Robert H. Merriman Plaque online kick-off event 10/3/23

Dr. Mark Strauss and Robert Merriman at the Estado Mayor of the Brigade at the Fuentes de Ebro, probably on October 12, 1937. ALBA Photo 11-0766 Tamiment Library, New York University.

Please join us in celebrating the memory of the UC Berkeley graduate student in economics, who gave his life fighting fascism in Spain as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Remembering Robert H. Merriman (1908-1938):
From Berkeley to the Trenches of the Spanish Civil War

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Pacific (PST)

Online event (registration required)

Robert Hale Merriman (1908-1938) was a UC Berkeley graduate student in economics and native Californian, who was among the first of some 2,800 American men and women to join the International Brigades to fight for democracy during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). This diverse and racially integrated group of volunteers formed the unit known today as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, in which Merriman was quickly promoted to major, becoming one of the highest-ranking Americans in the conflict. He went missing in action on April 2, 1938, near the Ebro River in the province of Tarragona.

The University of Barcelona’s DIDPATRI research group has offered UCB a second casting of the commemorative  plaque that stands today in the village where it is believed that Merriman was held and then executed by the fascists. We are launching a fundraiser to cover the costs of its installation at the center of campus near Memorial Glade, which honors UC Berkeley veterans of World War II.

This memorial will contribute to the educational mission of the University as a readily accessible stop for campus tours, as well as a relatable point of reference for interdisciplinary classes touching on twentieth century history. Its location near The Bancroft Library, where the Bay Area Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Post Records are archived, will also call attention to the research opportunities available there. These records were donated by Merriman’s widow, Marion Merriman Wachtel, who accompanied him in Spain where she was also a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

photo of plaque

Project sponsored by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at UC Berkeley.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit

Celebrate print and more this Bibliodiversity Day!

two books

Bibliodiversity Day was created in 2010 by Latin American publisher members of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, a professional collective that brings together more than 800 independent publishing houses from over 55 countries around the world.

Since then, the event has taken place every year, especially in Latin America where the term “bibliodiversidad” was first coined. On September 21, the first day of spring for the southern hemisphere, publishers, booksellers, book professionals and readers are invited to celebrate independent publishing and bibliodiversity.

Bibliodiversity is the response to the huge imbalance in the publishing market, where commercial logic vastly prevails over intellectual adventurousness, characteristic of small, independent, or unconventional publishers. For academic libraries, the imbalance between commercial and independent publishers is further exacerbated by institutional preferences for digital over print. Faced with the continued prevalence of print publishing in most regions of the world (including Europe), the spectrum of viewpoints collected and preserved by academic libraries risks becoming impoverished without the conscious intervention of librarians and book dealers in charge of such curatorial decisions.

With that here are a few recent acquisitions to showcase from the Romance languages collection on this day of bibliodiversity:

Atzeni, Paola. Corpi, gesti, stili : saper fare e saper vivere di donne eccellenti nella Sardegna rurale. Nuoro: Illisso, 2022.

Ayroles, François. En terrasse. Paris: L’Association, 2019.

Bekri, Tahar. Chants pour la Tunisie. Neuilly-sur-Seine: Al Manar, 2023.

Cruanyes Plana, Toni. La Vall de la Llum. Barcelona: Destino, 2022.

Dumas, Catherine. Salette Tavares, Obra Poética 1957-1992. Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2022.

Hernando, Almudena. La corriente de la historia : (y la contradicción de lo que somos). Primera edición. Madrid: Traficantes de sueños, 2022.

Junyent, M. Carme. El futur del català depèn de tu. Barcelona: La Campana, 2022.

Kanapé Fontaine, Natasha. Nauetakuan. [New edition]. La Roche-sur-Yon: Dépaysage, 2023.

Sánchez Soler, Mariano. Una hojarasca de cadáveres : crónica criminal de la España posfranquista. Primera edición. Barcelona: Alrevés, 2023.

Lugassy, Maurice. Les Justes en Occitanie : cette page de lumière dans la nuit de la Shoah. Toulouse: Privat, 2023.

Mak-Bouchard, Olivier. La ballade du feu. Paris: Le Tripode, 2023.

