REVIEW: Johnson on STN’s 18th Century French Book Trade Database

“Europeans Purchasing a Slave Woman, late 18th cent.,” Guillaume Raynal, Histoire Philosophique et Politique . . . des Europeens dans les Deux Indes (Geneva, 1780), vol. 7, p. 377. (Copy at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University) Image Reference H005 as shown on, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.

From The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe website:

The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project uses database technology to map the trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a celebrated Swiss publishing house that operated between 1769 and 1794.

As the STN sold the works of other publishers alongside its own editions, their archives can be considered a representative source for studying the history of the book trade and dissemination of ideas in the late Enlightenment.

Using state of the art database, web interface and GIS technology, the project provides a user-friendly resource for use by scholars, teachers and students of French literature and history, book history, the Enlightenment and bibliography more generally…

Continue reading “REVIEW: Johnson on STN’s 18th Century French Book Trade Database”

DIGITAL: Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive

Spanning nearly 5,000 years and documenting virtually all forms of media, the Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive is an unprecedented research project devoted to the systematic investigation of how people of African descent have been perceived and represented in art.

Started in 1960 by Jean and Dominique de Mänil in reaction to the continuing existence of segregation in the United States, the Archive contains photographs of approximately 30,000 works of art, each one of which is extensively documented and categorized by the Archive’s staff. For the first thirty years of the project’s existence, the project focused on the production of a prize-winning, four-volume series of generously illustrated books, The Image of the Black in Western Art.

Since moving to Harvard in 1994, the project is focused on the production of the final volume of The Image of the Black in Western Art and expanding access to the Archive itself (prior to its arrival at Harvard, the Archive was only available to scholars working on the published volumes). The Institute hosts conferences, fellowships for scholars, seminars, and exhibitions on issues raised by the Archive, including the African American Art Conference in 2004.

via Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive | W.E.B. Du Bois Institute.  A selection of documents are available online via ArtStor ($$)

WEB: The Internet Library of Sub-Saharan Africa (ilissAfrica)

The internet library sub-Saharan Africa ilissAfrica is a portal that offers an integrated access to relevant scientific conventional and digital information resources on the sub-Saharan Africa region. Information scattered on private or institutional websites, databases or library catalogues are brought together in order to facilitate research. Without ilissAfrica this information has to be collected in a laborious and time-consuming process.


ilissAfrica is hosted by the Africa Department of the University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg in Frankfurt and with the GIGA Information Centre: Africa Library in Hamburg.

via ilissAfrica – About the project.  Visit and search here.

WEB: Yale Slavery and Abolition Portal

This site is designed to help researchers and Yale students find primary sources related to slavery, abolition, and resistance within the university’s many libraries and galleries.

Across the top of the website, you will find the chance to view relevant collections in each Yale institution. You can view items across the different institutions by entering a keyword or phrase on the search page. You can also sort items according to a particular period, place, or topic by selecting a category from the tag cloud. Under links, you will find a collection of electronic databases that provide access to digital resources with significant relevant content.

Every archive or research guide has a bias, and this website is no exception. We have chosen only a small sample of collections from a variety of repositories across the Yale campus. We hope that these collections will provide a sense of the breadth and depth of the primary source material available to researchers and students. Some of the collections we have chosen to highlight are available in full online. Others have been digitized in part. Many collections are available only in hard copy or on microfilm and are not represented here.

via About | Yale Slavery and Abolition Portal.

WEB: Katherine Dunham at LOC

“Katherine Dunham was an American dancer-choreographer who was best known for incorporating African American, Caribbean, African, and South American movement styles and themes into her ballets. The Katherine Dunham Collection at the Library of Congress consists of moving image materials that document the extraordinary journey of a woman who changed the face of American modern dance.”

Selected materials available at the Library of Congress website: Women’s History Month: Katherine Dunham « In the Muse.

Original Jazz CD Celebrates Frederick Douglass

“Frederick Douglass was a powerful orator and a gifted writer. So it is an apt tribute to the great abolitionist and longtime Rochester resident that the new jazz CD A Sky with More Stars — Suite for Frederick Douglass should celebrate both the authority of his words and the precision of their form.

Along with the “seamless logic” of Douglass’s arguments, which played a key role in the abolition of slavery, there is an “inherent musicality” to his writing that this new album captures, says Jeffrey Tucker, director of the University of Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies and associate professor of English, who wrote the CD’s liner notes. “A Sky with More Stars is a fitting showcase of his artistry.”

