background image
and image digitization, colleagues unfamiliar with the objects of our study often fail to see the
cutting edge nature of this research and these projects.While we can lament this fact and strive
to communicate our research goals more clearly to other research and funding units, we must
acknowledge that our work and research interests continue in this less than ideal environment
and are, in fact, profoundly shaped by it.We often must tailor our work to the funding.This is
certainly true for the UIUC German emblem project, "Digital Emblematica," even though we
have recently received generous funding.
21
While the proposal by European colleagues to host an emblem portal that presents metadata
on a single server is a good idea, it is not a practical one for several projects. Certainly, funding
should be aggressively sought wherever it is available, yet most of our projects have been funded
only in fits and starts, and we have had to make some compromises along the way. (The UIUC
compromises will be addressed below.) Unless generous EU funding is awarded to the establish-
ment of an emblem portal for the European colleagues, chances are, we will continue to work
diligently on individual projects while exploring ways to link our research in meaningful ways
that will truly reflect the international nature both of our research efforts and of our object of
study. For example, the outline of types of portals offered by Awre and Wise above, focuses on
consolidating access to national resources in the UK; in contrast, emblem scholars seek to link a
variety of national and subject oriented projects into a single emblem portal. Given the reality of
the international nature of our research, both in a historical and a modern sense, and the scarci-
ty of appropriate funding, the solution offered by the UIUC/HAB joint project is worth further
consideration as a model.
Th e U I U C - H A B E m b l e m Po r t a l
The UIUC/HAB German emblem project aims to establish both a "shallow" and a "deep"
portal for emblem studies.The shallow portal will focus on the kinds of information outlined
above for general emblem studies, while the deep portal will focus on German emblems.The
UIUC has assumed the responsibility of developing the shallow portal, while the HAB and the
UIUC will together develop the deep portal.The UIUC/HAB German emblem portal is an
organic outgrowth of two separate projects at two very different types of institutions which found
a significant funding opportunity and relied on personal research connections between the two
institutions over a number of years. On the one hand, the UIUC project, like the projects repre-
sented by the contributors here, was born over a decade ago and grew more ambitious as tech-
nologies developed.
22
It was often underfunded and relied on the good will of the participants to
maintain momentum in periods when there was no funding. Now called "Digital Emblematica,"
the project's first goal is to present on the Web the German emblem books in the collections of
the UIUC university library.We define German emblem books as emblem books in the German
language printed in the Holy Roman Empire before 1800. (The UIUC project expects to one
day present the entire UIUC emblem collection in a Web environment.) On the other hand, the
HAB project resulted from two separate developments at that library. One initiative derives from
the Sammlung Deutscher Drucke (SDD; the Collection of German Imprints), making the HAB
the repository for German imprints of the seventeenth century with a special emphasis, among
other things, on German emblem books.
23
Concurrently, and with the advent of Dr. Stäcker at
the library, who spearheaded the efforts at digitization, the library has sought to digitize impor-
tant portions of its collections.There is an exemplary collection of digitized Renaissance festival
books, for example.
24
Their digitization efforts in the area of emblems result primarily from a
project funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation)
25
for establishing DTDs (Docu-
ment Type Definition) which is called "Document Type Definitions zur Erschließung barock-
21
For background on the Illinois
project, see Marshall Billings,"Digital
Emblematica:The Scholarly Back-
ground of `Digital Emblematica' and
its New Direction," Florilegio De
Estudios Emblematicos. A Florilegium
of Studies in Emblematics, ed.
Sagrario López Poza (Proceedings
of the 6th International Conference
of The Society for Emblem Studies.
A Coruña, 2002).Ferrol: Sociedad
de Cultura Valle Inclán, 2004. ISBN
84-95289-45-8.
22
http://images.library.uiuc.edu/
projects/emblems/.
23
http://www.hab.de/kataloge/
de/sdd/.
24
http://www.hab.de/forschung/
de/vdf/index.htm.
25
http://www.dfg.de/.
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