Friday 18 May 2007

Internet resources

Like I stated in my welcome post to this blog, there are thousands of internet sites about vampires but I know of very few that are really useful for my purposes. There is, however, a great deal of material that can be useful, one example being the databases of libraries, another digitalized books.

Google's book search is often pretty confusing. A lot of the books are not fully available, and some of them have even been scanned so hurriedly that pages are missing. However, the general idea of establishing an online library of practically any book is ingenious and most welcome, and I have of course also been able to find interesting material using it.

A lot of libraries these days have their own online section of high quality digitalized books. The national library in my own country, the Royal Danish Library, has a number of digital facsimiles on their web site. One example is a Danish translation of a book on the dance of the dead, but you can also find the latin lext of the Gesta Danorum, and there is even a section on fabulous creatures. Unfortunately, a number of these resources are only available in Danish, so beware!

For the study of Magia Posthuma, other resources may prove more helpful. Here I will only mention one, the Gallica of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, but I will return to the subject in future posts.

Gallica is a very large collection of French books and texts. So you can e.g. find a digital facsimile of the Encyclopédie ou Dictionaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers with a definition of a vampire, and the text of the Lettres Juives ou Correspondance philosophique, historique et critique entre un juif voyageur et ses correspondans en divers endroits with its 137th letter on vampires by the Marquis d'Argent.

Of particular interest is the digital facsimile of Augustin Calmet's 1751 "nouvelle édition revûe, corrigée & augmentée" of Traité sur les apparitions des esprits, et sur les vampires, ou les revenans de Hongrie, de Moravie, &c. So with Gallica you can have the 1751 original text at your hand for reading or reference, which can come in very handy when you are studying the Magia Posthuma and e.g. wish to read Calmet's reference to de Schertz's book:

"Ces apparitions ont donné occasion à un petit ouvrage intitulé: Magia posthuma, composé par Charles Ferdinand de Schertz, imprimé à Olmuz en 1706. dédié au Prince Charles de Lorraine Evêque d'Olmutz & d'Osnabruch." (Tome II, p. 32f)

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