Saturday, October 28, 2006

Recommending resources for NT graduates

On Thursday this week, our New Testament and Judaic Studies Colloquium at Duke, which meets three or four time each term, was devoted to looking at bibliographical and other resources, with an eye specifically on graduate students. Joel Marcus talked about key books, bibliographical resources and the like for the first part of the colloquium, and brought down a large mobile bookcase filled with his special selections including BDAG, Hatch and Redpath, New Testament Abstracts, and loads more, some of which were new to me. Eric Meyers followed up with some recommended resources for the study of early Judaism and Yael Wilfand talked about and demonstrated the remarkable Judaic Responsa, which was completely new to me.

I had been asked to take half an hour to introduce people to some important electronic resources. I took my laptop along and plugged it into the data projector and led people through one or two things that were recent and worthwhile, thinking in particular of things that people might not have known about, or might never have dabbled in. As well as mentioning one or two global things like Firefox (do you have Firefox 2 yet?), I stressed the importance of people coming to terms with unicode, and suggested my Greek New Testament Gateway: Fonts page as a good place to begin. It really is time to drop SPIonic and embrace the unicode revolution. (If only we could persuade more of the publishers of this.)

I pointed people to ATLA as a wonderful bibliographical resource (and more), but added that JSTOR is currently going from strength to strength and often provides a far more user-friendly viewing experience (e.g. PDF downloads) for articles they have available. Where our students were on a Duke computer, or on a Virtual Private Network link up, they can access a world of information on-line through ATLA and JSTOR. I introduced Google Scholar too, which I find myself using ever more frequently, and Google Books, which I have been enjoying a great deal since the recent launch of the "Full view books" capability, with PDF downloads, on old volumes -- and I showed them the first page of Grenfell and Hunt's 1897 LOGIA IHSOU.

Among other recent resources, I had to give priority to Zhubert.com, which I use regularly, and have recently added to the left hand column here, and have promoted to top billing on the Greek New Testament Gateway. I showed how one can click on words, go to word statistics and lexica and so on.

6 comments:

Matthijs den Dulk said...

You may find interesting to know that Spertus College (http://www.spertus.edu) offers very affordable access to Judaic Responsa, Encyclopedia Judaica, Soncino translation of Mishna, Talmud, etc., Bibleworks 6 and some other software packages. You can become a society member for about $20 a year and access all software online. I found this a great help. Especially if you are working in Jewish studies, this construction could easily save you hundreds of dollars.

Whit said...

Judaic Responsa is amazing!

Danny Zacharias said...

I'm always interested to know what scholars recommend in these types of sessions. Did Joel Markus hand out a list of resources? Is it available to others (such as myself)?

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Danny. The answer is: not that I know of.

Anonymous said...

It might be worth saying that JSTOR cannot be subscribed to by individuals AFAIK wheras ATLAS can.

Jacob

J. B. Hood said...

All,

I've found ATLA to be a little on the slow side. Chris Tilling reports that Tubingen (his current locale) has a nice new, temporarily free resource http://www.christilling.de/blog/2006/10/index-theologicus-is-online.html
designed to track output. I've already found things ATLA and related searches missed.

The url is http://www.ixtheo.de/.