María, Daniel. Bisutería auténtica. Barcelona: Egales, 2023.

Migneco, Giulia. Donne e antimafia. Ed. Valeria Scafetta. Padua: BeccoGiallo, 2022.

Ondjaki. Vou mudar a cozinha : contos. 1a edição. Alfragide – Portugal: Caminho, 2022.

El Moumni, Salma. Adieu Tanger : roman. Paris: Bernard Grasset, 2023.

Previtali, Enrico, Elena Ravera, and Stefano Rozzoni, eds. “Nuovi fascismi e nuove resistenze : percorsi e prospettive nella cultura contemporanea.” Ospedaletto (Pisa): Pacini editore, 2022.

Scotti Morgana, Silvia, ed. La letteratura dialettale milanese : autori e testi. Roma: Salerno editrice, 2022.

Sonko, Seynabou. Djinns : roman. Paris: Bernard Grasset, 2023.


And remember, new acquisitions lists are running again for print titles in French, Italian, and Iberian Studies. Check them out!

Romance Language Collections Newsletter no. 8 (Fall 2023)

This year’s welcome back newsletter for those working in the Romance languages focuses on digital and print resources. For the most up-to-date information on the UC Berkeley Library’s services, please continue to check the Library’s Get Help page.

Cinegramas: Revista Semanal (1934-36)
A substantial run of the Spanish weekly film magazine Cinegramas: Revista Semanal (1934-36) was acquired months before the Covid pandemic hit but can now be consulted in The Bancroft Library. It ceased publication with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936.
What’s new in the Library for Fall 2023?

  • 2022-23 Serials Reductions
  • E-reserves & bCourses
  • Reference & Instruction
  • Library Workshops
  • Library Research Guides
  • New Books and More
  • Open Access Books
  • UC Library Search – 4 FAQs
  • Featured Digitized Work

See also:

AOQU (Achilles Orlando Quixote Ulysses). Rivista di epica

Achilles Orlando Quixote Ulysses Rivista di Epica
Cover art for AOQU III, 2 (2022) by Antonio Possenti.
As serials costs continue to soar and academic library budgets continue to decline, Open Access (OA) remains a viable path for knowledge sharing in different disciplines. In the wake of the $850k serials cancellation project currently underway, here’s one online journal that will emerge unscathed. AOQU (Achilles Orlando Quixote Ulysses). Rivista di epica is published at the Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan) and is now in its fourth year.
This biannual peer-reviewed journal aims to be a forum for scholars from multiple disciplines to discuss epics beyond linguistic, cultural and chronological boundaries. Epic poetry will be seen as a cultural, moral and ideological model, defining self-perception in history and society, in relationship with other cultures, ideologies as well as the collective imagination.
AOQU is one of about 50 OA journals published by Milano University Press, transforming scholarly communication models as we know it. Other journals of interest discoverable through UC Library Search include Altre Modernità, Cinéma & Cie, Carte Romanze, Concorso. Arti e lettere, Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, ItalianoLinguadue, Schermi. Storie e culture del cinema e dei media in Italia, Studi di storia medioevale e di diplomatica – Nuova Serie, and translation. a transdisciplinary journal.

PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 4 (julio): Los Lucidarios de Sancho IV y otros manuscritos hispánicos de interés

Mario Cossío Olavide
Universidad de Salamanca/IEMYRhd
University of Minnesota/Center for Premodern Studies

Los Lucidarios

Cuando el célebre inspector de bibliotecas Henri Omont realizó el catálogo de los fondos de las bibliotecas públicas de Rouen, anotó que el manuscrito A283 de la Bibliothèque municipale –hoy Bibliothèque patrimoniale François Villon–, era un texto castellano del siglo XV al que le faltaba el título y que comenzaba en medio de la tabla de rúbricas. Tras la tabla, seguía el contenido de la obra, cuyas primeras líneas copió fielmente: “Maestro, yo soy tu discípulo e tú me as enseñado muy bien” (Catalogue générale, 184). El texto corresponde con el inicio del marco narrativo del Lucidario (BETA texid 1242).


