This spring Cairn, an aggregator of French-language journals, added about 35 new titles from many different disciplines to its collection. Though these do not yet appear in OskiCat or in the E-Journal Titles A-Z list, they can be accessed directly via Cairn's website or by clicking on the links below:
The entire list of 370 journal titles are available through the Library's subscription to Cairn.
Through May 16, the Library will have trial access to the Corpus Montaigne - a new digital corpus brought online by Classiques Garnier Numérique. Available on the same platform as the Godefroy, dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue francaise (IXe-XVe siecle) and the Grand Corpus des grammaires francaises, des remarques et des traites sur la langue XIVe-XVIIe siecle, the Corpus Montaigne is the result of twenty years of dedicated research. It contains all the different editions of the works of Montaigne in the 16th and 17th centuries, published from the manuscripts and the printed originals. It also includes all of the works published in Montaigne?s lifetime and after his death by his "daughter-in-law" Marie de Gournay, all the editions published from the 16th to the 20th century, their annotation and critical apparatus, and also the best editions of the complete works in Italian, English, German and Spanish.
With the ease of Wikipedia, printed biographical reference works such as the new Diccionario Biografíco Español (DBE) once central to academic libraries appear to be losing their relevance, and shelf space. Judging by how few copies there are in U.S. libraries (seven at the moment according to WorldCat) this certainly seems to be the case with the DBE. It was first published in 2009 by Spain's Real Academia de la Historia (RAH) with sponsorship of King Juan Carlos I and with support from the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports. Not actually for sale until 2011, Berkeley is currently the only library west of the Mississippi River with the first 25 volumes (up to the letter H) in its collection. Comparable to other ambitious national biographies like the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004) and the Dizionario biografico degli Italiani - begun in 1960 and still not yet complete, the DBE will have more than 40,000 entries for individuals from all periods of Spanish history. The prologue states that the project was first conceived by the RAH between 1735 and 1738 to "reunir, en un Diccionario biografíco, a los 'hombres de mérito' de la distintas tierras de España." An online database of those included as well as those who could potentially be added is available on the RAH web site.
The DBE differs from many national biographies in that it includes living people such as filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, former Prime Minister José María Aznar, and even Emilío Botin who is the head of Banco Santander and largely financed the project through his charitable foundation. While the RAH has been criticized for under-representing women, there are detailed entries for leading Spanish feminists of the past such as Concepción Arenal and Clara Campoamor, cubist María Blanchard, and anarcho-syndicalist Teresa Claramunt. Catalan concrete poet and visual artist Joan Brossa even gets a multi-page entry. Coverage in the arena of literature is a bit thin and overlooks some major twentieth-century writers such as Lidia Falcón, Miguel Hernández, and Ramón Gómez de la Serna just to name a few. British author and literary critic Jeremy Treglown observes that "the contributors are the best that could have been found" and that "full coverage of figures from Spain's long Islamic era is one of the dictionary's triumphs."
It is partially because of its selection criteria but more likely because of the sympathies of some of the contributors to the dictatorship of Francisco Franco that immediately sparked a national controversy. Public calls to revise many of the entries before the second tranche of volumes are printed has led to the RAH announcing that it will publish an addendum along with the forthcoming volumes. The most recent resolution to this dispute was announced in an article from El País last week titled "El Diccionario Biográfico Español, revisado una vez que se termine" and an eloquent review was published in the Times Literary Supplement last March titled "Franco's Friends." Treglown, who wrote the latter review, assesses this monumental work for what it is: "So it's important to acknowledge, first, that the DBE is a very valuable resource, conservative in methodology but wide-ranging and undoctrinaire in its choices of both subjects and contributions, and ambitious in its associated aims."
For a full account of El País' coverage of the controversies surrounding the DBE back to 1999, see: http://elpais.com/tag/diccionario_biografico_espanol.
Through its membership in the Center for Research Libraries and more specifically CIFNAL, the Library has trial access to L'Harmathèque - a large collection of French language ebooks, articles, films and audio files - through Wednesday, May 1.
L'Harmathèque's multimedia platform offers ebooks, articles, videos, and audio recordings on many subjects in the humanities and social sciences. The content of the ebooks comes from a variety of French publishing imprints, including L'Harmattan, Pagala, Odin, IXE, etc. A full list of included titles can be downloaded in excel.
Currently the platform contains more than 26,000 ebooks, 17,000 articles, 400 films, and 600 audio files available. At least 2,300 new titles are added to the collection annually (the publishers estimate that around 230 ebook titles are added monthly). This impressive number of ebooks covers a wide range of subject areas in the humanities and social sciences, novels, and children's books.
According to the description provided on the web site, article content is from journals and book chapters, although no further selection criteria are given. The videos are primarily documentaries and theatrical productions. The audio collection includes many audiobooks, in a variety of languages.
The interface is in French. In the portals, ebooks are divided by subject into browsable bouquets. An advanced search option allows the user to narrow down the large amount of content.
Ebooks can be read either on the platform's online reader (which requires Flash), or downloaded and read using the free Adobe Digital Editions reader. Viewing the videos requires the use of DivX and the audio content is also available through Flash.
New books arrive each day in the library. One way of keeping on top of the imprints from or about Southern Europe is to periodically check the new acquisitions lists for French, Italian, and Spanish & Portuguese. These lists can be easily accessed from OskiCat by clicking on the "new acquisiions" link just beneath the yellow search button, or from every library subject guide.
The Romance Language Collections blog keeps the UC Berkeley Library community informed about recent acquisitions and other news related to these fabulous public research collections.
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