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Sachliche Erschließung der Gazzetta di Weimar 1780-1789 [Subject Index to the Gazzetta di Weimar 1787-1789]. Walther Traiser. Darmstadt: Traiser, 2011. 445 p. 25 cm. + 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 978-3-00-033949-3: EUR 82.50 (info. gazzetta_di_weimar@web.de) [12-3]

The Gazzetta di Weimar (GdW) ran for two-and-a-half years, from 6 January 1787 to 27 June 1789. This Italian-language weekly newspaper featured mixed but predominantly cultural content and was dedicated to presenting a picture of a contemporary, enlightened Italy. The Gazzetta is a first-rate example of the Italian reception of the Goethe period.

The Duchess Anna-Amalia Library in Weimar owns a complete run of the original, plus a partial second copy. In 1999 a complete reprint, with continuous pagination, was published (Tübingen, 1999). In 1990, two hundred years after it ceased publication, the Gazzetta reappeared as the Nuova gazzetta di Weimar, Mitteilungen der DIGIT, Deutsch- Italienische Gesellschaft in Thüringen [… Reports from DIGIT, the German- Italian Society in Thuringia] (Weimar, 1992-). Beginning with 2011, the issues are available free on line through the University of Regensburg’s EZB: Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek [Electronic Periodicals Library] at http://ezb.uni-regensburg. de/?2637910 [1 June 2013]

The publisher of the Gazzetta di Weimar was Christoph Joseph Jagermann (1735-1804), a librarian at the Anna-Amalia Library who also wrote the majority of the articles. Jagermann’s long residence and extensive “networking” in Italy, as well as authoring numerous publications about Italy (including a successful bilingual dictionary and a complex Italian-language textbook), prepared him well for this undertaking. More information about Jagermann can be found in volume 5 (p. 15-23) of the eightvolume Bio-bibliographisches Handbuch zur Sprachwissenschaft des 18. Jahrhunderts: die Grammatiker, Lexikographen und Sprachtheoretiker des deutschsprachigen Raums mit Beschreibungen ihrer Werke [Bio-Bibliographical Handbook of 18th-Century Linguistics: Grammarians, Lexicographers, and Language Theorists of the German-Speaking Countries, with Descriptions of Their Works] (Tübingen, 1992-2005–see RREA 2:93, 9:335, and 11:89). A longer portrait of Jagermann, by Jörn Albrecht, can be found in the proceedings of the 1994 conference “Italien in Germanien”: deutsche Italienrezeption von 1750 bis 1850; Akten des Symposiums der Stiftung Weimarer Klassik, [“Italia in Germania”: German Italy Reception from 1750-1850: Proceedings of the Symposium of the Foundation for Weimar Classicism], edited by Frank-Rutger Hausmann, Michael Knoche, and Harro Stammerjohann] (Tübingen, 1996).

Access to the digitized antiquarian journals or newspapers of this age and type is greatly enhanced by a detailed subject index. Good examples of these indexes are Ewald Birr’s index to Ost und West, Berlin, 1947-1949: Bibliographie einer Zeitschrift (München, 1993–see RREO 94-3/4-369] and Doris Kuhles’ three-volume index to Journal des Luxus und der Moden: 1786-1827; analytische Bibliographie (München, 2003)–see RREA 9:12). However, in this reviewer’s opinion, these two indexes are not completely satisfactory. Walter Traiser, veteran subject cataloger at the German National Library in Frankfurt, has gone to great additional lengths to provide thorough and therefore much more useful indexing to all the important elements of the Gazzetta.

In the foreword, Traiser outlines the terminology used in the index, along with a detailed description of the subject-indexing criteria. He has mined the Gazzetta’s contents, article by article, to provide a rich and informative summary of each article or other contribution in the journal. All geographic and personal names are indexed, with further distinctions as to whether the term is treated in the text or merely mentioned in passing. Names, dates, and facts are expanded and/or corrected where necessary, and Traiser has provided much additional information about ca. 2,250 persons mentioned is some way in the journal. Index terms are designated as name, geographic, or subject headings.

The Gazzetta di Weimar and Christoph Joseph Jagermann are fortunate to have found such a fine bibliotrapher to take up the burden of this time-consuming labor of love. Perhaps other journals will in the near future find their “Traiser” as well. [sh/ga]

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Last update: November 2013 [RT]
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