Le Grand Corpus des dictionnaires

Les membres de l'Académie française venant offrir au Roi le Dictionnaire de l'Académie : [estampe]

Produced by the Classiques Garnier Numérique team in Paris, the Grand Corpus des dictionnaires brings together in one searchable database the 24 most important dictionaries on the French language from the 9th to the 20th century. Most works are presented in a digitized format identical to the original as well as a textual facsimile, providing advanced searches and other sophisticated functionality. Includes Godefroy’s Dictionnaire de l’ancienne langue française, Robert Estienne’s Dictionaire François latin (1549), Furetière’s Dictionnaire de l’ancienne langue française (1690), eight editions of the Le Dictionaire de l’Académie françoise, and many others.

Dictionary of untranslatables: a philosophical lexicon

Dictionary of untranslatables : a philosophical lexicon

Originally published in French, this one-of-a-kind reference work is now available in English for the first time, with new contributions from Judith Butler, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ben Kafka, Kevin McLaughlin, Kenneth Reinhard, Stella Sandford, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tylus, Anthony Vidler, Susan Wolfson, Robert J. C. Young, and many more. The UC Berkeley Library has two print copies, one digital version as well as the untranslatable original Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: dictionnaire des intraduisibles edited by Barbara Cassin in 2004. Listen to the editors of the English edition Emily Apter, Jacques Lezra, and Michael Wood converse about its importance on The Humanities Initiative at NYU.

Will the NRLF really be full in 2016?

High-density library storage facilities are admittedly not too exciting but without them, our collections face some very serious problems. In case you missed this illuminating Op-Ed in the Daily Cal from professors Todd Hickey and Geoffrey Koziol, I encourage you to check it out and express your concerns to your campus representatives.

While there is little public information about this imminent crisis, a team of librarians from CDL and most of the UC campuses have prepared recommendations to free up space in both NRLF and SRLF called the UC shared Print Road Map for 2014-2018 which provides further insight but no long-term solution.

J. J. Grandville’s Metamorphoses du jour

Métamorphoses du jour - J.J. Grandville


J.J. Grandville’s Metamorphoses du jour.
French caricaturist Jean-Jacques Grandville (103-1847) would have celebrated his 211th birthday last week. Thanks to sturdy books and meticulous digitization, his fantastical illustrations live on for generations to enjoy. The Library acquired, also last week, an 1869 edition of Métamorphoses du jour (1869) – a publication which established his fame in 1828-29. The work is comprised of a series of seventy hand-coloured lithographs in which individuals with the bodies of men and faces of animals play out a human comedy. It will be shelved in the Bancroft with other visual masterpieces of Grandvilles’ such as Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (1842) and Les fleurs animées (1847).
In HathiTrust, you can find digital surrogates of varying quality of most of the books he illustrated including:
Fables de La Fontaine (1838)
Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (1842)
Un autre monde; transformations, visions, incarnations … et autres choses (1844)
vie privee
fleurs animees

French caricaturist Jean-Jacques Grandville (103-1847) would have celebrated his 211th birthday last week. Thanks to sturdy books and meticulous digitization, his fantastical illustrations live on for generations to enjoy. The Library acquired, also last week, an 1869 edition of Métamorphoses du jour (1869) which established his fame worldwide in 1828-29. The work is comprised of a series of seventy hand-colored lithographs in which individuals with the bodies of men and faces of animals play out a human comedy of Parisian life. It will be shelved in The Bancroft Library with other visual masterpieces of Grandville such as Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (1842) and Les fleurs animées (1847).

In HathiTrust, you can find digital surrogates of varying quality of most of the books Grandville illustrated including Un autre monde; transformations, visions, incarnations … et autres choses (1844),  Fables de La Fontaine (1838), Les fleurs animées (1847), and Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (1842).

Diccionario Biografíco Español

With the ease of Wikipedia, printed biographical reference works such as the new Diccionario Biografíco Español (DBE) once central to academic libraries appear to be losing their relevance, and shelf space. Judging by how few copies there are in U.S. libraries (seven at the moment according to WorldCat) this certainly seems to be the case with the DBE. It was first published in 2009 by Spain’s Real Academia de la Historia (RAH) with sponsorship of King Juan Carlos I and with support from the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports. Not actually for sale until 2011, Berkeley is currently the only library west of the Mississippi River with the first 25 volumes (up to the letter H) in its collection. Comparable to other ambitious national biographies like the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004) and the Dizionario biografico degli Italiani – begun in 1960 and still not yet complete, the DBE will have more than 40,000 entries for individuals from all periods of Spanish history. The prologue states that the project was first conceived by the RAH between 1735 and 1738 to “reunir, en un Diccionario biografíco, a los ‘hombres de mérito’ de la distintas tierras de España.” An online database of those included as well as those who could potentially be added is available on the RAH web site.

