of comprehensive thematic articles, a supplementary list of names and places, and extensive lists of rulers and family trees.
A comparison of the German dictionary with its American and French counterparts
is revealing. All three cover not only the Latin Middle Ages of western
Europe, but also Byzantine, Slavic, and Mediterranean/Islamic subjects.
LexMA has by far the largest number of articles, especially concerning
persons. Unlike the Dictionary of the Middle Ages, the French work
is relatively weak in its coverage of German and Scandinavian topics. All
three works are similarly broad in scope, though the LexMA has many more
short articles than are found in the U.S. and French publications. On the
other hand, LexMA has the fewest illustrations, which are especially prolific
in the Dictionnaire encyclopédique du moyen âge. The
greatest weakness of the LexMA, particularly when compared to the Dictionary
of the Middle Ages, is its index. Nonetheless, overall the German encyclopedia
is the most comprehensive and detailed of the three and, thanks to its
international orientation, its leading place among reference works for
the Middle Ages will not be restricted to Germany. The newly published
student's edition (which includes the previously unnumbered index volume
in its volume 9) puts this important work in the price range of smaller
libraries and individual scholars. [ch/sl]
Dictionnaire du moyen âge: littérature et philosophie [Dictionary of the Middle Ages: Literature and Philosophy]. Paris: Encyclopædia Universalis; Albin Michel, 1999. 868 p. 21 cm. ( [Les dictionnaires] Encyclopædia universalis) ISBN 2-226-10790-8: FF 170.00 [99-1/4-423]
The enormous quantity of material on the European and Byzantine Middle Ages has led to a division into two volumes, the first focusing on political development and society, with 522 articles, and the second on literature and philosophy, with more than 420. Depending on whether the articles have been drawn from the nineteen-volume Corpus (comparable to the Encyclopedia Britannica's Macropedia) or the four-volume Thesaurus (similar to the Britannica's Micropedia), one will find either detailed treatments with bibliographic apparatus, or just short articles with no references to literature.
Most articles in volume 1 are devoted to short biographies of secular and ecclesiastical leaders, to dynasties, and to geographical entities--though with regard to the latter, below the level of kingdoms only a few of the most important dominions and city-states are covered. Especially valuable are the overview articles, e.g., "Féodalité" by G. Duby and "Grandes invasions" by L. Musset, that, in the spirit of the Annales school, look at phenomena of "longue durée," e.g., fundamental structures and long-term developments.
One might criticize the complete lack of illustrations and cross-references within the individual articles, also the fact that the bibliographies often seem stuck in the 1950s and 1960s, even though some include new publications as recent as 1994. (In the article "Allemagne," for example, the most recent reference, if one excludes reprint editions, dates from 1967.)
In volume 2, the focus is on individual writers and works, as well as on literary genres. Islamic writers such as Averroes and Avicenna receive their due, as do "Averoïsme" and "Avicennisme latin." As in the first volume, the index is an enormous aid. It includes many terms, e.g., "Néo-Platonisme" or "Mystique chrétienne," "juive" and "arabe," that lack their own entries, but are covered in articles the reader is directed to (sixteen and thirty-five articles, respectively).
A comparison with the Dictionnaire encyclopédique du moyen
âge discussed above (RREA 5:223) leads
to no decisive verdict in favor of either work. The Dictionnaire encyclopédique
has far more articles, almost all of which are supplied with brief but
current references to relevant literature. But it cannot match the bibliographic
coverage (dated though it may often be) of the major articles in the Dictionnaire
du moyen âge. In sum, each of these works is a valuable contribution
to the field, and indeed they complement each other in many important respects.
Although the Dictionnaire du moyen âge may duplicate articles
available to library patrons who have access to the complete Encyclopædia
Universalis, due to its modest price it should, like the Dictionnaire
encyclopédique du moyen âge, not be lacking in the history
section of reference collections in research libraries. [ch/jg]
This paperback edition has the same rubrics as the original edition
of 1991, with a text that has been revised "in some places," as the foreword
states. The thirteen-page bibliography of publications on the history of
the Middle Ages, by contrast, has been thoroughly updated to include a
substantial number of fundamental works published in recent years. Unfortunately,
however, there are no references to further reading attached to individual
articles. Still, this work will certainly prove useful for its intended
audience. Research libraries, on the other hand, can probably do without
N.F. 1. 1945/60 (1997). 284 p. ISBN 3-9806303-0-7: DM 174.00
The editors have compiled their bibliography from existing genealogical sources and catalogs, regional and art historical bibliographies, and German genealogical journals and series. The volume is divided into three parts: "Bibliographies and Periodicals," "Sources," and "Descriptions." Titles originate from state, church, and private sources. The "Descriptions" portion contains nine subdivisions, of which "Family Histories" and "Ancestors and Offspring of Famous Individuals" constitute the main sections. A carefully prepared, comprehensive alphabetical index provides access by author, family name, place name, as well as keyword.
