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German Language & Literature

This guide is an introduction to some of the major reference works and databases of scholarly research in the field of German language and literature.


Brockhaus EnzyklopaŐądie (Brockhaus Encyclopedia)
Call number: AE27 .G67 1986 (Reference) - 24 vol. encyclopedia consisting mostly of brief entries covering the arts, geography, history, international studies, politics, science, and more. Longer essays on "key subjects" (Schluesselbegriffe) are inserted occasionally (identified by a blue line in the margin), and the yearbooks (1993-present) contain full-length articles on major issues in Germany, Europe, and the world.  The set also includes a 3-vol. German dictionary, a one volume German-English Dictionary, a volume of addenda, and an index to the biographical entries.  Many full-color illustrations.  Easy to overlook but full of many practical features that can enrich vocabulary and understanding of the modern German-speaking countries.

Der Kleine Brockhaus  ("Little" Brockhaus)
Call number: AG27 .K622 (Reference) - The world as we knew it in 1961, in 2 vols.: 80,000 entries, 5,000 color and b/w illustrations; maps, summaries, chronologies (e.g. World Wars I & II).

Duden-Lexikon  (Duden Lexicon)
Call number: AG27 .D8 v.1-5 (Reference)- Published in 1965, vols. 1-3 have 75,000 entries, 7,000 photos and illustrations; maps, charts, summaries. Vol.4 has addenda, plus an atlas.Vol. 5 has more addenda, a list of the most important summaries (inaccurate page numbers, however), and a list of 60,000 essential books arranged by subject.

Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon  (Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon)
Call number: AE27 .M6 1978 (Reference) -Similar to the Brockhaus Enz. above. 25 vols. with entries of varying length on science, history, geography, biography, international organizations, and much more. Maps of major cities of the world, Germany, and German-speaking countries. Final volume lists authors, titles, and location of longer essays on current themes.

Die deutschsprachige Sachliteratur (Non-fiction in German)
Call number:  Z1035.3 .D53 (Reference) - 1978 work containing broad philosophical essays on the most important books written in German in the arts and sciences, including Catholic and Protestant theology.  Focus is on post-1945 developments, although older works are mentioned in order to present historical trends.


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James Barickman
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Howe Library