The DBE differs from many national biographies in that it includes living people such as filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, former Prime Minister José María Aznar, and even Emilío Botin who is the head of Banco Santander and largely financed the project through his charitable foundation. While the RAH has been criticized for under-representing women, there are detailed entries for leading Spanish feminists of the past such as Concepción Arenal and Clara Campoamor, cubist María Blanchard, and anarcho-syndicalist Teresa Claramunt. Catalan concrete poet and visual artist Joan Brossa even gets a multi-page entry. Coverage in the arena of literature is a bit thin and overlooks some major twentieth-century writers such as Lidia Falcón, Miguel Hernández, and Ramón Gómez de la Serna just to name a few. British author and literary critic Jeremy Treglown observes that “the contributors are the best that could have been found” and that “full coverage of figures from Spain’s long Islamic era is one of the dictionary’s triumphs.”

It is partially because of its selection criteria but more likely because of the sympathies of some of the contributors to the dictatorship of Francisco Franco that immediately sparked a national controversy. Public calls to revise many of the entries before the second tranche of volumes are printed has led to the RAH announcing that it will publish an addendum along with the forthcoming volumes. The most recent resolution to this dispute was announced in an article from El País last week titled “El Diccionario Biográfico Español, revisado una vez que se termine” and an eloquent review was published in the Times Literary Supplement last March titled “Franco’s Friends.” Treglown, who wrote the latter review, assesses this monumental work for what it is: “So it’s important to acknowledge, first, that the DBE is a very valuable resource, conservative in methodology but wide-ranging and undoctrinaire in its choices of both subjects and contributions, and ambitious in its associated aims.”

For a full account of El País‘ coverage of the controversies surrounding the DBE back to 1999, see: http://elpais.com/tag/diccionario_biografico_espanol.

Open Access by Peter Suber

Open Access by Peter Suber (MIT Press, 2012)

In the wake of last week’s international Open Acccess Week and especially the Library-sponsored faculty conversation with UCSF Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Rich Schneider, I’d like to call everyone’s attention to the new ebook by Peter Suber titled Open Access (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012) which answers most of the questions regarding OA. Called the “indispensable book on the subject for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policy makers,” it will become OA in June 2013, one year from the date of publication but is now available to the UC Berkeley community through ebrary.

Other recent library aquisitions are continously updated through OskiCat and also through the library subject pages for French, Italian, and Iberian Studies (Spanish & Portuguese).


Reference Roundup

New reference works are regularly added to the Library’s collections in all formats. Because of the physical limitations of Doe’s North Reading Room and other reference locations, the majority of these books are shelved elsewhere. Here’s a capture of some noteworthy print reference titles in the area of Romance languages acquired over the past year:

Biblioteca de al-Andalus / dirección y edición, Jorge Lirola Delgado. Almería: Fundación Ibn Tufayl de Estudios Árabes, 2004-<2009>

The Cambridge History of French Literature / edited by William Burgwinkle, Nicholas Hammond and Emma Wilson. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Dicionário de Fernando Pessoa e do modernismo português / coordenação, Fernando Cabral Martins. Lisboa: Editorial Caminho, c2008.

Diccionari de la traducció catalana / Montserrat Bacardí i Pilar Godayol (dir.). Vic : Eumo, 2011.

Diccionari ortografic, gramatical e morfologic de l’occitan = Dictionnaire orthographique, grammatical et morphologique de l’occitan: segon los parlars lengadocians, circa 109000 intradas = selon les parlers languedociens, circa 109000 entrées. Précédé de introduccion a la lexicografia occitana = introduction à la lexicographie occitane. Fautas e cauquilhas del diccionari d’Alibèrt = Fautes et coquilles du dictionnaire d’Alibert / Josiana Ubaud. Canet: Trabucaire, 2011.

Diccionario biográfico del exilio español de 1939: los periodistas / Juan Carlos Sánchez Illán (dir). Madrid: Fondo de Cultura Económica : Cátedra del Exilio, c2011.

Diccionario del cine iberoamericano: España, Portugal y América / editor y coordinador: Emilio Casares Rodicio; directores de España, Carlos F. Heredero, Eduardo Rodríguez Merchán; director de América, Iván Giroud; director de Portugal, João Bénard da Costa; subdirector de España, José Enrique Monterde. Madrid: SGAE: Fundación Autor, 2011-

Diccionario filológico de literatura española. Siglo XVII / dirección de Pablo Jauralde Pou; coordinación de Delia Gavela, Pedro C. Rojo Alique. Madrid : Editorial Castalia S.A., 2010.