A number of concerns need to be mentioned. For example, the treatment of umlauts in the alphabetical arrangement of articles within the various divisions has led to unexpected sequences, e.g., the article on Mäderer comes after the one on Mayser; this approach should be abandoned in the next volume in favor of a sequential numbering approach with access provided by an index. In addition, the selectivity of resources included has caused the regrettable omission of certain types of materials that indirectly include genealogical information, such as company histories of family-owned enterprises or genealogies of German families whose works were published abroad. As a final example, the editors have simply made mistakes in their interpretation of terms, e.g., interchanging Pfarrerbuch and Pfarrbuch, which then led to the listing of materials in incorrect locations.
The questionable physical quality of the paperback format also detracts
considerably from this work. Nonetheless, Familiengeschichtliche Bibliographie
is a work that should be widely purchased by libraries and genealogical
research centers. [mvm/jb]
Taschenlexikon Deutschland nach 1945 [Pocket Dictionary of Post-WWII Germany]. Friedemann Bedürftig. Unabridged pbk. ed. München; Zürich: Piper, 1998. 459 p. ill. 19 cm. (Serie Piper, 2,495). Original title: Lexikon Deutschland nach 1945. ISBN 3-492-22495-4: DM 19.90 [99-1/4-438]
Taschenlexikon Drittes Reich is composed of articles on post-WWII German history with emphasis on biographical material, chiefly on politicians and writers. There is no subject index; however, cross-references in the alphabetical list of topics provide links to other relevant items. Maps, tables, graphics, and black and white photographs provide additional information.
Both books present their subject matter well, are nicely produced, and
are most appropriate for the circulating collection of public libraries.
Individual chapters focus on the factors leading to emigration, the destination countries, and various categories of emigrants, including political exiles, scientists, writers and artists. The concluding chapter recounts the experiences of those returning to Germany after the war, and also offers a reception history of exile research.
A certain unavoidable unevenness in the treatment of the respective topics is evident--more information is given on the exile experience of scientists and artists, for example. And although the chapter on the thirty-six countries of destination is fairly comprehensive in one respect, the imbalance in coverage is also evident here, in that more space is devoted to South Africa or Brazil than to Palestine, even though the latter provided refuge to more emigrants than did the other two combined.
As a general survey book, this title cannot replace more specialized
sources; but with its selective bibliography and the references to specialized
literature in the respective chapters, it does provide a very useful survey
of emigration research in its most important aspects. This, and its reasonable
price, make the Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration affordable
and appropriate for both research and public libraries. [krb/jb]
Wendepunkte--die Chronik der Republik: der Weg der Deutschen in Ost und West [Turning Points--A Timeline History of the Republic: The Path to Unification in East and West]. Hartwig Bögeholz. New, expanded ed. of Die Deutschen nach dem Krieg. Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1999. 832 p. ill. 22 cm. (rororo, 60,761: Sachbuch). ISBN 3-499-60761-1: DM 29.90 [99-1/4-441]
Similar to the Fischer work, Wendepunkte offers a chronology
of the events of recent German history. Again, the FRG and GDR are treated
separately between 1950 and 1990. This reference tool emphasizes political
history, to the neglect of social or economic events except as they affected
politics. Each year is introduced by a heading that signals the political
thrust of that year, e.g., the respective headings for 1961 are "The Wall"
for the FRG and "The Protecting Wall" for the GDR. Text blocks provide
excerpts of documents relating to the events being presented, and photographs
offer visual connections to the events covered. Indexes of names and subjects
complement the text. This title is kept up-to-date on the author's homepage:
Handbuch zur deutschen Einheit: 1949-1989-1999 [Handbook on German Unification: 1949-1989-1999]. Ed. Werner Weidenfeld and Karl-Rudolf Korte. Rev. expanded ed. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 1999. 895 p. 21 cm. (Schriftenreihe, Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 363). ISBN 3-89331-370-2: free to libraries (Bundeszentrale ..., Berliner Freiheit 7, D-53111 Bonn, fax [49 228] 515-113) [99-1/4-444]
As to whether such a specialized reference tool is still necessary,
the answer is "yes." As this book suggests, unification is still a work
in progress. The work itself, now in its third edition, reflects the developmental
phases of the unification process. The first edition, for example, fulfilled
the function of a historical documentation, while the second and third
delve more deeply into the unification process itself. Especially useful
in the current edition is the effort to explore the origins of unification.
