Sue Waterman (MBJH) provided the following overview on the topic "Digital Dante":
Dante Alighieri and his masterwork, the Commedia (Divine Comedy), are weathering this transitional period between print and electronic culture remarkably well. Several important projects are either underway or already established, providing new life and new avenues of critical exploration for readers and scholars. In fact, Dante perhaps more than any other writer, with the exceptions of Jorge Luis Borges and James Joyce, seems particularly well-suited to the new medium of hypertext, his Commedia providing rich material for the three-dimensionality of the Internet and ample opportunities for the multimedia applications of CD-ROM's. A complex and multi-layered work of the late Middle Ages, the Divine Comedy seems oddly contemporary in the age of the Internet, a global network of hypertext and hypermedia.
1. Since it is such a rich and complex resource, it is not surprising that the Divine Comedy had a very early presence on the Internet. In 1982, the Dartmouth Dante Project, or the DDP as its creator Robert Hollander calls it, was created, and has become a crucial resource for any interpretive work on Dante. Containing the text of 59 commentaries and the complete text of the poem itself, it is a very powerful and flexible tool, allowing word and line searches. Access to the project is at URL: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/infosys/
2. A newer, multimedia incarnation of a Dante Internet resource, the Princeton Dante Project (PDP), is also directed by Robert Hollander. The project is a brainchild of one of Hollander's former students, who challenged him "to do something" with the Divine Comedy, something that would do everything one could ask an electronic text to do. The site will contain a complete text of the Commedia (it now includes the Inferno), as well as an image archive, audio files of readings in English and Italian, links to the commentaries in the DDP, Dante's other works, maps, and links to other Dante resources on the Web-a fully functioning electronic text, with all the enhancements that multimedia can offer. See the URL: http://www.princeton.edu/~dante
3. Several other excellent Dante Web sites already exist in cyberspace. The Columbia University Digital Dante site is similar to the Princeton project, with an image archive, sound recordings, links to other sites, maps, classroom resources for teaching, and translations. It is not a functioning electronic text though, lacking the search capability of the DDP and the PDP, and the links to the commentaries. URL: http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/projects/dante/index.html
Otfried Lieberknecht has put together one of the richest Dante Web sites on his Homepage for Dante Studies. Unlike an institutional site, it reflects Lieberknecht's scholarly interests and includes a much broader range of links and resources than many other literary sites on the Web. It includes links to Dante Resources, General resources, Italian studies, Medieval-Religion, and a Dante Bookshop; any one of these categories leading to hundreds of links. URL: http://members.aol.com/lieberk/welc_fr.html
4. Finally, CD-ROMs have been produced on Dante and the Divine Comedy. A recent acquisition at Johns Hopkins is Dante PC-Talk (Milano: Ergoset Software and Services, 1997). This multimedia CD includes the complete Italian text of Dante's poem, some of Gustave Dore's images, Italian readings of selected cantos, maps of the journey, and Niccolo Tommaso's commentary (in Italian). It also has complete search capability on words and phrases.
Another site for Italian literature, featured in the newsletter of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures (IU), is Decameron Web, which focuses on Giovanni Boccaccio: URL: http//www.brown.edu/Research/Decameron/
Martha Zarate (IU) pointed out that both the Divine Comedy and the Decameron are among the 780 texts included in the new edition of LIZ: Letteratura Italiana Zanichelli. (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1997). This third edition works with Windows (both Windows 3.1 and Windows 95). The full-text database includes works from the 13th to the 20th century. The texts are searchable by way of the DBT query system.
