Pennsylvania College of  Technology 
Williamsport, PA 17701
Dr. Ed Vavra, Assoc. Prof. of Rhetoric
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Bibliographies Section

Food for Thought: Some Interesting Quotations

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An Introduction (Should Anyone Visit)

        Anyone who has the habit of "keeping up" with several historical journals finds it hard to escape a feeling of discomfort now and then on glancing through the references to the flood of countless monographs, articles, and source publications that are being added to the material of history from month to month in every country. He sees the scholars of the whole world working their way further and further into the most minute details. Some letters of an insignificant diplomat in a small state her, the accounts of a pitiful monastery there--a stream of trivia. Each of these studies is a contribution to the historian's knowledge only to the extent that he is interested in the subject as a result of his own study. 
          --Johan Huizinga, "The Task of Cultural History" in Men & Ideas. NY: Meridian, 1959. p. 19.
      By chance, I started reading Huizinga's book the same week that I started this bibliographical project. I had been wondering why I was starting the project, why I was planning to put it on the net, and what visitors might think of it. As I culled through some of the bibliographies I had set aside over the last three decades, I was already beginning to find some of the trivia to which Huizinga refers. And the situation is worse now that it was four decades ago when Huizinga described it. The real problem, as far as I am concerned, is in determining what is worth reading. I used to be an omnivorous reader. During the last decade, my computers have tempted me away from books, but I'm once again hungry. 
     The primary purpose of this project, therefore, is to get my own past and future reading into some sort of perspective. I had tried various computer data-base bibliographies before, but never found them really convenient. Having found hypertext a likable way of flipping through sources, I decided to put my bibliographies together using Netscape. As I started to do so, I realized that, in other web documents, I have referred to some of these materials -- hyper linked references. I also realized that I have, on occasion, either had students ask for, or have wanted to offer, suggested reading. Finally, I have, in my work on Syntax in the Schools, received requests for bibliographies. Because they will not take up much web space, and because I can put them there in a matter of minutes, I decided to add these files to my course web site. 
      Because these are working bibliographies, they are a mish-mash of styles (PMLA, APA, etc.) There are probably also some errors in these bibliographies. They have been complied from a variety of old programs, some of which left codes in the text. As errors are found, I will do my best to correct them. If I have the information, I indicate my source for the bibliographical citation. You will also find indications that I have read some of these works. These are simply reminders to me that, yes, even though I do not remember it, I read it. (There are many works that are not so marked, but which I have read.) There are also, for whatever they are worth, short (or long) annotations. [I'm thinking of actually including passages from some texts that I may want to quote in the future. That way, I can simply cut and paste. Technology is a pain, but it is also wonderful.] 
EV June 11, 1998 

This border is a reproduction of
Allegory of Wealth (c. 1640)
by Simon Vouet (1590-1649)
currently in the Louvre Museum, Paris.
[for educational use only]
Visit the Louvre on the WWW.

Click here for the directory of my backgrounds based on art.