Indiana University School of Library and Information Science
L623 Information in the Humanities
Summer Session II, Mondays and Wednesdays 1:003:45
Dr. Moira Smith
|Office: Library E760||Office Hours: by appointment|
L623 is designed to introduce students to the information needs of the humanist researcher and the characteristics and organization of the reference sources in the humanities.
By the end of this class, you should be able to:
Blazek, Ron and Elizabeth Aversa. The Humanities: A Selective Guide to Information Sources. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1994.
Assignments and Grading:
7 weekly bibliographic and discussion exercises (10 points each) 70 Final paper 70 Presentation 1 (discussion of sources 30 Presentation 2 (final paper) 30
Weekly bibliographic and discussion exercises are due at the beginning of class on the date due.
No late assignments will be accepted unless you have previously obtained my consent.
You must complete all assignments in order to pass the course. Indiana University and School of Library and Information Science policies on academic dishonesty will be followed. Students found to be engaging in plagiarism, cheating, or other types of dishonesty will receive an F for the course.
Each MONDAY, we will examine a list of sources related to a specific subject area in the humanities. The list will be made available the previous week, either in Wednesdays class or else on the class website shortly thereafter. Accompanying each list will be an exercise with questions and problems designed to familiarize you with the sources.
There will be 7 such lists and exercises. I encourage everyone to attempt all the exercises before coming to class each Monday. In addition, everyone will be responsible for attempting one assignment and presenting the results and leading the discussion of the sources in Mondays class. These presentations will be graded.
In addition, everyone will receive an additional worksheet of problems and questions to answer using the sources for that week. These worksheets will be distributed on Monday and are due in class the following Wednesday.
Final Project (Annotated Bibliography)
Select a topic in one of the humanities disciplines that interests you. Individuals, e.g., authors, composers, artists, performers, philosophers, etc., should be examined in a broader context: for example, Gothic novelists, 18th Century painters, comedians, structuralism. Within this broader scope you may include an individual, or individuals, that interest you. Your topic should be appropriate for scholarly attention, either now or in the past, or both.
For this project, you should assume that the scholar who you are assisting is working in the field you have selected, and is knowledgeable about the field and does not need basic, introductory materials. Instead, the scholar needs to identify completed research that may be relevant to his/her topic. Your problem, then, is to identify those sources that publish scholarly works in the field, that include a record of research in the field, and if one exists, a review of research in that subject area for a designated period of time. For example, annual reviews of ongoing research frequently appear, usually in a regular issue of a scholarly journal. In the field of American literature, American Literary Scholarship, (see the Literature source list) provides a comprehensive record of research for the year. Similar sources appear in other disciplines; examples appear on various source lists. However, for many fields, you should determine whether or not reviews of this type exist. If no one source exists in your topic, how widely scattered are the sources you must use to gather the information? Are sources available only in print formats or are online and CD-ROM databases relevant in your subject?
Scholars in the humanities, compared with those in the sciences and social sciences, often pursue their research with remarkably unstructured methods and present their research with little evidence in the document of their scholarly methodology. The information specialist must be able to recognize "research" from other clues, which you will learn to identify.
Research appears in the literature in the form of monographs, journal articles, dissertations, essays, etc. Other formats may be involved (e.g., videos, taped interviews, films, microfilms, etc.) Your primary problem is to discover where this material can be identified. How can you recognize "research" in the humanities? Are there recognizable patterns, characteristics, statements of methodology to set research in your subject area apart from other literature on the subject? Can you identify journals, for example, that publish scholarly literature in your field?
Is the body of research large in this topic? Has the intensity and quantity changed and in what direction have the approaches altered in ten years? In five years? The age of your subject should guide the span of time to consider.
How much overlap did you encounter? Did each of the indexes, for example, cite the same sources or must more than one index be used to cover the subject area comprehensively? How much information is scattered across other disciplines or is the research interest in your topic confined to one discipline? Rigid divisions among many of the disciplines are beginning to blur as cross-disciplinary scholarship expands the perimeters. With how many fields must a scholar in your subject area be aware?
Is there a nucleus of scholars writing in your topic or is authorship so scattered that prominent scholars are difficult to identify? Is there a nucleus of journals identifiable that the scholar should scan regularly for new research in the field? Is the amount of monographic literature significant? If so, is there a nucleus of publishers?
The above questions should enable you to make many observations about your search and the research activity associated with your topic. Use the questions as guidelines for your report, you may not be able to answer all of them, but you should include as many answers as possible in your discussion in Part 1 of your project.
Part 1. Include a complete description of your topic, along with your analysis of the information and impressions of the scholarly treatment of the topic over time, identification of significant problems encountered that would be pertinent for the scholar to know, discussion of the guideline questions presented above, and a statement of conclusions.
Part 2. This part will focus on your search strategy. Discuss the ease or difficulty of access to your subject. Identify problems you encountered of which fellow information specialists should be aware. Note any problems that contribute to difficulties in identifying the research. Are there particular problems of access terminology? Does the access terminology remain constant in the various sources or must you adjust as you move from one source to another? Do the problems differ between specific terms (e.g., names of persons associated with the topic) or the more general terms (e.g., symphony, Gothic novel, Italian architecture)? Is the information in English, or its use of other languages important for thorough coverage of the topic? If your search progressed smoothly, point out the strategy employed that made this possible. This part of the project should focus on your impressions as an information specialist.
Part 3. This section will include the annotated bibliography that will assist your scholar in the defining of the topic. You may include books, articles, monographs, videos, films, tapes, diaries, Internet sites, etc. Please consult a style manual for the proper form of a citation. Annotations are to be singled spaced with in the source entry, and double-spaced between entries. (See example below)
Pierce, P., ed. The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1987.
