S·P·I·N - Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms

New ERNiE project: Book Links

In the coming years, SPIN will add a fresh project to its ERNiE strategy: Book Links. It will trace how data from book history can help us map and understand the dynamics of intellectual networks, cultural diffusion and knowledge production in 19th-century history.
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Making use of its trusted Nodegoat technology, SPIN will analyse how book publications function as links in intellectual traffic and in personal networks. This will be done by tracing re-editions (also in re-targeted adaptations, e.g. folklore or mythology for domestic or juvenile reading), translations into other languages, and various forms of textual-visual or textual-performative intermediality. In addition, the use of books as vehicles in networking and knowledge diffusion will be traced by mapping dedications and reviews.

This of course opens up a vast field. SPIN will concentrate, in the coming years, on elaborating proofs of concept in two pilot studies: the 19th-century translations and adaptations of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley Novels and of the Grimms’ Kind- und Hausmärchen, Deutsche Sagen and Deutsche Mythologie.

These pilot projects will in turn also yield valuable experiences for a Digital Humanities approach to that exciting field where book history, literary history and intellectual history meet.
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SPIN will seek collaboration with other research partners in this venture.

Growth of ERNiE repertory

The online ERNiE portal has passed a various millennial landmarks in the past year. The number of ERNiE articles online now stands at 1200, with an additional 200 currently being processed editorially for imminent online posting. The checklist of nationally-themed musical compositions has passed the 1000 mark (300 of its items also being accompanied by an online audio fragment). There are now 3000 historical monuments online, 500 architectural landmarks, 4000 paintings and 400 murals, and 1200 textual specimens of writing in verse or prose (discursive or fictional).

In addition, our 38,000-strong repertory of correspondence metadata will soon be strengthened by the addition of the voluminous and transnational letter-writing network of Hoffmann von Fallersleben (with the kind permission and cooperation of Dr Erika Poettgens and Waxmann Publishers). All of these materials allow also for an online visualization of their diffusion across space and time.

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SPIN thanks its painstaking data-entry and research assistants for making ERNiE, not just a thorough and illuminating analytical encyclopedia but also a representative and comprehensive multimedia portal for the cultural repertoire of nationalism.