Jeffry Larson (CtY) called attention to the help sheet for CETEDOC from the Yale Library's Electronic Text Center: URL: http://www.library.yale.edu/etc/cetedoc.html and Tom Izbicki (MBJH) has a revised guide to CETEDOC at: URL: http://www.mse.jhu.edu:8001/guides/cetguid.htm
Jim Campbell (ViU) forwarded information about several German projects on the World Wide Web. The first aims to digitize primary sources on the 1848 revolution in Germany. The City and University Library in Frankfurt am Main and the Institute for Telematics have made scanned copies of leaflets, pamphlets, posters, etc. from the time of the 1848 revolution available on the Internet. Presently about 1,500 titles are on the server, along with a chronology of the events of 1848-1849 and other background material. URL: http://zaurak.tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de/1848/
A selection of free German databases and Internet resources of general interest has been assembled on a web page primarily for German public libraries at URL: http://www.rrz.uni-hamburg.de/hoeb/dienste/datenbanken/datenbanken.htm or as a link from http://www.buecherhallen.de
Readers might be interested in a relatively new online journal devoted to German literary scholarship called literaturkritik.de that is edited at and subsidized by the Universitaet Marburg. It also includes reviews of current belles-lettres. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote, "On the Internet, a review journal of this quality is unprecedented." URL: http://www.literaturkritik.de
Marje Schuetze-Coburn provided information on the ALEPH 500 system that replaced the Austrian BIBOS gateway in January, 1999: The conversion project involved the replacement of a multiplicity of older systems with ALEPH 500 at the National Library of Austria and at more than twenty academic institutions. The new union catalog is at: URL: http://opac.bibvb.ac.at
John B. Rutledge (NcU) passed along information about a service he discovered: By chance I discovered the web page of the Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur (KLG), a loose-leaf, periodically updated dictionary of contemporary German writers, which contains both primary and secondary bibliographies. Many of the citations are to reviews in newspapers or small magazines, which may be difficult to locate and acquire in the United States. However, the KLG offers a document delivery service ("Textdienst"). According to the web page, they will supply the first document in A4 photocopy for DM 6,- and each additional document for DM 1,-. They need the name of the author and the "Ordnungsnummer" of the text you want. You can order by snail-mail, by fax, or by email. They respond by regular mail, not by fax, and include an invoice. URL: http: //www.etk-muenchen.de/index.html
On German-E Roger Brisson (PSt) and Stephen Lehmann (PU) contributed to the following list of German bookstores on the Internet in addition to Amazon.de:
Buecher.de, which got a lot of publicity (much self-generated) at the Buchmesse last fall URL: http://www.buecher.de/
Lehmann's, which is the oldest and most established online bookstore URL: http://www.lehmanns.de
Buch-Direkt URL: http://www.buch-direkt.com/ Mail-Order-Kaiser, which was found to have more reasonable postage and handling charges than the others URL: http://www.mail-order-kaiser.de/
Jeffry Larson contributed this annotation of a book on Internet resources in linguistics:
Spina, Stefania. Parole in rete: guida ai siti Internet sul linguaggio. Scandicci (Firenze): La nuova Italia, 1997. xxvi, 311 p.: ill.; 22 cm. + 1 computer disk (3 1/2 in). (Biblioteca di Italiano e oltre; 23) ISBN 8822128435. L36,000.
A classed, generously annotated bibliography of 241 Internet sites on linguistics and language study. Accompanied by a floppy disk that contains an HTML file with links to network resources in linguistics. Includes an index of titles of Internet sites and a general index of names, terms, and concepts. Given the obsolescence of URLs, it would have been better presented as a skeletal version on the author's web site (http://www.umbrars.com/lingua/).
Jeffrey Garrett (IEN) announced: There is now a profusely illustrated report on the Web describing WESS's trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair last October. It is accessible via the "What's New" page of the German Studies Web at URL: http://gort.ucsd.edu/rsonn/wesswhat.html
This is the last time I will be putting together the Europe by Bits & Bytes column for the WESS Newsletter. I've had a wonderful time with all the electronic resources you've told me about over the past five years. We've explored discussion lists, CD-ROMs, library OPACs (some of which have undergone migrations switched from telnet to web access), and many, many sites on the ever-expanding World Wide Web. WESS has developed its own electronic communications and the phenomenal WESSWeb during this time. Thanks to all of you who have sent contributions and participated in the WESS discussion lists-I would surely leave someone out if I tried to list all of you-and to two competent and dedicated WESS Newsletter editors, Jeffry Larson and Marje Schuetze-Coburn. Be sure to keep sending all your leads to the new editor of "Europe by Bits & Bytes," Jennifer Vinopal (NYU; e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org)), who will start with the Fall, 1999 WESS Newsletter.