This resource provides descriptions of places in Australia that have been written about in books. Not only are the places described as they exist today, but descriptive passages from the books are also included. Each entry provides a reference to the location on the maps in the back of the book. An index of authors is also listed.
Ransom, e. W., ed. The Australian National Dictionary . . .
Papers will vary in length because of the differences in attention to the topics as well as differences in the sources used. Your paper should fall within a 10-20 page length, but it may be longer. Be thorough, but please be concise.
The project will be evaluated for resourcefulness in solving the problem, creativity of strategy used, thoroughness of the analysis, appropriateness of the conclusions, and style of presentation.
198-200 A (outstanding work)
192-197 A- (excellent work)
187-191 B+ (very good work)
180-186 B (good-meets all requirements)
177-179 B- (marginal)
174-176 C+ (Unsatisfactory)
171-173 C ( " " )
168-170 C- (Unacceptable)
165-167 D ( " " )
Week One: Introduction
Monday June 19
Introduction to the Class
What are the humanities?
Atkinson, Ross. 1995. "Humanities scholarship and the research library." Library Resources and Technical Services 39:79-84.
Wednesday June 21
Information seeking in the humanities
Humanities Citation Index
Wiberley, Stephen E. 2000. "A Typology of literary scholarship for academic librarians." Pp. 300-18 IN: Literature in English: A guide for librarians in the digital age. (ACRL Publications in Librarianship, 54) Edited by Betty H. Day and William A. Wortman. Chicago: ACRL.
Arac, Jonathan. 1997. "Shop window or laboratory: Collection, collaboration, and the humanities." Pp. 116-26 in The politics of research. Edited by E. Ann Kaplan and George Levine. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1999. "Revolution in the library." Library Trends 47(4):612-20.
Wiberley, Stephen E. 1991. "Habits of humanists: Scholarly behavior and new information technologies." Library Hi Tech 9(1):17-21.
Week Two: General Humanities Sources
Monday June 26
Discussion of General Sources
Citation Index Exercise due
Blazek & Aversa , chapters 1 and 2
Wednesday June 28
Electronic texts in the humanities: guest lecture by Perry Willett
Class will meet at 2:30(?) in LETRS.
Smith, Moira and Paul Yachnes. 1998. "Scholars playground or wisdoms temple? Competing metaphors in a library electronic text center." Library Trends 4694):718-31.
Willett, Perry. 2000. "Management of electronic collections." Pp. 269-279 IN: Literature in English: A guide for librarians in the digital age. (ACRL Publications in Librarianship, 54) Edited by Betty H. Day and William A. Wortman. Chicago: ACRL.
ODonnell, James J. 1993. "The tree of knowledge and how it grows." Serials Librarian 23(3/4): 21-41.
Week Three: Language and Literature
Monday July 3
Discussion of Language and Literature Sources
General Sources Exercise due
Blazek & Aversa, chapters 11 and 12
Wednesday July 5
MLA Bibliography; indexing in the humanities
Tibbo, Helen R. 1994. "Indexing for the humanities." Journal of the American Society for Information Science 45(8):607-19.
Stebelman, Scott. 1994. "Vocabulary control and the humanities: a case study of the MLA International Bibliography." The Reference Librarian 47:61-78.
Cory, Kenneth A. 1999. "Discovering hidden analogies in an online humanities database." Library Trends 48(1):60-72.
Week Four: Performing Arts
Monday July 10
Discussion of Performing Arts Sources
Language and Literature Exercise due
Blazek & Aversa, chapters 9 and 10
Wednesday July 12
Guest lectures: Mary Strow and Emma Dederic-Colon
Week Five: Philosophy
Monday July 17
Discussion of Philosophy Sources
Performing Arts Exercise due
Read: Blazek & Aversa, chapters 3 and 4
Wednesday July 19
Rare Books: a visit to the Lilly Library
Guest lecture: Joel Silver
Traister, Daniel. 1992. "What good is an old book?" Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship 7(1):26-42.
Oram, Richard W. 1997. "Current professional thinking on the deaccessioning of rare books in academic libraries." Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship 12(1):9-18.
Week Six: Religion and Folklore
Monday July 24
Discussion of Religion Sources
Philosophy Exercise due
Blazek & Aversa, chapters 5 and 6
Wednesday July 26
Harris, Wendell V. 1997. "Assessing the publication swamp in literary studies." Journal of Information Ethics 6:47-58.
Gaull, Marilyn. 1997. "From the cave of Urizen: An editor observed." Journal of Information Ethics 6:59-68.
Garson, Lorrin R. 1998. "Can E-journals save us? A publishers view." Journal of Library Administration 26:171-79.
ODonnell, James J. 1998. "Can E-journals save us? A scholars view." Journal of Library Administration 26:181-86.
_______________ 1996. "Five years of Bryn Mawr Classical Review." Serials Librarian 28:223-8.
Week Seven: Fine Arts
Monday July 31
Discussion of Fine Arts Sources
Religion Exercise due
Blazek & Aversa, chapters 7 and 8
Wednesday August 2
Guest lecture: BJ Irvine
Stam, Deborah. 1997. "How art historians look for information." Art Documentation 16 :27-30.
Korenic, Lynette. 1997. "Inside the discipline, outside the paradigm: keeping track of the new art history." Art Libraries Journal 22(3): 12-18.
Week Eight: Wrap-Up
Monday August 7
Fine Arts Exercise due
Willard, Louis Charles. 1994. "The Library Yet to Come." The Reference Librarian 47:193-200.
Wednesday August 9
Final paper due!