Imagen 1. Rouen: Bibliothèque municipale, Ms A283, f. 2v

El manuscrito transmite el octavo testimonio conocido de esta obra auspiciada por Sancho IV, al que le he dado la sigla H (BETA manid 6360). Se trata de una copia posiblemente realizada en los talleres napolitanos de los reyes de Aragón y que llegó a Rouen gracias a la compra de manuscritos de Federico I de Nápoles realizada por el cardenal Georges d’Amboise durante el exilio del monarca en Tours (para una descripción completa de su contenido, véase Cossío Olavide, “Un nuevo manuscrito”).

A H hay que sumarle un noveno testimonio, I (BETA manid 3067), que identifiqué hace unas semanas. La existencia de este texto también pasó desapercibida por mucho tiempo. Se encontraba en la Biblioteca Ducal de Medinaceli y de él había dado cuenta Antonio Paz y Meliá con una enigmática nota en su parcial catálogo del fondo, entre los “manuscritos curiosos”: “Libro del rey Sancho IV – Diálogo entre maestro y discípulo (Letra del siglo XV)” (Serie 2: 537). Entre todas las obras de Sancho IV, esta descripción solo puede ser aplicada al Lucidario. Después de la venta de la biblioteca en 1964, el manuscrito pasó a la colección de Bartolomé March en Madrid y, tras la muerte de este, fue trasladado, junto al resto de manuscritos, a la Biblioteca de la Fundación Bartolomé March de Palma (sobre este manuscrito, véase Cossío Olavide, “Un nuevo testimonio”).

Resulta interesante resaltar que se trata de un testimonio tardío del Lucidario, de mediados del siglo XVI por su letra y filigranas, mientras que el cuatrocientos acumula seis testimonios de la obra. Hay dos fechados, A (BNE MSS/3369 [BETA manid 1434]) de 1455 y C (Real Bibl. II/793 [BETA manid 1435]) de 1477. D, el códice Puñonrostro (RAE Ms. 15 [BETA manid 1424]), puede ser datado por sus filigranas entre 1450 y 1460 (Cossío Olavide, “D (RAE 15)”). G (RAH Cód. 101 [BETA manid 2285]) es de finales de siglo, mientras que H (Rouen BM A283 [BETA manid 6360]) es de mediados de la centuria.

El testimonio B (Salamanca BU Ms. 1958 [BETA manid 1433]) fue durante largo tiempo considerado de este siglo, pero sus filigranas y la letra empleada –muy similar a la cancilleresca– apuntan que fue producido entre 1380 y 1410. Esto es reconfirmado por una nota de compra-venta en los últimos folios, acompañada por las firmas de sus antiguos posesores, dos maestros salmantinos de las primeras décadas del siglo XV. Didacus Gundisalvi, Diego González, catedrático de derecho en la Universidad de Salamanca hacia 1433, y un Johanes Gundisalvi, locum tenentem archipresbiter, que bien podría ser Juan González de Segovia, catedrático de derecho canónico, teólogo y representante de Juan II en el Concilio de Basilea.

Imagen 2. Detalle del fol. 104r del ms. 1958 de la Biblioteca General Histórica de la Universidad de Salamanca
Imagen 2. Detalle del fol. 104r del ms. 1958 de la Biblioteca General Histórica de la Universidad de Salamanca

Manuscritos hispánicos en colecciones europeas

Un manuscrito recientemente redescubierto por Cossío Olavide y Romera Manzanares (“Nuevos testimonios”) es el Series Nova 12736 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Austria (BETA manid 6409), que transmite un testimonio parcial de la mal llamada Crónica del moro Rasis (BETA texid 1400) y de la Crónica sarracina (BETA texid 1462) de Pedro de Corral, datado entre 1460 y 1480.

Fol. 1r del ms. Series Nova 12736 de la Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Imagen 3. Fol. 1r del ms. Series Nova 12736 de la Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Además de estos textos, el manuscrito vienés transmite dos romances tempranos en el fol. 36r y la guarda pegada a la contratapa final: Virgilios y ¡Ay de mi Alhama! (o Paséabase el rey moro), según se dará cuenta en Cossío Olavide y Pichel (“Dos romances”).

