Scientific report on the implementation of the project between January and December 2012
During this stage of the project, team members were active according to the following directions:
- The database
After analyzing the offers received for the online database, the team has decided to employ the database offered on the Zotero platform (www.zotero.org), as it was the most suitable to team work. Each member of the team can see and complete, when needed, the data added by the other members. The database is currently accessible only to team members, but at the end of the project it will be uploaded on the served of the History and Philosophy Faculty or that of the Central University Library and will be made accessible to the general public.
Organizing the database and the effort of identifying the electronic and printed bibliographical sources was and is performed by consulting certain specialists in the field from Romania and abroad; in the same time, team members have established contacts and established partnerships with significant European libraries such as the Siebenbürgen-Institut in Gundelsheim, affiliated to Universität Heidelberg, the Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS) in Regensburg, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek din München, and the online portals vifaost.de, vifarom.de, and ostdok.de.
The website of the project's database is located at http://www.zotero.org/groups/historical_bibliography_of_romania.
Just like all other bibliographies, the one designed through our project raised the issue of how to organize the bibliographic material. The starting principles were chronological and geographical, so that each historical province received an independent chronological and thematic structure up to the time when it became a province of modern Romania; after that, the respective bibliographic material was included in the structure corresponding to Romania. Further more, each province was delegated a particular chronology, according to its specific historical peculiarities. For example, Transylvania includes the following categories: Synthesis works, Prehistory and Antique History, Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (4th-9th centuries), Classical and Late Middle Ages (10th century-1541), and the Early Modern and Modern Eras, with two sub-divisions (between 1541 and 1699 and between 1699 and 1918). Each category is structured according to the following topics: General Aspects; Society and Economy; State, Administration, Army; Culture and Religion; and External Policy. Another historical province, Bucovina, was delegated a less developed structure (The Modern Era), since until 1744 it was part of Moldavia and between 1918 and 1940 it was part of Romania.
Besides the bibliographic categories created according to territorial and chronological criteria, the structure of our database also includes several topic-related categories: historical sources, historiography, historical auxiliary sciences, local history, personalities etc.
Each title inserted in the database has been assigned between three and five keywords that will allow easier thematic searches. Up to the present state of the project, ca. 100 keywords have been established.
Establishing the criteria for including each entry into a certain category raised another ample discussion, inherent to all large-scale bibliographic efforts; we thus aimed at reconstructing as accurately as possible the complexity of the historiography under discussion (especially in the case of works referring to multiple historical periods, regions, or topics etc.).
Designing the general and detailed structure of the database required numerous team meetings, with changes included as the work progressed since, after the inclusion of certain titles it became apparent that some categories had to be reorganized and new categories had to be added.
Up to the present state of the project, ca. 1000 titles were included in the database: books, brochures, articles in periodicals and collective volumes, but the titles taken under consideration were ten times more numerous. This activity is still being performed and will continue after the completion of the project.
In order to select these titles, the team employed various bibliographic sources:
- Printed bibliographies that are not available in electronic formats:
- Bibliografia Istorică a României (the first volumes)
- Historische Bücherkunde Südosteuropa. Hg. Von Mathias Bernath. Leitung und Redaktion Gertrud Krallert. Band 1. Mittelalter. II. Teil. 1980, R. Oldenbourg Verlag, München,
- Bibliographisches Handbuch der ethnischen Gruppen Südosteuropas. Hg. von Gerhard Seewann und Peter Dippold. Bd. 1 und 2. 1997, R. Oldenbourg Verlag, München,
- Südosteuropa-Dissertationen. 1918-1960. Eine Bibliographie deutscher, österreichischer und schweizerischer Hochschulschriften. Von Anton Scherer. 1968, Hermann Böhlaus Nachf., Graz-Wien-Köln,
- Repertorium Transylvanicum. Eine Einführung in die wissenschaftliche Literatur über Siebenbürgen. Hg. Von Harald Roth. Verlag Südostdeutsches Kulturwerk, München, 1990,
- Sorin Mitu, The bibliography of Romanian nationalism & ethnicity in western languages. Cluj-Napoca, International Book Access, 2008
- Online library catalogues:
In conclusion, we believe that the ongoing collection of information for the database will provide a bibliographic working tool useful to both Romanian and foreign researchers and that, through its structure and chronology (chronologies) the present database is superior to all other Romanian bibliographies available until now.
