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Bibliographies in the University Library Graz

A bibliography or bibliography ( ancient Greek for "book description", formerly also bibliognosie or bibliology ) is an independent directory of references or the creation or teaching of the creation of such a directory.

In the past, bibliography was also commonly used as an expression for book studies .

While the monograph contains a complete treatise on a subject, the bibliography provides a complete overview of the literature on a subject under a specific selection criterion. The composition of the titles can be alphabetical, systematic or even chronological , depending on the expediency , whereby the value of the titles can also be taken into account. Bibliographies that show literature used in it as part of another work are more likely to be referred to as a bibliography . The person who creates a bibliography is called a bibliographer.

Application and forms

Bibliographies are an essential tool in the science and development of literature , for example in libraries (there collected in the form of library catalogs or union catalogs , which can be viewed as a subset of the bibliography). In contrast to classic library catalogs, bibliographies can also list dependent literature , i.e. articles from journals and edited volumes ( journal databases ) that often cannot be identified otherwise.

Depending on the content, a distinction is made between general bibliographies and specialist bibliographies , as they are always geared towards a very specific purpose. This can be a content-related topic (complete literature of a subject, complete thematic directory), but also, for example, the place of publication (national bibliography, university publications and others). Common types of bibliographies are:

  • National bibliographies and regional bibliographies list works within a specific area. A national bibliography lists all of the publications in a country, as opposed to a regional bibliography that relates to a specific region. It is usually prepared by a country's national library. The German National Bibliography is compiled by the German National Library (DNB) and is the largest directory of German-language literature. It records all mandatory copies sent in of publications in Germany and German-language publications published abroad, including translations into German, as well as media works on Germany and German personalities. In Switzerland there is the Swiss book . National bibliographies mostly appear in annual volumes, now also completely on CD-ROM . There are also such directories for certain time periods.
  • Specialized bibliographies list literature on a certain subject (e.g. history) or a sub-area of ​​the subject (e.g. ancient history).
  • Special bibliographies list specialist literature on specific, more precisely defined topics in a subject.
  • Personal bibliographies list texts written by a specific person ( subjective personal bibliography ) or about a specific person ( objective personal bibliography ).
  • Annotated bibliographies (including analytical bibliographies , bibliographie raisonnée ) not only list the titles and publication dates, but also comment on or assess the works according to their content.
  • Hidden bibliographies are called bibliographies that are attached to a work and cannot be recognized as independently published works.

The periodic lists that exist for almost every country are a special category. The first such directories were created in Germany, the Frankfurter Messkatalog (1564–1749) and Leipziger Messkatalog (1594–1860), later the Bibliography of Germany […] by Brockhaus (1826) and the General Bibliography , published by Hinrichs (1842), since 1893 under the title: Weekly directory of the published and prepared news from the German book trade .

In addition, there are also bibliophile bibliographies , recommending bibliographies , general bibliographies , bibliographies of bibliographies (second-degree bibliographies or metabibliographies ) and bibliographies of bibliographies of bibliographies (third-degree bibliographies).

Bibliographies are traditionally mostly published in book form; today the electronic form as a CD database or as an online database is becoming more and more popular. Other examples are the file form , for example in library catalogs, or the tape form, in library catalogs of older date, here the recordings were continuously noted on blank pages and glued into book volumes. Supplements were added in strip form or as whole pages. A more recent form of bibliography or catalog is the microfiche technique with appropriate reading devices. However, it is now being completely replaced by electronic databases.

In 1898 Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine founded the Mundaneum in Brussels under the name Institut International de Bibliographie (IIB) with the intention of capturing the entire literature of the world as a bibliography in card boxes .

Bibliographies in databases and catalogs

In Germany until the 20th century, the instructions for alphabetical catalogs of the Prussian Libraries ( Prussian Instructions for short ), which deal in detail with the inclusion and order or classification of titles and author names, were primarily used for creating bibliographies . The " Wikipedia: Citation Rules", for example, form their own set of rules . There are usually standards (e.g. RAK , AACR ) and data formats ( e.g. MARC , MAB , Dublin Core , BibTeX ) for indexing literature in a bibliography with the help of metadata . For private use, there are various reference management programs for creating and managing bibliographies . In addition to the work of libraries and authors , bibliographies are also created jointly by private individuals in certain areas - for example the comic guide and the CD title database freedb . However, these databases are often not referred to directly as bibliographies - also because they rarely meet library and academic standards. Also, library catalogs are usually referred to only as a bibliography, if they are present as inventories in print.