Otro texto de interés es el ms. 9221 de la misma biblioteca, un manuscrito facticio con doble numeración que transmite un repertorio de inscripciones sepulcrales alemanas (fols. 1r-73r) y un breve texto latino de formato analístico sobre los reyes visigodos (fols. 1rbis-10rbis). Aunque se trata de una copia del siglo XIX, parece estar vinculado con el Cronicón de Cardeña.

Fol. 2r-bis del ms. 9221 de la Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Imagen 4. Fol. 2r-bis del ms. 9221 de la Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

El manuscrito B702 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Suecia (BETA manid 4469) transmite la versión C del Fuero general de Navarra (BETA texid 1195), ampliado con disposiciones y textos legales añadidos, como el Amelloramiento de Philippe d’Evreux III (BETA texid 3192), estructura compartida por otros testimonios del fuero (BNE MSS/248 [BETA manid 1370] y MSS/ 6705 [BETA manid 3392], Biblioteca Regionale Universitaria di Catania ms. U009 [BETA manid 4600] y Real Biblioteca ms. II/1872 [BETA manid 3242]). Como estos, transmite en los fols. 114r-116v, una interpolación navarro-aragonesa del título de los retos del Fuero Real (libro 4, título 19), incorporada para cubrir un vacío legal en materia de justicia nobiliaria del Fuero general (véase Utrilla Utrilla, “Las interpolaciones” y Fradejas Rueda, “Una decepción”).

Fol. 114r del ms. B702 de la Kungliga Biblioteket, Estocolmo
Imagen 5. Fol. 114r del ms. B702 de la Kungliga Biblioteket, Estocolmo



Cossío Olavide, Mario y Ricardo Pichel. “Dos romances tempranos en un manuscrito historiográfico del siglo XV: ¡Ay de mi Alhama! y Virgilios (con una nota sobre la lectura del Amadís primitivo).” Actas del VIII Congreso Internacional de la Asociación Convivio, en prensa.

Cossío Olavide, Mario. “D (RAE 15).” Lucidarios. Editando el Lucidario de Sancho IV. 18/01/2023,

_____. “Un nuevo manuscrito (Rouen, Bibliothèque municipale Villon ms. A283) y una nueva edición del Lucidario de Sancho IV.” e-Spania, vol. 44, 2023.

_____. “Un nuevo testimonio del Lucidario: I.” Lucidarios. Editando el Lucidario de Sancho IV. 26/05/2023,

Fradejas Rueda, José Manuel. “Una decepción y un hallazgo. Una nueva copia del Fuero de Navarra.” Las Siete Partidas del Rey Sabio: una aproximación desde la filología digital y material, editado por José Manuel Fradejas Rueda, Enrique Jerez y Ricardo Pichel, Iberoamericana, 2021, pp. 138-43.

Omont, Henri, editor. Catalogue général de manuscrits des bibliothèques publiques de France. Départaments, t. I. Rouen, Imprimerie nationale, 1886.

Paz y Meliá, Antonio. Series de los más importantes documentos del Archivo y Biblioteca del Excelentísimo Señor Duque de Medinaceli. 2 vols. Imprenta alemana e Imprenta de Blass, 1915-1922.

Romera Manzanares, Ana y Mario Cossío Olavide. “Vieron el escrito y mostráronlo. Nuevos testimonios de la Crónica del moro Rasis y de la Crónica sarracina.” Revista de literatura medieval, vol. 34, 2022, pp. 249-68.

Utrilla Utrilla, Juan. “Las interporlaciones sobre reptorios en los manuscritos del Fuero general de Navarra.” Prínicpe de Viana. Anejo, no. 2-3, 1986, pp. 765-76.

PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 4 (June): The Bancroft Library’s Fernán Núñez Collection

I am delighted to announce that thanks to the efforts of Randy Brandt, Head Cataloguer of The Bancroft Library, it is now possible to find all of the volumes in Bancroft’s Fernán Núñez Collection.

