1. What is FEB-web?
The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore (FEB-web) is a full-text digital resource. FEB-web accumulates information in text, audio, visual, and other forms on 11th-20th-century Russian literature, Russian folklore, and the history of Russian literary scholarship and folklore studies.
FEB-web is, first and foremost, a repository of primary, secondary, and reference texts. It is also an effective instrument for analyzing these texts. Presenting texts in digital form via a state-of-the-art user interface makes it possible for professional scholars and other users to work with texts in a fundamentally new way.
Our Library was given the name "Fundamental" because it is designed to provide an exhaustive and comprehensive body of materials on Russian literature and folklore. Naturally, this cannot be achieved overnight: FEB-web is a dynamic system that develops in concert with the profession it serves.
The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore is being built as a bilingual system: users can interface with the FEB-web databases in either Russian or English. The works in FEB-web, however, are presented only in the original language. Descriptions and the interface are in both languages. The bibliography is available in the original language and in Latin transcription.
To view texts in European languages (with and without diacritic marks) in Windows, the user must have the font Times New Roman in a version no older than 2.76.
To view texts with pre-reform Cyrillic characters, the user must install the Palatino Linotype font.
At the first level of this hierarchy are the main sections of FEB-web, which are divided into two groups - thematic sections and supplementary sections.
Each thematic section includes:
In constructing the thematic sections of FEB-web, we confront a range of problematic scholarly and cultural issues. When selecting authors and works for inclusion in the thematic sections, we are guided by primarily objective factors: the citation index of an author (or scholar) and his or her works; the presence of a given literary or scholarly work in the syllabi of university courses on Russian literature or in lists of recommended reading; etc. We also have to take into account the feasibility of publishing an author or work in FEB-web: the existence quality editions and scholarship on the topic; the difficulty of processing materials for electronic publication; etc. Clearly, any selection we make is, by nature, controversial and thus to some degree a compromise. However, we are dealing here with information of a global historical and cultural significance, and the rejection of one or another publication is by no means final or irreversible: FEB-web is not a static mass, but a dynamically evolving system.
The foundation of FEB-web is formed by Digital Scholarly Editions (DSE). Digital Scholarly Editions are developed by teams of scholars, editors, and programmers as independent units, each with its own database, software, and internal system of hypertext links, and each containing information which has been thoroughly vetted in terms of its scholarly and editorial content. The DSE are designed for long-term use.
The FEB-web DSE are devoted to a single topic:
The FEB-web DSE are primarily an instrument for collecting and reproducing in digital form existing editions of literary and scholarly works. They bring together the most authoritative editions of folklore and the works of Russian writers, memoiristic and critical literature, the most significant works of literary scholarship and biography, exhaustive scholarly bibliographies, as well as reference and visual materials.
The DSE consist of works arranged according to a hierarchical system. A work can be either a print publication in its entirety (e.g. a novel or a scholarly monograph) or an individual fragment of a print publication (e.g. a poem or short story from a multi-volume edition of an author's collected works, an article from an anthology, etc.).
The structure of the DSE is expressed by the expanding "tree" in the frame on the left side of the screen: it starts at the broad level (e.g. the section "Pushkin's Works") and goes down to the elemental level of individual works. Each work is equipped with a full bibliographical annotation which may be viewed by clicking on "Citation" at the top of the screen.
The "Scholarship" section contains a chronology of important events, personalia on leading literature and folklore scholars (bibliographies and biographical references), and information on scholarly periodicals, serial publications, and research and educational institutions. The "Dictionaries" and "Encyclopedias" sections contain defining dictionaries for Russian as well as dictionaries and encyclopedias for literary studies.
At the foundation of every reference section is a DSE on a dictionary, encyclopedia, or other publication. The section "Scholarship on Literature and Folklore" contains a special DSE containing all issues of the Bulletin of the Academy of Science [Izvestiia Akademii nauk].
The catalog of Internet resources ("Links" section) provides links to informational resources not part of FEB-web.
For more information on the functional capabilities of the DSE, click on "Help" in any DSE.