Sophie Digital Library of Works by German-Speaking Women
|Sophie Digital Library|
The Sophie Digital Library is a digital library and resource center for works produced by German-speaking women pre-17th century through the early 20th century.
Resources available at the site include literary and journalistic texts (including some English translations), musical scores and recordings, screenplays and dramas, and a collection of colonial/travel texts. There is also an image gallery containing portraits and photographs of the artists and illustrations from some of the works. Most of the texts included in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, easy to use, open formats which can be used on any computer. As of July 2013, The Sophie Project claims approximately 1,500 volumes of German-speaking women's writing.
The Sophie Project is sponsored by Coalition of Women in German. Funding has been provided for the project by the Brigham Young University Office of Research and Creative Activities, the Brigham Young University College of Humanities, the Brigham Young University Women's Research Institute, and the Brigham Young University Department of German and Russian.
As a mentored research project, Sophie: A Digital Library of Works by German-Speaking Women directly addresses the problem of how to involve undergraduate students in significant research in such a way that they make meaningful contributions to scholarly research and benefit in ways that will enhance their future careers and lives. Essentially, The Sophie Project aims to fulfill the objective of making "research-based learning the standard," as challenged by the 1998 Boyer Commission report.
At the same time The Sophie Project also directly addresses a second problem, which arises from the current debate on the role of marginalized authors, texts and creative works in the academic curriculum and in scholarly research agendas. This question is particularly critical in the field of German Studies, where women artists and authors have traditionally been excluded from the canon; until recently, relatively little scholarly effort has been invested in the study of their works. Thus, when scholars and teachers in German Studies desire to investigate works reflecting the experiences of women and other traditionally marginalized groups, they are often frustrated by the lack of access to very basic materials and information.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Digital_Library_of_Works_by_German-Speaking_Women Until a marginalized text is broadly available to academics, it often remains hidden in European archives, beyond the reach of most potential researchers. Particularly in the classroom, teachers often shy away from early women’s work because they are unfamiliar with the historical and cultural contexts conditioning the artistic production, and do not have time to re-tool from the ground up.
Since the beginning of The Sophie Project, undergraduates and graduate students, as well as faculty, have been encouraged to expand their research of German-speaking women's writing. Such publications include anthologies of German-speaking women's writing, including Im Nonnengarten: An Anthology of German Women's Writing, 1850-1907 and Die deutsche Frau: An Anthology of German Women's Writing.
Recently, a volume of collected essays entitled Sophie Discovers Amerika has been contracted by publishing company Camden House.
The Sophie Mentored Student Research project is a model which incorporates the positive aspects of mentored undergraduate research and explores the possibilities of online databases and technology.
Students acquire proficiency in computer use, library research, document collection, editing, analytical writing, design and business interface.
The Sophie Digital Library preserves a number of early German-language creative works which might otherwise be lost, making them easily available from a single source, at no cost to users.These works include literary and journalistic texts, English translations, music, and images, as well as bibliographies, biographical works, pedagogical tips, a thesis library, the peer-reviewed online Sophie Journal, and the Sophianum, an online museum to which users can donate their own stories and mementos from their Germanic heritage.
Foundational Mentoring Goals
To bring undergraduates into active, dynamic participation in significant research which will broaden their understanding of German-language literature and culture, while allowing them to perform meaningful service for scholars and students across the globe.
To provide undergraduate students the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors in cutting-edge research on the Sophie project.
To help undergraduate students develop portable skills in preparing and editing texts, researching in archives and libraries, publishing on the internet, and writing journal-quality articles, skills which will be of ongoing value as they graduate and move on into the next stage of their personal and professional life.
To challenge students, through capstone papers, to develop their own analytical skills and insights into works which have previously been little known.
The Sophie Project is careful to verify the status of all texts published to its website. Material is only added to the library if either a) copyright permissions have been sought and received by the owner or b) the work is no longer protected by copyright laws. The Sophie Project does not claim new copyright on titles it publishes. Instead, it encourages their free reproduction and distribution. Many of the works published by The Sophie Project are present in the public domain and can be reproduced, distributed, copied and edited by users. Copyright owners that have given The Sophie Project particular permission to publish their work have been credited on their site, such as Gisela Brinker-Gabler and her work Deutsche Dichterinnen vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart.
The Sophie Journal
The Sophie Journal is a peer reviewed Open Access Journal that posts quality papers and articles on the art, literature, lives, and experience of early German-speaking women from 1740-1939. By providing a collection of insightful essays, we hope to share information, generate ideas, and offer fresh perspectives on early German-speaking women and their unique contributions. Ultimately the Sophie Journal endeavors to make a genuine contribution to scholarship concerning women, their experience and their contributions, and is envisioned as a service and a resource for those who would like to become better acquainted with early German-speaking women for their research or teaching. We also want to provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to publish and gain editorial experience and for faculty to mentor students in a research setting. In this capacity we accept noteworthy contributions from researchers of all levels of education: advanced researchers, undergraduates, and graduate students alike. The Sophie Journal is part of the Sophie Project at Brigham Young University, a digital library of works by German-speaking women.
- "Coalition of Women in German" <http://www.womeningerman.org/>
- “Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities.” The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates, 1998.
- Stott, Michelle & Joseph O. Baker. Im Nonnengarten: An Anthology of German Women's Writing, 1850-1907. Illinois: Waveland Press, 1997.
- Smith, Alexander. Die deutsche Frau: An Anthology of German Women's Writing. Provo: The Sophie Project, 2012. <http://sophie.byu.edu/?q=texts/diedeutschefrau>
- Brinker-Gabler, Gisela. Deutsche Dichterinnen vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1978.
- The Sophie Project: A Digital Library of German-Speaking Women's Writing
- The Sophie Journal, McMaster University
- Department of German and Russian, Brigham Young University
- The Coalition of Women in German