You can now search by call number and retrieve the records for the volumes that have been individually cataloged. (If you don’t see the volume number you’re looking for, that means it is still only part of the larger set; no individual record yet).
To see which ones have been cataloged  in volume number order, use the University of California Library Search catalog:
1) Click on Browse Search in the top menu bar.
2) Open the pop-up menu and scroll down to “Other call numbers.”
3) Type in “BANC MS UCB 143” and click the Search icon (or press Enter).
The first result is the record for the collection itself, followed by several hits for microfilm, many with the title “Host bibliographic record for boundwith item….” Near the bottom of the first screen you will see the record for v. 1-2, Epitome de la vida del Marques de la Mina, Conde de Pezuela …. To see the rest of the call numbers, use the scroll tab at the lower right of the screen.
Note that even with this project, there are still some volumes that have “Host bibliographic record…” as the title (see v. 17 for the first one). However, when you click on that record, you will have access to the individual titles bound within that volume.

This collection of 224 manuscripts comes from the library of the counts and then dukes of Fernán Núnez, a town near Córdoba, principally from that of  the 6th count of Fernán Núñez, Carlos José Gutiérrez de los Ríos y Córdoba (1742-1795), although the nucleus of the collection probably goes back to Juan Fernández de Velasco (1550-1613), 5th  duke of Frías and viceroy of Milan. According to the Diccionario Biográfico electrónico of the Real Academia de la Historia, Gutiérrez de los Ríos was a man of broad culture who wrote a biography of King Carlos III and was an honorary member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid and the Real Academia Sevillana de Buenas Letras.
Bancroft bought the collection in 1984 from the legendary New York bookseller H.P. Kraus, thanks in part to the happy instance that at the time I was in New York working on the catalog of medieval manuscripts of the Hispanic Society of America. Kraus recruited me to write an initial description of the collection prior to putting it on the market. I alerted my colleagues in Berkeley of its importance, and they in turn convinced James D. Hart, Bancroft’s director, to find the funds for its purchase.
Among the interesting volumes is the most important manuscript of the Crónica sarracina de Pedro del Corral (BETA manid 3602), from the library of Bernardo de Alderete,  author of Del origen y principio de la lengua castellana o romance que  hoy se usa en España (1606), and a late 16th-c or early 17th-c. copy of the  Cancioneiro da Vaticana (BITAGAP manid 1666), one of the three major collections of medieval Galician-Portuguese lyric poetry.
We are fortunate to have descriptions of the collection from Ignacio Díez Fernández and Antonio Cortijo. Cortijo also studied the Crónica sarracina, while Arthur Askins identified the Cancioneiro da Bancroft Library. More recently Pablo Saracino has studied the Antigüedades de España of Lorenzo Padilla.
Charles B. Faulhaber
University of California, Berkeley

Askins, Arthur L-F. “The Cancioneiro da Bancroft Library (previously, the Cancioneiro de um Grande d’Hespanha): a copy, ca. 1600, of the Cancioneiro da Vaticana.” Actas do IV Congresso da Associação Hispânica de Literatura Medieval. Lisboa: Edições Cosmos, 1991: I:43-47 (BITAGAP bibid 2595)

Cortijo Ocaña, Antonio. “La Crónica del Moro Rasis y la Crónica Sarracina: dos testimonios desconocidos (University of California at Berkeley, Bancroft Library, MS UCB 143, Vol. 124).” La Corónica 25.2 (1997): 5-30 (BETA bibid 3946)
—–. La Fernán Núñez Collection de la Bancroft Library, Berkeley: estudio y catálogo de los fondos castellanos (parte histórica). London: Dept. of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary and Westfield College, 2000 (BETA bibid 7111)
—–. Viviendo yo esta desorden del mundo. Textos literarios españoles de los Siglos de Oro en la Colección Fernán Núnez. Burgos : Fundación Instituto Castellano y Leonés de la Lengua, 2003 (BITAGAP bibid 17216)

PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 3 (May): NEH support for PhiloBiblon and the Wikiworld

Metropolitan Museum X.430.1, f. 1r
Metropolitan Museum X.430.1, f. 1r

We are delighted to announce that PhiloBiblon has received a two-year implementation grant from the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program of the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete the mapping of PhiloBiblon from its almost forty-year-old relational database technology to the Wikibase technology that underlies Wikipedia and Wikidata. The project will start on the first of July and, Dios mediante, will finish successfully by the end of June 2025.

