Zotero: A New Resource for Corinthian Studies

Over the last week I had the chance to spend some quality time developing Corinthian Studies resources in and with Zotero. If you’re out of the loop, Zotero is a tool for collecting, storing, managing, and sharing bibliography. It is not unlike EndNote although there are some key differences between Zotero and EndNote, both positive and negative. Zotero is free, it’s a great tool for collaborative bibliographic projects, and is accessible from mobile devices (via the zotpad app). On the other hand, Zotero feels much more basic and less powerful than EndNote. My total library of 8,000 records is causing minor lag on my laptop (see Phoebe Acheson’s comments about Zotero’s crash at 40,000 records).

I was interested in doing two things with Zotero related to the Corinthia:

1. Developing an extensive bibliography related to the Corinthia.

2. Building a library of ancient citations that refer to Corinth, Isthmia, and places in the broader Corinthia.

The first was relatively easy to do given Zotero’s intuitive abilities to sense content. Over the last couple of years, several students at Messiah College assisted in gathering and converting bibliography into Zotero – thanks for your help!  A former student (Andrew Henry, now at Boston University) collected most of the Hesperia and AJA entries several years ago, and history student Josh Krosskove keyed much of the Corinth XX bibliography into a Corinthia database last spring.  I expanded on their work by running keyword searches in JSTOR and exporting the bibliographic entries in RIS format and also adding bibliography from archaeological projects like the Eastern Korinthia Survey, Saronic Harbors Archaeological Project, and the Kenchreai Cemetery Project, as well as relevant entries from the forthcoming Hesperia Supplement on the Bridge of the Untiring Sea. This library of 1,535 modern sources on the Corinthia from the 19th-21st centuries is now available for browsing and searching (see below).

This is how the library appears in its on-line form.

Creating a library of ancient citations was challenging. It took much experimentation to figure out how to convert a list of ancient citations into a standardized tab-delimited file that could convert into bibliographic entries in EndNote and then into Zotero. But I was eventually triumphant and now have a collection of about 5,800 references to Greek and Latin texts between the 8th century BC and 7th century AD. I’ll take notes on some of the texts this year and write a bit more about how to run the conversions. Here is what a small part of the library looks like:

corinthiantexts3

For now, enjoy the Corinthian Studies Library of modern bibliography at Zotero’s website. This collection contains all bibliography gathered recently at this site plus all the standard archaeological and historical publications concerning the Corinthia (and quite a few New Testament records as well). Before you visit, check out this information page about the library, its organization, functionality, and limits. If you are already a Zotero user, you can download the RIS file of the library and import it directly into the stand-alone version. That will allow you to run more complex searches based on the full content of the records.

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