Friday, December 05, 2003


Stephen Carlson recently mentioned the BiBIL web site on his blog. This was demonstrated by Thomas Naef in the SBL Computer Assisted Research Section in Atlanta a week or so ago and it seems like an excellent resource. BiBIL stands for Biblical Bibliography of Lausanne. Here's the URL:


I've written to Thomas Naef to ask for permission to added it to my All-in-One Biblical Resources Search but have not heard anything yet.

I like to put this kind of resource to the test by checking how they perform on the author I know best -- me. BiBIL returns six titles for Goodacre, two out of three of my books and four out of twelve of my articles. So we could give it about six out of ten. By way of comparison, I have done the same search on Theoldi, which also managed two out of three of my books but six out of twelve of my articles. So Theoldi performs a bit better -- let's give it six and a half out of ten. Let's try another search.

The author I know second best is Michael Goulder. Let's compare performance again. BiBIL finds 36 titles for Goulder; Theoldi finds 49. The difference here is date -- BiBIL's cut-off seems to be about 1985 or so whereas Theoldi's appears to be 1981 or so. So again Theoldi wins, but this time by a higher margin.

One additional advantage of Theoldi is its output -- it provides its results in bibliography-ready format -- very helpful indeed for authors checking references. But BiBIL has two advantages over Theoldi -- it gives a bit more detail on entries (e.g. book ISBNs) and it has more advanced searching facilities, e.g. Greek and Hebrew facilities. So I think I'll continue using Theoldi, but will also be turning to BiBIL from time to time.

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