The fundamental problem is to map the 422,000+ records of PhiloBiblon’s bibliographies with their complexly interrelated relational tables to the triplestore structure of Wikibase.  A triplestore relates two Items by means of a Property. Thus a Work is linked to an Author by the Property “written by.”

We received an NEH Foundations grant for this project in 2021, as described in detail in PhiloBiblon 2021 (n. 3): PhiloBiblon y el mundo wiki: propuesta de una colaboración. Over the course of the last two years, the pilot project team, consisting of Charles Faulhaber (PI), Patricia García Sánchez-Migallón and Almudena Izquierdo Andreu (doctores por la UCM); Berkeley undergraduate Spanish and data science majors (Julieta Soto, Serena Bai, Tina Lin, Cassandra Calciano, Martín García Ángel); Max Ziff (data engineer); and Josep Formentí (user interface programmer), has analyzed the data structures of PhiloBiblon’s ten relational tables (using BETA for the test cases) and worked out the procedures needed to convert them into triplestore structures.

Almudena and Patricia manually mapped more than 125 BETA records to FactGrid: PhiloBiblon as models for the automated processing of the rest. See for example the records for Alfonso X, BNE MSS/10069 (Cantigas de Santa Maria), and the 1497 edition of the translation of Boccacio’s Fiammeta. These models have been key for establishing the semantic relations between PhiloBiblon’s data fields and the Properties and Items in FactGrid. In many cases appropriate properties did not exist and it was necessary to create them. For example, something as simple as the Watermark property was needed in order to identify the various watermark types set forth in PhiloBiblon’s controlled vocabulary.

Julieta Soto and Martín García Ángel attacked the problem of creating almost 900 FactGrid records for the controlled vocabulary terms in BETA. This meant in the first place a search in FactGrid to make sure that an equivalent term did not already exist, in order to avoid creating duplicate records. Then they had to situate the term in the FactGrid ontology by specifying it as a “basic object” (e.g., fruit) or identifying it as a subclass of an appropriate basic object, for example facsímil impreso as a subclass of facsímil. At the same time they had to link the record to the code in PhiloBiblon, BIBLIOGRAPHY*RELATED_BIBCLASS*FAP, identifying a record in the Bibliography table as a print facsimile, thereby making it possible to search for such items.

The default viewer used in FactGrid, the same as that used in Wikidata, is not user friendly. Therefore Josep has created a prototype user interface, using data from the BETA Institutions table. We encourage you to play with it and tell us what you like or—more usefully—don’t like.

This change to Wikibase technology is designed to allow PhiloBiblon not only to take advantage of the linked open data of the semantic web, but also, and most importantly, to decrease sustainability costs. Because Wikibase is open-source software maintained by WikiMedia Deutschland, the software development arm of the Wikimedia Foundation, software maintenance costs for PhiloBiblon will be minimal in the future. This means that it will no longer be necessary to seek major grant support every five to seven years merely to keep up with technology change.

While this work has been going on, we have not neglected the vital process of cleaning up PhiloBiblon data in order to facilitate the automated mapping nor the equally vital process of adding new information to PhiloBiblon. For example,  Pedro Pinto, a member of the BITAGAP team, has recently discovered a “folha desmembrada” (BITAGAP manid 7862) from the Livro 4 of the chancery records of king Fernando I (1345-1383) (BITAGAP manid 3255), separated from the manuscript in the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo. The newly discovered dismembered leaf contains five previously unknown royal documents. It was being used as the cover of the “Livro de Acordãos, 1620-24,” in the archive of the Santa Casa de Misericórdia in Coruche, a small city in the Santarem district on the Tagus river northeast of Lisbon.

The recycling of  parchment leaves from discarded medieval manuscripts, presumably for more socially beneficial purposes, such as the protection of administrative records, was common in both Spain and Portugal in the sixteenth and seventeenh centuries. Such leaves have been the source of many unknown or poorly documented medieval texts. Perhaps the most spectacular example was Harvey Sharrer’s discovery in 1990 of the eponymous Pergaminho Sharrer (BITAGAP manid 1817), with musical notation for seven poems of king Dinis of Portugal (1279-1325). This had been used as the binding of a collection of notarial documents (Lisboa: Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo: Lisboa, Cartório Notarial de. N. 7-A, Caixa 1, Maça 1, livro 3).