The album weaves together Douglass’s words, delivered by University Vice President Paul Burgett, with interpretive jazz by composers Tyrone Brown and John Blake of Philadelphia. The result, enthuses an early reviewer, is “an eloquent album filled with music as stirring as the words they augment….””

The CD uses texts and documents from the University of Rochester’s Frederick Online Douglass Project

Read more: Original Jazz CD Celebrates Frederick Douglass : University of Rochester News.

WEB: Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique – Nigeria

Re-launched website:

“IFRA-Nigeria is a non profit Institute set up to promote research in the social sciences and the humanities, as well as enhance collaborative work between scholars in France and West Africa. First established in 1990 and financed by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Institute has now been operating from the Universities of Ibadan (Institute of African Studies) and Zaria (Institute for Development Research) since 2006. IFRA’s mandate includes subsidizing research programs, (…)”

Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique – Nigeria.

CONF: Haiti’s Archives in the Balance

Haiti’s Archives in the Balance

Conference featuring Haitian archivist Patrick Tardieu, Haitian historian Jean Casimir, Duke faculty Ian Baucom, Laurent Dubois, Deborah Jenson, and Deborah Jakubs and Digital Library of the Caribbean coordinator, Brooke Wooldridge.

Sponsored by the Duke University Center for French and Francophone Studies.

Date: Monday, February 15, 2010
Time:  12:00pm-4:00pm
Location:  Perkins Library, Room 217, Duke University

Center for French and Francophone Studies
Duke University, Box 90257
Durham, NC 27708
Phone:  919-660-3112
Fax:  919-684-4029
Email: laurent dot dubois at duke dot edu

Haiti Earthquakes: More Updates

These are a only a FEW of the many updates from various sources.  For the most reliable regular updates from closest to the ground (IMHO), please subscribe to the Bob Corbett Haiti and Haitian diaspora listserv (send an email to corbetre at webster dot edu).  For regular academic updates please see subscribe to related listservs on H-Net.

From TransAfrica Forum:

Summary:  As the full scope of the damage wrought by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 is revealed, calls for increased coordination and faster, more efficient aid delivery increase.  The outpouring of support from nations and individuals around the world has been massive and immediate.  Yet, getting relief to communities and individuals in need has been painfully slow.  Reasons for the bottleneck in aid delivery vary, but include structural bureaucracies, and a weakened Haitian government that has lost human and material infrastructure.   The latest barriers to aid delivery have been misinformation and rumors regarding the security situation in the country.  The priority for every country and agency working in Haiti must be the efficient and efficacious delivery of relief to communities in need. Thousands of lives are at risk due to delays in distributing food, water, medical equipment, and supplies.  Please contact the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (, 202.712.4810), which is coordinating the U.S. relief efforts.”

Read the rest here.

From Haiti Soleil:

“Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Message from Executive Director on the Earthquake in Haiti

Dear Friends,
As many of you know by now, Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Pictures of damaged and collapsed buildings, including governmental structures such as the presidential palace and popular tourist destinations such as Hotel Montana, have been circulating all over the news and major online social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The offices of major international relief agencies have been toppled, making rescue efforts very difficult. Repeated images of little bodies under the rubble and bruised victims on bloody concrete streets have us all gasping in horror. The city of Port-au-Prince appears to be in ruins. Haitians in the capital are, needless to say, frantic. Many are now homeless, displaced and in need of refuge. Haitian Americans all over the United States are shocked and desperate to reach loved ones back at home. The situation is dire.
I was just beginning to recover from jet lag when I received the news of the earthquake yesterday afternoon around 2pm PST. I returned from Haiti this past Thursday after spending an entire month there setting up a small computer lab at Bibliothèque du Soleil, our community library in Carrefour-Feuilles, Port-au-Prince. My nonprofit organization, Haiti Soleil, received a generous grant from the Irene Scully Family Foundation to increase the services and develop the programs we offer at the library. We also received support and in-kind donations from the Center for Black Studies here at UCSB, The French Department at UC Berkeley, and individual donors for the library’s youth Christmas celebration on December 24, 2009.
December was a great month for the most part. Staff morale at the library was high.