Diccionario histórico, geográfico y cultural de Filipinas y el Pacífico / Leoncio Cabrero Fernández, Miguel Luque Talaván, Fernando Palanco Aguado, coordinación y dirección. Madrid: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional : Fundación Carolina, 2008.

Dictionary of African Biography / Emmanuel K. Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., editors in chief. Oxford; New York : Oxford University Press, c2012.

Dictionnaire de la contre-révolution: XVIIIe-XXe siècle / sous la direction de Jean-Clément Martin. Paris: Perrin, 2011.

Dictionnaire de la violence / publié sous la direction de Michela Marzano. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, c2011.

Dictionnaire des gens de couleur dans la France moderne: Paris et son bassin: entrée par localités et par année (fin XVe siècle-1792), Paris suivi des provinces classées alphabétiquement / dirigé par Érick Noël. Genève: Librairie Droz S.A., 2011, ©2011.

Dictionnaire des orientalistes de langue française / François Pouillon (éd.). Paris: IlSMM: Karthala, c2008.

Dictionnaire encyclopédique du livre / sous la direction de Pascal Fouché, Daniel Péchoin, Philippe Schuwer ; et la responsabilité scientifique de Pascal Fouché, Jean-Dominique Mellot, Alain Nave… [et al.] ; préface de Henri-Jean Martin ; [direction générale Pascal Fouché]. Paris: Édition du cercle de la librairie, c2002-c2011.

Dictionnaire Gide / sous la direction de Pierre Masson et Jean-Michel Wittmann. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2011.

Dizionario della lingua veneta / Gianfranco Cavallin; prefazione di Sabino Acquaviva, Giovan Battista Pellegrini. Teolo, Padova: Zephyrus, 2010.

Dizionario storico dell’Inquisizione / diretto da Adriano Prosperi; con la collaborazione di Vincenzo Lavenia e John Tedeschi. Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, c2010.

Historical Dictionary of French Theater / Edward Forman. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2010.

Historical Dictionary of Spanish Cinema / Alberto Mira. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2010.

Iberian Books: Books Published in Spanish or Portuguese or on the Iberian Peninsula before 1601 = Libros ibéricos: libros publicados en español o portugués o en la Península Ibérica antes de 1601 / edited by Alexander S. Wilkinson. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2010.

Medioevo latino. Spoleto: Centro italiano di studi sull’alto Medioevo, 1980- Latest received 2011 v.32.

Nueva gramática de la lengua española / Real Academia Española, Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española. Madrid: Espasa Libros, 2009-2011.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages / edited by Robert E. Bjork. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

*Lists of recent acquisitions for French, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese (Iberian) and other subjects/areas are updated daily.


One of the most noteworthy acquisitions that the Library made in the past month is to upgrade its subscription to ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses (PQDT). The Library’s previously subscribed to just the historical index with abstracts and full text to UC dissertations. Now, users on campus, or off-campus with UC Berkeley access privileges, have access to the full text of most dissertations added since 1997.

PQDT is the world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1861 to the present day. More than 70,000 new full text dissertations and theses are added to the database each year through dissertations publishing partnerships with 700 leading academic institutions worldwide and collaborative retrospective digitization of dissertations through UMI’s Digital Archiving and Access Program. While a handful of UC schools are in the early stages of archiving their ETDs, or electronic theses and dissertations, in institutional repositories using tools like the eScholarship interface and the Merritt Preservation Repository. ProQuest’s database remains the digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress and the database of record for graduate research in North America.

For more extensive coverage of doctoral dissertations and theses from Western Europe, here are a few other resources to consult:



Italian Libretto Collections in the Music Library

The Music Library has just completed a multi-year project to catalog two major collections of rare Italian opera libretti: the Taddei Collection consisting of 4,403 libretti dating from 1600 to 1953, and the Sicilian Libretto Collection containing about 930 libretti dating from 1650 to 1900. These two collections constitute one of the largest and most important collections of historical opera libretti in the U.S. Thanks to a Collections Access grant from the Library in 2005, they are now available to our faculty, students, and many users nationwide and worldwide. To browse the collections in Oskicat, type the title search "Taddei libretto collection" or "Sicilian libretto collection."

We are deeply grateful to the following graduate students for their dedicated work on the project: Rebekah Ahrendt, Laura Biggs, Sean Curran, Scott Edwards, Jose Neglia, Kimberly Parke, Camille Peters, Emily Richmond, Brandon Schneider, and Noel Verzosa. SJSU intern Elliott Smith also assisted.

An article by Rebekah Ahrendt and Camille Peters will be published in a forthcoming issue of Notes, the quarterly journal of the Music Library Association, with more detailed information about these collections. 

originally posted on CU News by Elisabeth Spohrer, Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library