Mariña Arbor Aldea
Arthur L-F. Askins
Vicenç Beltran Pepió
Álvaro Bustos Táuler
Antonio Cortijo Ocaña
Charles B. Faulhaber
Patricia García Sánchez-Migallón
Ángel Gómez Moreno
José Luis Gonzalo Sánchez-Molero
Almudena Izquierdo Andreu
Filipe Alves Moreira
María Morrás
Óscar Perea Rodríguez
Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez
Pedro Pinto
Maria de Lurdes Rosa
Nicasio Salvador Miguel
Martha E. Schaffer
Harvey L. Sharrer
Cristina Sobral
Lourdes Soriano Robles

Serials reductions as part of the life cycle

photo: stack of journals
Journals in the Romance languages in Doe Library’s Heyns Reading Room.

You need not fret about L’Infiniti, Écrits de Paris, Revue des deux mondes, Revue des études Italiennes, Revista de occidente, Claves de razón práctica, El Mediterráneo, Atena, MicroMega, Humanitas, Europe, Misure critiche, Commentaire, Nuova antologia, Il Mulino, and many more journals in the Southern European collection. These have evaded cancellation for now in the second year of a two-year planned reduction of UC Berkeley Library’s acquisitions and licensing budget.

This week, the Library has shared with the campus via CALmessages a complete list of proposed serials cancellations for public comment until May 12. For 2023/24, the budget for recurring annual costs such as subscription databases, journal subscriptions, ebook and journal packages will be reduced by $850K. The Arts and Humanities portion of the serials reduction came to about $165,000. Much of this was met through a renegotiation of the price share for a statewide Taylor & Francis journal package that met about $65,000 of our target. The remaining $100,000 came from the subject funds. (For Latin American and Caribbean Studies, please scroll down to the Social Sciences grouping.)

The proposed list of cancellations was developed to minimize the impact on the community by focusing on duplicative subscriptions; journals and databases that are available open access or in other ways; and the most seldomly accessed journals and databases. Together, subject librarians have reviewed all subscriptions and prioritized retaining titles based on strength of need and available alternatives for access. Across disciplines, the total number of titles came to 1,204 which includes large packages. These ranged from very cheap (Annali di statistica @ $9.67/year) to exorbitant (Greenwire for $17,544/year).

These exercises are never easy but have become a regular part of the scholarly resources life cycle as academic libraries continue to endure rapidly declining budgets for an expanding terrain of expensive intellectual materials in both print and digital formats. The last serials reduction was in 2018 in the amount of $1.5M. At the beginning of this year, the Library reduced its discretionary budget (mostly for books) by $850K and two years earlier by $1M.

Including our recent reductions in 2018 and 2020, this year’s serials reduction will bring the total annual reduction in acquisitions and licensing to $4.425 million – an approximately 35% reduction of campus, state, and unrestricted funding for collections since 2016. Without an influx of funding from the campus and the state, the UC Berkeley Library can expect to see another round of budget cuts in the near future.

For the month of April, I will be posting on Instagram nearly every day the cover of  a different journal in the Romance languages that we are retaining access to for now in either print or digital form.

Four Notes on our Love of Books and our Need for Libraries

Four Notes on our Love of Books and our Need for Libraries

by Henrike Christiane Lange, Associate Professor of History of Art and Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley, Spring Term 2023


A Note on Historical Books

The historical books in our collection are honeycombs of the centuries. They provide us not just with their specific knowledge from other times, but also with new insights about our own historical situation that we can only fully appreciate when seeing it compared to other eras. The material presence of historical books offers a shared experience with earlier readers – the readers of their time. Finally, the very awareness of the books’ own different time and place of origin generates a friction which allows us to progress with better consciousness and determination in our own timelines – not to be free-floating and lost in space, without time and context. The library thusly can both anchor us and liberate us at the same time in this process of discovery. Finally, a library of such historical objects for teaching and training is more than the sum total of the books. It is the select and familiar presence of those books together in an organized space, carved out of the chaos of the rest of the world as a refuge for the calm immersion into the records of others’ long-gone thoughts that spark the magic of understanding.