In 1998 , the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) presented the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, a data model for structuring bibliographic databases that defines four basic entities :

  • work : a spiritual or artistic creation (e.g. Goethe's Faust )
  • expression : a realization of a creation through editing, editing, translation, etc. (for example a read version of Goethe's Faust )
  • manifestation : a physical implementation of an expression (e.g. a specific audio book edition)
  • item : a single copy of a manifestation (for example a specific CD)

The Library of Congress catalog is an important bibliographic literature database for university libraries .

List of bibliographies


The number of bibliographies created so far is very high. There are therefore a number of bibliographies that only list bibliographies and that could therefore be referred to as metabibliographies (bibliographies of bibliographies). The most important are:

  • Hartmut Walravens (Ed.): International Bibliography of Bibliographies 1959–1988. IBB . Saur, Munich 1998-2007, ISBN 3-598-33734-5 (13 vols .; parallel title: International bibliography of bibliographies ).
  • Theodore Besterman: A world bibliography of bibliographies and of bibliographical catalogs, calendars, abstracts, digests, indexes, and the like . 4th ed. Rowan & Littlefield, Totwan, NJ 1980 (5 vols.)

There are already a number of metabibliographies on individual subject areas, so that compiling a bibliography of the metabibliographies would make sense.

Secondary literature on bibliography:

  • Helmut Allischewski: Bibliography. A textbook with a description of more than 300 catalogs of publications and general reference works . Reichert, Wiesbaden 1986, ISBN 3-88226-253-2 .
  • Eberhard Bartsch: The bibliography . Saur, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-598-10878-8 .
  • Friedrich Domay: Form theory of the bibliographical determination. An introduction to the practice of literature indexing . Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1968.
  • Curt Fleischhack : Basic bibliographical knowledge . Bibliographical Institute, Leipzig 1968.
  • Gisela Heinrich, Wolfgang Thauer: Bibliography and information service as a subject. Two lectures, held at an advanced training seminar at the University of Applied Sciences for Libraries, Stuttgart, 21./22. Nov 1974 . German Library Association, Berlin 1975.
  • Hans-Joachim Koppitz: Basics of the bibliography . Verlag Documentation, Munich 1977, ISBN 3-7940-3182-2 .
  • Joachim Krause: Bibliographing in Practice and Class . 4. rework. Ed. Verlag Buchhandler heute, Düsseldorf 1991, ISBN 3-920514-00-9 .
  • Friedrich Nestler: Introduction to the bibliography. Completely revised on the basis of the work of Georg Schneider (Bibliothek des Buchwesens; 16). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-7772-0509-5 .
  • Georg Schneider, Friedrich Nestler: Handbook of the bibliography . [Karl W. Hiersemann Verlag, Leipzig, 1923]. 6th, completely revised edition. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-7772-9910-3 .
  • Wilhelm R. Schmidt u. a .: Bibliography of German Linguistics and Literature Studies . Klostermann, Frankfurt / M. 2008, ISBN 978-3-465-03567-1 .
  • Wilhelm Totok , Rolf Weitzel : Handbook of bibliographical reference works. 2nd Edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1959; 6th, revised edition, ibid 1984 (2 volumes).
  • Dirk Wissen: Future of Bibliography, Bibliography of the Future. A survey of experts using Delphi technology in archives and libraries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland . Logos-Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-8325-1777-9 (also dissertation, University of Vienna 2007)

Web links

Wikibooks: From Bibliography to Information Sciences  - Learning and Teaching Materials
Wiktionary: Bibliography  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Bibliographies  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. See Klaus Gantert: "Libraries", Clio-online. Specialist portal for the historical sciences ( Memento from August 15, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) '.
  2. ^ Rolf Engelsing: A bibliographical plan from the year 1826. In: Börsenblatt for the German book trade - Frankfurter edition. No. 89, November 5, 1968 (= Archive for the History of Books . Volume 62), p. 2869 f., Here: p. 2869 f.
  3. See the chapter structure by Friedrich Nestler and Georg Schneider: Introduction to the Bibliography , Hiersemann Verlag: Stuttgart 2005.
  4. Exemplary edition: Instructions for alphabetical catalogs of the Prussian libraries dated May 10, 1899. Second edition in the version dated August 10, 1908. Behrend & Co, Berlin 1915; Manual printing 1944.