How I Do the Literary Bibliography

August 2008

From Wendy Pfeffer, Editor-in-Chief, TENSO:

  • I keep my eyes out for publication announcements.
  • I read reviews and lists of books received in journals I subscribe to.
  • I pull everything I think relevant from the MLA online bibliography.
  • I do a search in places like “WorldCat” for items I think will be useful (search terms: Occitan, Provençal, troubadour*, trobar*, to name a few)
  • When I’m in France, I check out bookstores, notebook in hand, to see what’s on the shelves.
  • I do a search in places like and to see what they’re selling.
  • I pull everything I think relevant from Miriam Cabré’s online bibliography.
  • I try to poll Occitan publishers’ www sites to see what’s recent there.
  • I pull everything relevant from Kathryn Klingebiel’s linguistic bibliography for TENSO.
  • Publishers to check include: l’Hydre (Cahors), Lo Convise (Aurillac), Trabucaire (Perpignan), Edizioni dell’Orso (Alessandria, Italy), Privat (Toulouse), Atlantica and Princi Negri (Bayonne, I think, it is), Mucchi (Modena, Italy), Lacour (Nîmes), Cairn (Pau), Louve (Cahors), Lo gat ros (Montpellier).
  • I have used bibliographic software (ProCite in years past, EndNote more recently) to build the bibliography and to organize it. I’m still not a confirmed EndNote user and the most recent (2006) bibliography was created simply as a word-processed document. The software does allow for easier creation of the index of authors.
  • One tricky item: Articles that appear as chapters in books. These I find by keeping my eyes open for book titles that might have an essay of interest.
  • One easy item in terms of content (but less so in terms of access) is volumes of proceedings. In order to keep the bibliography timely, I have often simply purchased these outright so as to have them as soon as they appear.
  • I depend on the kindness of friends, for example, a member of the Société Rencesvals, who is willing to photocopy articles from the proceedings of their congresses when I need them.
  • I have the dubious habit of NOT reading everything I put in the bibliography because I often have seen no more than the title. I guess subject headings by what I see in the title. If I’m really in doubt as to content, then I try to get the piece by Interlibrary Loan, so I can actually see what the book/article/paper is about.