College & Research Libraries News

INTERNET RESOURCES: Western European literatures: Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Scandinavian, and Spanish

by Sue Waterman

Any attempt to gather Web sites is sure to be incomplete and to prompt criticism for lacunae. This essay has admittedly omit- ted some of the very well-known and vener- able sites, and included some newcomers and the lesser known. However, the true power of the Internet lies in its structure—and start- ing at any one of these points will surely lead to the well known, as well as the yet-to- be-discovered.

Gateway sites in literature

Literary studies represents one of the last fields to be won over by the phenomenal expansion of the Internet. Traditionally print based and conservative in their use of technology, scholars of literature waited patiently for tools that could offer new ways of studying and manipulating literary texts. Five years ago, the Internet would not have been a starting place for literary research. However, much progress has been made in the past few years, and the efforts of librarians and other scholars have resulted in many high-quality Web sites that provide good content and ease of use.

The following “gateway” sites are both starting places for many kinds of research, and portals to other, related sites.


• Voice of the Shuttle.An early Web presence for the humanities, “woven” by Alan Liu at UC Santa Barbara, who provides “a structured and briefly annotated guide to online resources.” One of the best overall Web sites for the humanities, with a clear organization. Access: shuttle/litother.html.

• WESS Web.From the Western European Studies Section at ACRL. An award-winning site, easily navigated by national literatures and area studies, resources on contemporary Europe, library resources, text collections, and book reviews. Access: http://www.lib.


• NL-Menu.A directory listing of Dutch organizations, maintained by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek since 1992. Emphasis is on higher education and research sites that match criteria set by the NL-Menu editors. Menus are in English and Dutch. The section “ kunst & cultuur” includes literature, libraries, archives, and art. Access:

About the author

Sue Waterman is resource services librarian at Johns Hopkins University, Waterman is also this year’s ACRL Western European Studies Section Nijhoff award winner. See page 436.


• Littérature de langue française en ligne.A site maintained by the Ph.D. program in French at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Links to libraries, author sites, online texts, theater, dictionaries, francophone literature, etc. Simple format, good content. Access: http://www.


• Germanistik im Internet.An impressive site from the University of Erlangen- Nurenberg, Institut für Germanistik. Organized into categories (Institute, Epochen, Recherchieren, Digitale Texte, Literatur- Archive), each category contains numerous important links. Access: http://www. erlangerliste ‚ html.

• OLLi: Olivers Links zur Literatur.Includes 500 German literary links. Includes links to texts, societies, authors’ pages, literary projects, libraries, discussion groups, and more. Links are annotated with asterisks, indicating a rating from “ Unentbehrlich” to “Weggucken.” Access, olli/index.html.


• Literatura Portuguesa.Maintained by the Institute) Camões (Ministry of Education and Culture). A graphically interesting site, with many access points—authors, movements, literary history, genres. The link “Base? leads to other literary sections. Access: literatura.htm.


• Biblioteca Virtual: Categories.Hundreds of links to Spanish literary sites, libraries, texts, and digital projects. Organized à la Yahoo into categories. Access: bib_mundo/biblioteca_mundo. shtml.

Electronic texts/primary sources

The increasing number of full-text literary works on the Internet, many freely available, has begun to change the way literary scholars work. The ability to search across a writer’s corpus and to create concordances, the power to discover correspondences and relationships in and among literary works— these capabili- ties are winning over scholars. The following list highlights major collections of national lit- eratures. Individual texts are available, and often easily located using a search engine or one of the gateway sites (see above).


• WESS Electronic Text Collections in Western European Literature.Organized by language and maintained by a librarian. Links to texts in all the major European lan- guages, including Provençal, Old Norse, Galician, and Catalan. Most are freely acces- sible. Access wess/etexts.html.

• University of Virginia: Electronic Text Center.Includes approximately 51,000 humanities texts in 12 languages, with more than 350,000 related images. Some links are restricted to UVA users, but many are freely accessible. Information about the edition used in digitization is included. Access http://etext. lib .Virginia ‚edu/uvaonline. html.


