Friday, November 30, 2012

Research links you need to know agout: ZVDD - DDB Grünpeck shootout

Via Der Spiegel comes the announcement of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, which looks like it aims to provide a comprehensive index of digitalized objects from German archives, museums, and libraries. But don't we already have something like that, at least for printed books, in the Zentrales Verzeichnis Digitalisierter Drucke? I have no idea if the DDB is already including ZVDD data. Let's see how the two compare on a search for "Grünpeck." There are several digital editions of some of Josef Grünpeck's works available, so he provides a reasonable test case of what we might expect from the DDB.

First, the raw numbers:
ZVDD: 47
DDB: 20

That isn't reassuring at first glance, but the ZVDB looks like it contains a lot of duplicates. Let's dig into the numbers a bit more.
Year Title ZVDD DDB Total known
1496 Cicero, Paradoxa stoicorum  (dedication) 1 1 1
1496 Tractatus de scorra 28 6 7
1503 Mentulagra 1 1 1
1507 Zeichenauslegung 2 2 2
1508 Speculum 8 4 4
1515 Ad principes 1 1 1
1522 Dialogus 1 1 1
1524 Endlicher Beschluss 1524 0 0 1
1532 Prognosticum 2 2 3
1721 Friedrich und Maximilian 1 1 1


1550 Egenolff compilation 1 0
1620 Egenolff compilation 1 1
47 20 22

There are actually only a few cases where ZVDD and DDB differ. The ZVDD knows about a 1787 edition of the Tractatus de scorra that the DDB doesn't list, and the ZVDD also includes a short work attributed to Grünpeck in one of Egenolff's prophetic compilations that the DDB doesn't include. That's not a huge improvement, however, as there are several additional facsimiles of other Egenolff editions beyond the ones known to ZVDD and DDB. On the other hand, the ZVDD has 4 redundant records for one edition of Grünpeck's Speculum, and 21 redundant records for various editions of the Tractatus de scorra, so that's one advantage that the DDB has. Finally, there are two missing facsimiles, one of the Prognosticum of 1532, and another of Grünpeck's Endlicher Beschluss concerning the conjunctions of 1524. For those, you'll need to refer to the Hungarian Electronic Library.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Digital manuscript of the week: Düsseldorf Ms. B 5, Johannes de Rupescissa, Vademecum in tribulatione

New this week from the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf - appearing via their RSS feed just this morning, in fact - is a complete digital facsimile of Ms. B 5. The brief contents list Pierre d'Ailly as one author represented in this theological miscellany, but what then caught my attention was another author: Johannes de Rupescissa. The digital facsimile doesn't identify the text, but it's located almost at the end of the manuscript (359v-362r), always a promising place to find prophetic texts. A quick scan confirms that the text is a shortened version of the Vademecum in twenty 'intentions,' with the completion of tribulation redated from 1370 to 1470. The Düsseldorf manuscript catalog identifies this as a copy of the Vademecum not mentioned by Bignami-Odier or other secondary literature on Rupescissa, so this is an important document on the reception of Rupescissa in Germany in the fifteenth century.

But the real significance of this digital edition is that it is, to my knowledge, the only digital facsimile of any Vademecum manuscript. It's bad enough that the only printed edition of the complete Vademecum is Edmund Brown's from 1690, but there isn't even easy access to any of the most important manuscripts. Hopefully one of the libraries that owns one of the manuscripts from the 1350s or 1360s will provide a digital facsimile before long.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sixteenth Century Society Conference 2012 notes

The nice thing about SCSC, which I attended for the first time last week, is that the degree of separation between the many presentation topics and what I'm working on right now tends to be very low. At MLA and GSA and often at Kalamazoo, most papers are, for me, introductions to new topics or treatments of familiar ones that I'd never looked at in quite the same way before. At SCSC, in contrast, there were some papers where I already knew both the primary and the secondary literature, and it made possible a different kind of scholarly conversation.

There were several strong sessions and excellent papers. Here are a few personal favorites:

  • Brendan Cook, Carthage College: "Thomas Heywood’s Sallust Translation and the Commentary of Lorenzo Valla." Humanist translations of the classics as a political and intellectual battlefield - who knew? An excellent demonstration of how exciting something like translation studies can be.
  • Amy Burnett, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Print, Polemics and the Lord’s Supper in Ulm." I enjoyed this paper both for tracking down the actual author of a pamphlet falsely printed under the name of Konrad Sam, and for examining how rejection of Luther's sacramental theology was not a uniform "Zwinglianism," but instead a variety of dissenting positions.
  • Michael Bruening, Missouri University of Science and Technology: "Martin Bucer's Eucharistic Debates with the Swiss." This paper, focusing on the Strasbourg reformer Martin Bucer, was a very interesting application of psychological insights to the practice of history, what might be called an "affective turn."
  • Andrew Thomas, Salem College: "Imperial Cities: Sacred Space and Imperial Power in Nuremberg and Constantinople/Istanbul ca. 1493." Hartmann Schedel and the Nuremberg Chronicle? Yes, I've written about it. End Time prophecies of a Last World Emperor like pseudo-Methodius? Yes, I've written about that, too. Combining both topics in order to compare the free imperial city of Nuremberg and Constantinople under the Ottoman Turks, and showing how there are many surprising parallels between them? No, I would never have thought of doing that. It's a fascinating project that I look forward to seeing in print.