- The survey applied to certain preeminent Romanian and foreign historians on the current state of the art of works focusing on the history of Romanians published in foreign languages.
This activity involved several stages:
- Team members designed a questionnaire that included several questions:
- * "How do you evaluate the global visibility of Romanian historiography written in international languages?";
- * "Do you believe that special programs are required in order to improve the global visibility of Romanian history and historiography? If so, through which means?";
- * "In your opinion, which are the mechanism through which Romanian historians can publish in international languages?";
- * "In your opinion, which were the themes and topics of Romanian history mostly touched upon by Romanian and foreign historians in works published in international languages? Which were the causes/reasons behind such options?";
- * "In your opinion, what place does the history of the present-day Romanian area occupy among European historiographic interests?"
The questionnaire, created in both Romanian and English, will be sent out to selected historians.
Team members have compiled a list of Romanian, European, and North-American historians, specialists in Romanian history, who were contacted through email or the postal services. 10 out of the more than 25 contacted historians accepted to answer the questionnaire, from Austria (Max Demeter Peyfuss), Germany (Ernst Suttner, Krista Zach), Ireland (Graeme Murdock), Romania (Sorin Mitu, Şerban Papacostea, Zoe Petre, Răzvan Theodorescu), and the USA (Florin Curta, Keith Hitchins). The answers proved to be not only relevant to the development of the current project, but also full of useful suggestions to be employed in the development of the project along future directions. Under this aspect, we believe that one answer is particularly revealing: Keith Hitchins, professor at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign and one of the most well-known foreign specialists on the history of Romanians, answered that according to him understanding the history of Romanians contributes to a better understanding of the history of Europe, especially in connection to the modernization of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; in the absence of such contributions, and others concerning the other states of Eastern Europe, publications on "modern Europe" written by Western European historians remain, inevitably, incomplete. Professor Hitchins even suggested that expanding the core idea of our project would be useful under the form of a periodical focusing on a constant dialogue between historians from different parts of the world who are interested in Romanian history.
- Received answers were the starting point of an article developed as a discussion soon to be published in the periodical Colloquia: Journal of Central European history, tome XIX, 2012, under the section "Discussion" that is dedicated precisely to such historiographic initiatives. The periodical is published by the Institute for Central-Eastern European Studies, integrated in the structure of the History and Philosophy Faculty of the "Babeş-Bolyai" University; it is printed in English and is well distributed among specialists in the field.
- Dissemination of results
This activity was performed according to the following directions:
- presentations during conferences and research stays in Romanian and abroad:
- 23.05.2012: researcher Daniela Mârza presented a paper entitled "Transilvania – spaţiu al mai multor lumi: o abordare istoriografică (epoca modernă)" [Transylvania – a land of several worlds: a historiographical approach (the Modern Era)], during the academic colloquium "Transilvania şi Basarabia – la graniţa Imperiilor" [Transylvania and Basarabia – on the border between Empires], organized part of the Romanian Academy Days by the Center for Transylvanian Studies, Cluj-Napoca.
- 19-22.06.2012: researcher Daniela Mârza presented a paper entitled "Gateways to the international historical research: the Romanian historiography written in Western languages", during the "International Conference for Academic Disciplines", Florence, Italy.
- 27.08 – 9.09.2012: Univ. Lector Radu Mârza PhD performed a documentation stage in Vienna, Austria, at the University of Vienna – The Institute for Romanist Studies and the Institute for South-Eastern Europe
- 30.08.2012: Univ. Lector Radu Mârza PhD organized a discussion on the project’s topic at the Institut für Romanistik of the University of Vienna, with the participation of historians and Romanian specialists such as docent Petrea Lindenbauer, Prof. Michael Metzeltin (Universität Wien), Prof. Thede Kahl (Universität Wien, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena), PhD Ioana Revnic, PhD Holger Wochele (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena).