• Project Laurens Janszoon Coster.A project under construction that will eventu- ally form a comprehensive collection of Dutch literary masterpieces. Includes authors from the Middle Ages to early the 20th century. In Dutch. No real search capability. Free access. Access


• ABU: la Bibliothèque Universelle.A site of 295 texts, 94 authors, that allows search- ing across an entire work. Public domain texts contributed by members of the Association des Bibliophiles Universels. Free access. Access: http://

• Athena. Literature is only one of tire sections of this site, but a huge one. The category “ Textes d’auteurs d’expression françaisé” is a long list of links to füll-text French works. Tire section on “Book” contains texts of other European writers as well. Free access. Access: athome.html.

• Gallica.A project of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. 80,000 texts (not all literary), with an intuitive search engine, arranged chronologically and by themes. Also included are many reference works, including the classic French dictionaries and encyclopedias and a section of images. Free access, Access.


• LitLinks.A project of Helmut Schulze, includes more than 20,000 links to nearly 1,400 authors writing in German and nearly 2,000 links to German translations of other literature. Organized alphabetically by author. The search feature searches the entire Clickfish site, so although the alphabetical arrangement makes locating texts by author simple, locating by title will result in mixed results. Access. clickfish/guidearea/kulturgesellschaft/ literatur/literaturautoren.

• Erlanger Liste: Digitale Texte. Linksto digital texts in German. Divided into genres, such as Allgemein, Aphorismen, Dada, Lyrik, Märchen, Volkslieder. Access: http://www.


• CIBIT: La Biblioteca italiana telematica.Primary Italian texts from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Classical literary texts, as well as representative texts of Italian history, philosophy, art, political science, music, folklore. Access: http://cibit.

• LiberLiber.A nonprofit effort to make online texts available. Subscribers receive a free CD-ROM of the texts; however, anyone can download or view for free from the site. Includes mostly Italian writers, but some others (e.g., Shakespeare, Dickens). Access:


• Project Runeberg.Building “the Internet’s biggest center for Nordic literature.’’ More than 200 titles currently online (“old books”), mostly Swedish, but other Nordic languages as well. Free access. Access:


• Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes.A joint initiative (University of Alicante and the Santander Central Hispano Bank). Initial project includes 2,000 texts in Spanish. Eventually, to include 30,000 works, from 16th century chronicles to early 20th century literary texts. Search on author, title, or time period, but no full-text searching. Free access. Access: http://

• Biblioteca Virtual Mundo Hispano.A large list of links to Spanish digitized texts. Sections on individual authors, periods, and genres—all with links to text archives. Searching can be done on individual texts, using the browser “Find in page” function. Free access. Access. biblioven/.

Author, genre, and literary periodOnline information on individual authors and literary movements varies from a few sentences of biographical information to pages of detailed analysis. Many sites now have compiled large lists of links to author sites and literary genres and movements, often organized by national literatures or by language.


• DBNL: digitale bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse letteren.A site that seems to be under construction, but with a section on Dutch authors that provides basic information and some links to texts. Access: http://www.


• authors other than French, but has many links to French writers. Each one is reviewed, with sections “ On adore” and “On regrette” listing the pros and cons. Access.

• DIX-NEUF: Ressources sur le dix- neuvième siècle.Maintained by the Centres d’Études du 19e Siècle Français (University of Toronto), with excellent links to 19th- century writers as well as many other 19th- century resources. Access: http://www.chass.

• TennesseeBob’s Famous French Links.The section of this justly famous site devoted to “Books and Literature” includes links to all major time periods (Enlighten- ment, Early Modern, Dix-Neuvième, Middle Ages) as well as libraries and online texts. Most lead to a page of hundreds of links. Access: french/french.html#books.


• Die Düsseldorfer Virtuelle Bibliothek: Germanistik/Autoren.Part of a larger virtual library on German literature, this section links to many individual author sites as well as some other collections of author sites. Access.


• Italian Index.(Brigham Young Univer- sity) Created by students in upper under- graduate Italian classes, who find and anno- tate the sites. Organized chronologically by time periods (Ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Ba- roque, etc.). The “Lit- erature link under each brings up a good list of sites. In English, freely accessible. Access: classes/ital420/index.html.