A Note on Scholarly Monographs

Monographs are little time machines: In a matter of hours, one can walk with the author through a specific and manageable field of knowledge, acquired over years, condensed yet decompressed, presented in a reader-friendly way, and focused on a valuable question. A monograph is not as short and shallow as a blog post, and it is not as limitless and infinite (therefore ungraspable) as the whole wide virtual cosmos of the world wide web. In a scholarly monograph, an author explores at the speed of the reader’s reading time what they have learned from having done years and decades of work of researching, reading, sorting, evaluating, weighing, expressing, writing, re-writing, and editing under the harsh conditions of double-blind peer review. This model can help enable readers and researchers to produce, eventually, their own unique contribution to a field in the form of a book – sent into the world to find its readers, way beyond the personal sphere of its author. The department library is the space to encounter and compare these kinds of books (at the height of their training, graduate students are expected to read up to a dozen of monographs per week in order to grasp their different styles, approaches, rhetoric, and strategies of presentation of the material).

A Note on Art History Libraries

Art history libraries have a double importance for the discipline, as they contain both secondary and primary sources: Books in art history research are not only containers of written, textual knowledge, or simple records of visual material, but also often serve as primary materials when they contain large or unique plates, a corpus of drawings, of maps, or of prints. They provide core materials such as large folio-sized works that outdo our screens, or plates that we use for comparisons in teaching around the table. Art History Libraries such as ours in Doe Library hold original documents that are themselves primary sources also when it comes to photo books and artist books, and the library’s rooms filled with books are our equivalent of a “lab” space. Large prints, maps, and photos need to be spread out on folio-size accommodating tables and compared, arranged, discussed with small groups in our training of emerging experts in our fields. The access to these physical materials together with small groups of students in a dedicated library space is an irreplaceable feature of the training of future architects and art historians. As is true for all our campus libraries, such specialized department libraries are not only collections somewhere without roots in time and space, but carefully grown, cultivated, specific places that have been assembled only here for a likewise growing and developing student population according to their specific needs.

A Note on Berkeley’s Libraries in the Now-Moment

Entering someone’s personal research library, fascinatingly, can feel like entering someone else’s brain – and to move about as if in a silent conversation with them, following their lead or jumping between sections and fields of knowledge, seeing the surprising and original connections that someone else made a long time ago, and getting inspired. The same applies to the experience of wonder and discovery in the large departmental, field-specific library: when we enter our library, we truly enter the good will, deep knowledge, and great care that generations of librarians, faculty, staff, and students have left there in invisible traces – in the objects as much as in the coherence, distribution, arrangement, and context of the objects. This is why off-campus storage removes the most important component from research, teaching, and learning; the eureka moments that can only happen on the quiet days alone in the library. We sometimes forget that not only the books and their authors speak to us, but all the caretakers and champions of the books that helped them find their way into our collection. As disciplines in the arts and humanities in a worldwide context that is hostile to the slow, deep, focused, and truly generative conditions of our work, we need those moments more than ever – not just the researchers, but especially our brilliant, insightful students.

Spring bloom: new ebooks from OpenEdition

Open Edition Books

It’s that time of year when we choose new ebook titles from OpenEdition. Below you will find a few that have made it to the list. Please send other recommendations to the Librarian for Romance Languages by April 1.

Since 2014, the UC Berkeley Library has supported this initiative based at the Université d’Aix-Marseille to open scholarly content from Europe and France in particular to the world. The Freemium program allows the UC Berkeley community to participate in an acquisitions policy that both supports sustainable development of open access (OA) and that respects the needs of teaching, research and learning communities. With our participation, faculty, students, and other researchers can benefit from greater functionality while making it possible for anyone in the world to view in html and in open access 70% of the ebook catalog of more than 13,000 titles.

Through the Freemium model, UC Berkeley gains access to preferred formats (pdf, epub, etc.) with no DRM quotas and seamless access to the content with UC Library Search.