- 3.09.2012: Univ. Lector Radu Mârza PhD organized a similar discussion in Bratislava (The Slovak Republic), at the History Institute of the Slovak Academy of Science (HÚ SAV). Several specialists took part, such as: Prof. Roman Holec, Conf. Ján Lukačka ("Ján Amos Komenský" University of Bratislava, PhD candidate Adam Hudek, PhD Gabriela Dudeková, Marina Zavacká, Elena Mannová (History Institute of the Slovak Academy of Science in Bratislava).
- 10.11-09.12.2012: researcher Cosmin Rusu performed a documentation stay in several prestigious libraries in Germany (Humboldt Universität Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa Oldenburg, Siebenbürgen-Institut, Gundelsheim am Neckar, Universität Stuttgart, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München). During this period he has organized a number of workshops on the project’s topic, as follows:
- 20.11.2012: workshop Historiography in International Languages (DE, EN, FR, IT, ES) with reference to the territory of Romania I. The Context of South-East-Central Europe. Partner institutions: Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg and Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa, Oldenburg. Participants: apl. Prof. Dr. Matthias Weber, Hon.-Prof. Dr. Konrad Gündisch, Dr. Marco Bogade, Iris Schepermann. Topic of the discussions: the historiography of the Romanian area in the context of South-East-Central European, mainly focusing on works published in German.
- 23.11.2012: workshop Historiography in International Languages (DE, EN, FR, IT, ES) with reference to the territory of Romania II. The History of Transylvania. Partner Institution: Universität Heidelberg, Siebenbürgen Institut/Siebenbürgische Bibliothek, Gundelsheim am Neckar. Participants: Dipl.-Bibl. (FH) Christian Rother, Dipl.-Bibl. (FH) Hannelore Schnabel, Hon.-Prof. Dr. Konrad Gündisch. Topic of the discussions: The history of Transylvania in the historiography written in international languages (DE, EN, FR, IT, ES).
- 26.11.2012: workshop Historiography in International Languages (DE, EN, FR, IT, ES) with reference to the territory of Romania III. Prehistory and Classical Antiquity (Greek, Dacian, Daco-roman). Partner Institution: Universität Stuttgart, Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, Historisches Institut – Abteilung für Alte Geschichte. Participants: Prof. Dr. Holger Sonnabend, Dr. Frank Daubner, Dr. Frauke Sonnabend, M. A. Christian Winkle. Topic of the discussions: the historiography of Istoriografia of Prehistory and Classical Antiquity (Greek, Dacian, Daco-roman). In international languages (DE, EN, FR, IT, ES) with reference to the territory of Romania – past, present, and perspectives.
- publication of academic works:
- researcher Cosmin Rusu: the article Ein notwendiges Projekt – Historische Bibliographie in 'internationalen Sprachen' (DE, EN, FR, IT, ES) unter Bezugnahme auf die Geschichte Rumäniens. Metodische Perspektiven auf die Struktur und Chronologie der Forschung [A necessary project – historical bibliography in international languages (DE, EN, FR, IT, ES) referring to Romania. Methodological perspectives on the structure and chronology of research], submitted for publication with the Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa (Der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien), affiliated to the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg – Online Publikationen (http://www.bkge.de/7090.html),
- Lector Dr. Radu Mârza: Discussion. The International Visibility of the Romanian Historiography and History, in Colloquia. Journal of Central-European History, vol. XIX, 2012 (under ISI evaluation for accreditation),
- researcher Daniela Mârza: the article Les institutions dans l’historiographie roumaine: Ouvrages parus pendant les deux dernières décennies dans des langues de circulation internationale, in Transylvanian Review, no. 3/2012 (periodical type "A" according to the UEFISCDI classification; the only Romanian periodical accredited ISI, included in the EBSCO and SCOPUS databases).
- During the documentation for this project, it became apparent that the approach of certain topics in larger works was desirable. Thus, researcher Daniela Mârza took advantage of this opportunity in her volume entitled Reviste româneşti de istorie publicate în limbi de circulaţie internaţională, [Romanian History Periodicals Published in International Languages] Academia Română / Centrul de Studii Transilvane, Cluj, 2012, ISBN 978-973-7784-83-4, 200 p.
At the end of this year, one can say that the team involved in this project progressed significantly, by surpassing certain unexpected methodological challenges and gaining better knowledge of the bibliographic material available. The results obtained are in the same time solid and promising bases for the future development of the project.