• Biblioteca: I Classici della Letteratura Italiana.Part of a larger project (“Fausernei”), this site is maintained by Professor Giuseppe Bonghi. Links to authors, periods, texts, a glossary. Access: fauser/biblio/index.htm.


• Projecto Vercial.A maior base de dados na Internet sobre literatura portuguesa. A large archive of literary texts that links to authors and movements, as well as a list of further Web links. Free access. In Portuguese. Access:


• Comedia.Homepage for Golden Age literature. It’s a bulletin board, it’s a text archive, it’s a database of images and bibliographies, it’s Internet links. This site has been around for several years and continues to be recognized as one of the best Spanish literary sites. Access: Spanish/comedia/.

• El Oteador: Literatura y textos electrónicos: España.Links to author sites as well as societies, literary sites, genre and movements. Access: oteador/default.asp?l=2&id_rama=l47&ct= catalogol47.


The digital environment is nowhere as powerful as in the indexing of literary resources. Whether individual library catalogs, indexes of articles from a particular era, or Web sites for difficult-to-access archives, the Internet is opening up local resources to long distance researchers.


• Libraries and related organizations in the Netherlands.From the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Access: resources/frameset_kb.html?/kb/sbo/ bdi-en.html.


• Catalogue Collectif de France.Union catalog of the BNF, university and municipal libraries. Locate descriptions of specific collections within French libraries, and search for individual titles. Access. http://www.ccfr.


• Biblint: Bibliographien im Internet.Impressive site put together by a German professor in Japan. Links to online library catalogs, databases such as the VD16 and VD17, bibliographies on topics (narratology, teaching German, theater, Wenderomane, etc.), and archives. The link to Literaturrechercheis the richest. Access:


• Cataloghi di biblioteche.A useful, rated listing of links to Italian online catalogs. Access: link/italia/cataloghi.htm.

• AIB Web.The Associazione Italiana Biblioteche site. The link to Biblioteche e cataloghi in Italia is most useful, as is the link to the MetaOPAC Azalai Italiano (MAI). Access.


• Libro, Archives y Bibliotecas.Maintained by the Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, with links to libraries and archives in Spain. Access. index.html.

• Bibliotecas y catálogos.Part of a larger project (Archivo Virtual de la Edad de Plata), this site brings together online catalogs and databases. The Catálogo Colectivo Español de Publicaciones Periódicas (70,000 Spanish periodicals with holdings information) is noteworthy. Access: http://www.archivovirtual. org/info/enlaces_bib. htm.

• El Oteador. Bibliotecas y centros de documentación.Links to libraries, documentation centers, databases, and online text archives. Access. asp?l=2&id_rama=l&ct=catalogol.

Electronic journals

Online journals in literary studies are not as ubiquitous as their cousins in the sciences. However, there are collections of e-journals, although many will link to tables of contents or abstracts only. This is one area where scholars have continued to be conservative, distrusting the online environment for their research and discounting online publication as “true” publication.


• La Bibliothèque Virtuelle de Périodiques.Link only to full-text, free e- journals. Includes all subjects, not just literature, but you can browse by subject (Dewey numbers). There is a search engine, but it gives spotty results; browsing is better. Access:


• Fachschriften.Most links are to tables of contents, some link to full text. A comprehensive listing of journals in the field. Access: http://polyglot. lss. wise, edu/german/irfg/2. htm#zschr.


• Riviste dedicate alia letteratura.A list from the LiberLiber site. Access. http://www.

• Il Sussidiario: Riviste.Italian e-journals; includes other literary links as well. Access: riviste/.


• Bibliotecas, Arquivos e Serviços de Informação Portugueses na Internet.From the Portuguese Embassy in London. Click on Bibliotecas, then Bibliotecas, Arquivos e Serviços de Informação Portugueses na Internet. Access.


• El Oteador: Revistas literarias.Part of the Centro Virtual Cervantes site (CVC). Access. http ://cvc. Cervantes ‚es/oteador/default. asp?l=2&id_rama=153&ct=catalogol47.

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