Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter


FALL 2006

Subject Area Highlight: International Resources

The collection of a research library will by its very nature collect materials in many languages, in response to curriculum needs and the demand to make available international scholarship. This is true not only for the Boston College book and journal collections, but also for the electronic resources that are made available.


The variety and style of the resources is impressive and responds to a variety of research needs. Some simply take existing collections, such as those making available the writings of Brecht, Kafka, Goethe, and Schiller. These resources deliver the works of the authors via the elegant and powerful Chadwyck-Healey interface. The online edition can make them more accessible and searchable than print collections, add functionality, and faster updating. For most of these resources, the interface can be viewed in English, but the content is all German.


Other resources take a broader perspective such as the renowned ARTFL - Textual Database of French Literature, which consists of nearly 2000 texts, ranging from classic works of French literature to various kinds of non-fiction prose and technical writing. The eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries are about equally represented, with a smaller selection of seventeenth century texts as well as some medieval and Renaissance texts. ARTFL has several subsets. Voltaire Électronique uses the same ARTFL interface, and is based upon the Voltaire Foundation Oxford edition of the Complete Works of Voltaire. It includes all of Voltaire's literary works. Autour du Romantisme also uses this interface and offers over 200 novels from Chateaubriand to Barbey d'Aurévilly, bringing together the complete romantic works of the most studied romantic authors in schools today as well as many authors who were highly celebrated in their own time. From the roman noir to the feuilleton and on to melodramatic novels, this database offers an extremely vast and varied corpus. Finally, Théâtre du Grand Siècle covers the 17th century and some of the greatest plays of French theater. It contains some eighty plays from that era by Corneille, Molière, and Racine, including Corneille’s Cinna, Racine’s Bajazet, and Molière’s Les Femmes Savantes. More access to French literature, via a different interface, is provided by BASILE, which consists of approximately 1,000 French narrative works, including novels, tales and short stories for the years 1120-1989.


The Teatro Espanol del Siglo de Oro full text database contains more than 800 plays written by 16 dramatists during the sixteenth and seventeenth century in Spain. These important dramatic works are either edited by the playwrights themselves or by an editor "endorsed" by the playwright. The entire text of each play is included and searchable.


Classical languages are also represented, though with less sophisticated interfaces. The Library of Latin Texts: CLCLT can be difficult to use, but its power resides in providing access to Latin texts from the beginning of Latin literature (Livius Andronicus, 240 BC) through to the texts of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). It covers all the works from the classical period, the most important patristic works, and includes an extensive corpus of Medieval Latin literature as well as works of recentior latinitas. The texts have been taken from the Corpus Christianorum series and from other leading editions.


The Patrologiae Graecae, long a classic of more than 160 volumes remains the most comprehensive collection of Greek patristic material relevant to the study of the history of the Christian Church from its beginnings through the Council of Florence in 1439. Though many of the works covered in the series have been published more recently in various critical editions, Patrologiae Graecae remains the only published source for much of the material. The web version of the Patrologiae Graecae is composed of digitized page images of the Migne edition. The print PG’s tables of contents, long considered insufficient and unreliable, have been replaced with comprehensive electronic tables of contents. Although full-text searching is not available, metadata searching (including such items as patristic writers and titles of works in Latin and English) is possible. The publishers of the electronic version are planning to make full text searching available.


Apart from the above full-text databases, many of the indexes to which the Library subscribes are international in coverage. The Francis database is strong in religion, the history of art, and literature, with particular emphasis on current trends in European and world literature and 59% of the content is non-English. The MLA International Bibliography indexes approximately 295 various languages and dialects from Abkhaz to Zulu. ARTBibliographies Modern’s international coverage is reflected by the fact that 56% of all journals are published in Europe, Middle East and Africa. A further 39% of journals covered are published in North and South America and the remaining 5% are published in Asia, Australia or New Zealand. World News Connection includes full text news compiled from thousands of non-U.S. media sources, the information covering significant socioeconomic, political, scientific, technical, and environmental issues and events. The information is obtained from full text and summaries and translations of newspaper articles, conference proceedings, television and radio broadcasts, periodicals, and non-classified technical reports. New information is entered every government business day. Generally, this information is available within 24-72 hours from the time of original publication or broadcast. There are of course, many other databases with both an international and foreign language focus. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe has excellent international news coverage. Some science titles, such as Web of Science and Science Direct, are international by their very nature. Business databases are also strong in this area and PressDisplay offers a convenient way to browse the last 60 days of newspapers from more than 60 countries.


Questions about these or any titles (or titles not available) can be addressed to your subject specialists.

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