Overall, many folks in Haiti were relieved that the country experienced a relatively quiet cyclone season. We were also very hopeful as we witnessed some visible signs of development (i.e., investments in the form of hotels and businesses, airport improvements, new airlines flying into Haiti, better roads, more tourist travel….). It is devastating that we are starting the new year with such catastrophe. Haiti does not have the infrastructure to deal with an earthquake and its aftermath. We have no idea how many lives have been lost, nor do we know how long it will take to recover from this humanitarian disaster. Tough times are indeed ahead for a city that is already dealing with overpopulation, growing bidonvilles (shanty towns), and environmental degradation.
I have not heard from my father, the staff of Bibliothèque du Soleil, and the friends in Haiti who support our efforts when we are there. I have been calling my dad repeatedly with no success. I talked to my father just a few hours before the earthquake over an unresolved customer service issue with a computer store in Delmas. Frustrated, I did not get a chance to tell him I loved him before hanging up.
The earthquake is heartbreaking news. I have been receiving a number of calls and emails from concerned individuals wishing to help in any way possible. I am heartened by those who have reached out by extending sympathies and offering encouraging words. For those who are interested in supporting direct relief agencies, please consider donating to organizations such as Doctors without Borders and Partners in Health. I hear that Fondation Connaissance & Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (FOKAL), a foundation that supports our library in Haiti, is also accepting donations specifically for relief efforts. Other organizations like The Lambi Fund of Haiti provide long term support. Small nonprofit organizations like Haiti Soleil are in need of volunteers interested in supporting educational development in Haiti.
The Board of Haiti Soleil is monitoring the situation in Haiti. As soon as we hear from the staff of Bibliothèque du Soleil, we will post a message on our website and send an email to our supporters.
In Solidarity,
Nadège T. Clitandre, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Haiti Soleil, Inc.

“The Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) expresses our solidarity with the people of Haiti whose lives have been irrevocably changed by the recent earthquake.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and survivors of this disaster, as well as to their families, loved ones, and friends across the world.  Given the historical importance of Haiti to the African-descended everywhere, ASWAD calls for immediate humanitarian aid and justice for the Haitian people.  We urge our membership to contribute to an organization of their choice.  A list of organizations can be found below.

The Haiti Emergency Relief Fund:


Médecins sans Frontières:

Partners in Health:

Save the Children:

Red Cross:

or to the relief agencies established in your area”

From Elizabeth Dillon (via H-FrenchColonial):
Dear Friends,

In support of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, I have started a fund-raising campaign, “Scholars for Haiti,” to collect donations for the aid organization, Partners in Health, run by Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl.  Please go to for details and please consider making a contribution (be it ever so small!) if you are able to do so.

I have also posted this as a facebook event, which I encourage you to attend as well if you are on facebook:  The facebook event will allow you to post links, if you would like to do so, and to follow some discussion concerning the historical dimensions of the current tragedy unfolding in Haiti.

Whether you are able to make a financial donation or not, I would be most grateful if you would forward this message to those in your own network of friends and colleagues, and encourage them to contribute to the relief of the current suffering of our neighbors in Haiti.

With many thanks,

*   *   *
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon
Associate Professor of English
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115″

HNOC Podcasts: Creole Cottage Tour & More

Available via iPod and cell phone:

“The Historic New Orleans Collection is now offering a free, self-guided version of its Courtyards and Architecture Tour by iPod and cell phone.

Introduced in 2008, the latest permanent offering at The Collection uses the eight historic buildings and four courtyards of The Collection’s Royal Street complex to illustrate the urban history of the Vieux Carré. Two of the featured structures—the Louis Adam House (1788) and the Merieult House (1792)—are among the oldest properties in the French Quarter. The tour explores the distinguishing characteristics of Spanish colonial, Creole, and American architectural styles; the evolution of French Quarter architecture; and the people who influenced the neighborhood’s development.

To experience the self-guided options, individuals can download the tour to their iPods through The Collection’s website (see “Podcasts” under the “Interact” link) and through iTunes (search for “New Orleans History” under “Podcasts”). iPods are also available for on-site use in the Orientation Center at 533 Royal Street. For the tour via cell phone, call (504) 799-0178 to be guided along Royal and Toulouse Streets. Building-specific codes are provided at the entrances to the Merieult House (533 Royal Street), the Townhouse (714 Toulouse Street), the Williams Residence (718 Toulouse Street), the Louis Adam House (722 Toulouse Street), and the Creole Cottage (726–28 Toulouse Street).

Of course, patrons are still welcome to take the tour with one of our docents. Guided tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or free for members of The Collection.”

Historic New Orleans Collection