Česká literární bibliografie Czech Literary Bibliography

Future of Czech and Polish Literary Bibliography

The CLB’s main foreign partners are its Polish counterparts, the Polish Literary Bibliography (PLB, Polska Bibliografia Literacka) and the Polish Digital Humanities Centre (Centrum Humanistyky Cyfrowej) at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk, IBL PAN).

The partnership between the CLB and PLB was fostered through the project Future of Polish and Czech Literary Bibliography: Towards Integration and Applications in Comparative Research (investigators Vojtěch Malínek and Piotr Wciślik), which was supported by the Czech and Polish Academies of Sciences between 2017 and 2019.  During the project, four or five CLB researchers and the same number of PLB or Digital Humanities Centre staff worked in the infrastructure of their foreign counterpart for one week each year. Points of connection were quickly identified and the exchange visits were used to work intensively on common tasks and publications and conduct workshops with researchers from the other country. 

Highlights of the CLB–IBL collaboration to date include:
  • CLB coordinator Vojtěch Malínek’s participation in round-table discussions of the digital humanities in Warsaw (November 19, 2018)
  • Polish scholar Maciej Maryl (IBL)‘s presentation “The Literary Transition in Poland Viewed Through Bibliographical Data (1989−2000)” at the Literary Studies Forum in Prague (October 23,  2018)
  • Vojtěch Malínek (CLB) and Tomasz Umerle (IBL)‘s joint presentation “What (not) to document?” on methodological issues in creating web bibliographies, presented at the DocuMedia Revolution conference (Turin, October 5, 2018)
  • Pavla Hartmanová and P. Czwordon-Lis’s paper “The Reflection of Literary Activities in Digital Space”, presented at a conference on grey literature at the National Technical Library in Prague; a version of this paper was also published in Grey Journal (2019), which is indexed in the SCOPUS database
  • Tomasz Umerle, Piotr Wciślik and Vojtěch Malínek’s joint paper “From Reference Book to Research Data: Literary Bibliographies as Sources for Data-driven Research” at the DH2019 conference (Utrecht, July 11, 2019)
  • The final project workshop “Future of Czech and Polish Literary Bibliography” featuring eight papers (a detailed programme is available here)
  • The preparation of a bibliographic database of Polish dissident culture in the Czech lands (G. Romanová, A. Gnot, C. Rosiński, coordinated by P. Wciślik)
  • IBL data expert Cezary Rosiński‘s two-month secondment in Prague in 2018 and 2019. Among other things, this exchange helped generate a script to convert  MARC21 data to machine-readable tables (2018) and a second script to convert PLB data from proprietary format to MARC21 (2019)

The most significant outcome of the CLB–IBL collaboration is undoubtedly the Bibliographical Data Working Group, which is part of the DARIAH-ERIC consortium. A joint initiative of Tomasz Umerle and Vojtěch Malínek in late 2018, the group was officially approved by the DARIAH administrators in September 2019. Its main goal is to provide a platform for the discussion of European standards among bibliographers, data researchers, IT developers and other individuals and institutions dealing with bibliographical issues. The working group currently comprises around 30 researchers from 15 different countries. More details are available here.

The close cooperation between these two institutes also prompted calls for a common platform to present their data uniformly. The outcome of these discussions was the Literary Bibliography Research Infrastructure (LiBRI) project, which is responsible for the libri.ucl.cas.cz database. IT infrastructure for the site, including a VuFind discovery system, has been provided by ICL and the partners are working on aligning their data and unifying access thesauri based on internationally persistent identifier systems (e.g. VIAF, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.). We are exploring the possibility of adding more national literary studies bibliographies to this resource. Negotiations with Hungarian and Slovak colleagues are under way.