Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Jan. 19, 2022, 7:54 a.m. Humanist 35.471 - sources for scholarship?

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 471.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-01-19 07:48:11+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: sources

My own experience suggests that we all are trying to cope with what Roy
Rosenzweig called "the problem of abundance", which is not 'infoglut'
but the abundance of relevant sources for whatever we're doing. I
suspect that for most if not all of us, In the somewhat random process
of filtering this abundance we build up a collection of digitised
articles and books that reflects our interests and so becomes a more
practical resource to search than the whole of the web, or at least
becomes a better place to start. Experience also suggests that how we
organise our collections involves (1) meaningful filenames, (2) one or
more category schemes and (3) a tool or tools that searches the
contents. Does this sound about right?

Just as an example, my filenaming scheme is this:
[date].[author's surname],[title].[file-type]
2012. Anderson, The Force of the Anomaly. Rev of Ginzburg, Threads and

My category schemes are (a) by topical area, and (b) by authors that for
my purposes are 'nodal', as I call them, e.g.

Now for the tool. A typical use is to find in which work author X used
phrase Y. On my Mac I have for years used Finder, but now I have
discovered HowdaSpot, which looks significantly better.

This is a question about organisational schemes, but prior to it, about
whether the notion of forming one's own digital library is indeed what
others do, amd how they do it.



Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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