Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Research links you need to know about: Regesta Imperii OPAC (and more on Johannes Wolf)

One of the longstanding frustrations of working in German Studies is the fragmented bibliographic indexing of scholarship published in Germany. For secondary literature published in English, the MLA database is a reasonable place to start, but its coverage of German scholarship has always been spotty, and there hasn't been a German equivalent. It's too easy for books and articles published in German to remain invisible to international scholars.

Recently, however, I've been having increasing success with the Regesta Imperii online catalog. It's particularly good at finding chapters in edited volumes, which has been one of the weakest areas of bibliographic indexing.

Here's one recent find: Bergdolt, Klaus, and Walther Ludwig, eds. Zukunftsvoraussagen in der Renaissance. Harrassowitz, 2005.

There are several useful chapters here, but one particularly deserving of note is Sabine Schmolinsky's "Prophetia in der Bibliothek - die Lectiones memorabiles des Johannes Wolf" (pp. 89-130). Wolf's massive collection is an extremely important source for the study of medieval and early modern prophecies including the Vaticinia de summis pontificibus, Johann Hilten, and several others (not to mention many topics outside the realm of prophecy), and Schmolinksky's extensive article puts Wolf's life and his works into their historical context. It's an important article that fills what was a significant gap in the literature.

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