This balanced and well-organized treatment is appropriate for public, school,
and academic libraries alike. [jpl/jb]
Historical Dictionary of Paris. Alfred Fierro. Trans. Jon Woronoff. Lanham, Md.; London: Scarecrow Press, 1998. xx, 243 p. ill. 22 cm. (Historical Dictionaries of Cities, Nr. 4) ISBN 0-8108-3318-2: $68.00 [99-1/4-447]
The Historical Dictionary of Paris is a much abbreviated adaptation
of the French work. It contains a brief chronology, a short history of
Paris, and the actual dictionary section of about 400 articles. This section
includes a number of references to Anglo-Americans who have lived in Paris.
The bibliography is not annotated and consists mainly of English-language
titles. For those who can read French, only the French version is worth
purchasing, not just because of its greater content, but also because its
price is half that of the English version. [sh/mjc]
An RREO Original Review
The work is divided into two parts. At the outset the author analyzes the basic information sources for historians. He begins with definitions and a typology of information sources. The major categories--namely, reference works and bibliographies--are defined and further subdivided. Among the reference works particular to history he lists chronologies, biographical dictionaries, and encyclopedias; the sources of bibliographic information are bibliographies, catalogs, and serial bibliographies. He sketches the new electronic information landscape, including bibliographic databases, directories, numeric and textual databases, whether online or on-disc.
The series of bibliographic essays which fill in this outline contain brief but informative histories of various forms of reference works as well as comments on the current state of such tools for history. Treatment of dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, historical statistics, chronologies, and biographical tools in all formats focuses on Spanish and universal history. Though the work is aimed primarily at Spanish historians, librarians will find especially useful the information about reference works for Spanish history.
The chapters treating the sources of bibliographic information give advice about initiating a research project using bibliographies, catalogs, and serial bibliographies. In each category, the guide moves from general to more specialized tools for historical research; it presents sources for universal as well as Spanish history and compares Spanish tools to comparable works in other countries.
General resources comprise bibliographies of bibliographies, national bibliographies, national library catalogs, and bibliographies of periodicals, etc. Specialized bibliographic sources for history include standard works and lesser-known guides of the Biblioteca Nacional. Retrospective bibliographies are supplemented by catalogs of commercial bookstores. Other print sources include directories of historical journals, indexes, abstracting tools, and citation indexes. Unlike many countries, Spain lacks both a serial bibliography for historical works and, except for the irregularly published Indice histórico español, a publication which indexes periodical literature. To compensate, the author gives thorough lists of Spanish journals indexed in Historical Abstracts.
The final section of part one considers both general and specialized electronic sources. A detailed description of Spanish databases (e.g., ISBN, Bibliografía nacional española desde 1976 en CD-ROM, and the collective catalogs of university consortia) is followed by brief notices on general international databases. Subgenres covering theses, official publications, and periodicals are noted. Most of the specialized databases for the study of history listed here are the well-known North American and British periodical indexes, e.g., Historical Abstracts, Humanities Index, Periodicals Contents Index. Spanish databases discussed may be less familiar: Bibliografía histórica: Cuadernos de bibliografía histórica, ISOC (based on the Índices españoles de ciencias sociales y de humanidades), and several regional databases. An extensive array of databases for Latin American history fills several pages. Finally, the author describes several promising databases useful for identifying and locating documentary sources; some (e.g., Censo de Archivos Iberamericanos and Descripción des Fuentes Documentales), said to be available on the website of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture, cannot be found there.
The second part of the work presents, according to the author, the most complete bibliography of bibliographies for the study of history of Spain and Latin America yet published. It thus fills an important lacuna, for most bibliographical compilations in other languages slight Spain. The works are presented in two ways; an alphabetical list is followed by a chronological and topical arrangement.
Page and screen images illustrate many of the descriptions. The author includes a glossary of terms and concepts and symbols used in the work. The descriptions and annotations are very thorough, down to the number of records and quality of interface in some databases. There is no index.
Much of the information about electronic sources will soon become--if it is not already--obsolete, but the importance of this impressive and comprehensive compilation for Spanish historians will endure. Its utility for librarians will derive from the excellent bibliography and the commentary in the text.
Susanne F. Roberts (Yale University)
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