The American Publication History of 19th Century German Novels

Principal Investigator: Lynne Tatlock, Washington University in St. Louis

This project started in December, 2009. Its goal is to organize a set of data about the publication history of popular German novels, both in German and in translation, in nineteenth century America. "Publication history" includes not just the usual bare facts of bibliography (date, publisher, etc.), but also such matters as mention in reviews and advertisements,

To some extent, the project represents a challenge, because the data we're seeking to organize has no obvious organization; i.e., data about the publication of these works is as diverse as their publication was (or seems to have been). To manage the problem, the HDW has decided to implement a graph database to organize the data. Rather than organizing data in rows and columns, like a relational database or a spreadsheet, graph databases organize data by relationships. To implement the database, we're using rdflib, a python graph API, and CherryPy, a python framework for web-based applications.