home ]

The FlintSource literature database

Introduction: Like the whole FlintSource project, the part of the site on the literature about lithics, and related subjects, evolved quite significantly during the first years we have been working on the site. And that's something of an understatement. Basically, it's a nice way of saying that things got out of control completely, and we had to find some way to get them organized into a usable form.
In the original concept of the site we were planning to make only those references available on the site that were actually cited in the pages on the different materials, just like any regular reference list in a printed volume. But during the preparation of field-trips and browsing in libraries we collected quite a lot of relevant articles and books, all of which had to be stored, and preferably catalogued, to keep them from growing into ever larger piles of unorganised printed paper. So more for our own benefit, we started to enter all relevant literature in a database as well as in the literature-pages of the site.
Because all, in our opinion, relevant literature is organized in this way, you might find works on regional geology, micropalaeontology, site-reports, side by side with articles on the geochemistry of flint, microwear and distribution-studies. All this literature has only two things in common: firstly it is present in one form or another in the libraries of the individual contributors to FlintSource, and secondly, something relevant to the study of flint as a raw material can be found on the cited pages. Or at least something pertaining to lithics, as there are a few entries on the study of polished stone tools, too.

As we have been collecting literature on flint and its uses seriously since 1999, and are still working on making the FlintSource library the most exhaustive of its kind, the number of entries on these pages has become very significant indeed. As a matter of fact, there are now over 1300 articles and volumes listed on these pages, making it the largest repertory of its kind on the internet. And one of the largest anywhere.

Contributions: Because our reference list is the most extensive, and most frequently updated, freely accessible database of lithic literature, you might want your publications listed. If a publication has any bearing on the subject of flint, lithic raw materials, their use and distribution, we will be glad to enter it into the FlintSource database, and make the title known to a wider public.

To qualify for an entry, there are two conditions: the article or volume must have been published in print or electronical form, and we need a copy of the paper. So if you have an article in print, we are very happy to receive a corrected proof of the paper, but we will only admit it to these pages as soon as the volume, issue and page numbers are known. The same goes for contributions to a volume of proceedings, or chapters in a textbook. Electronical publications will be included, as long as they are available on the Internet or on a formally issued medium like CD.
As for a copy of the publication: a formatted PDF-file will do nicely, but an off-print or printed volume are very welcome indeed.

Some technical remarks: To make things a bit straightforward, we didn't try to classify the literature in any form as to subject, at least not in the HTML-pages on the site. Every entry is listed in alphabetical order by author(s), for which only the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet are used, and then ascending by year, on 26 pages that can be navigated by using the left-hand frame.

Although we try to use diacritical signs and special characters, especially for Central-European names and titles, as well as we can, they are all reduced to one of the letters in the standard alphabet to order them. So an "á", "à" "ä" "â" or "å" isn't treated in any other way than a normal "a". Ligatures like "æ", "œ" or "ß" are classified as "ae", "oe" and "s", and signs like "ř", "ş", "ç" etc. are stripped down to "r", "s", "c", to give them their place in the alphabetic order. For signs like "Ą/ą", "Ł/ł", "Ż/ż", we take the plain ASCII, "A/a", "L/l" and "Z/z", and hope our Central and Eastern European colleagues will forgive us.
If you ever wondered how all these extended characters are coded for in HTML, have a look at our reference page.

In the references, the names are given in bold, as listed in the specific publication. This can to lead to some slight differences between sources, especially concerning the initials. With the initials, no special care is taken to follow (national) conventions, so mostly just the first letter of the first name is used, instead of "Th.", "Chr.", "Ph." or other special abbreviations. If you find this annoying in any special case, please feel free to comment on these shortcomings.

The year of the publications is in nearly always given as one date. So if a journal was scheduled for the year 2004, but appeared in 2005, we just stick to the year as figured on the journal, in most cases this is the elder one. In the case of a revised edition, the year of publication of that edition is given; in the very few cases there has been a more recent reprint of an old volume, the original date is still used.

The title of the references deserves the most remarks. We use the title as printed, and add as much of the subtitles or other additions as seem to be useful. Capitalization follows the published title, but as some captions are all-caps, we try to use our feeling for the subject, which might give a result the original authors would think incorrect. If you feel a publication of yours has been maltreated in this way, drop us a line, and we will be more than happy to correct the way the title is published.
Monographs and (edited) volumes are italicised, as are the names of series and journals. Contributions to volumes, chapters in books and articles in journals appear in roman type. For references to the title of a volume in which an article has appeared, we use the possibilities given by publication as HTML, and give a hyperlink to the volume in the short author-editor/year form.
In some cases, it is not really possible to give an author of a volume. In these cases the title of the book is used as a reference. If you can correct any of these artificial entries, again, let us know about it.
The page numbers given were taken from the printed volume to the best of our knowledge. In a few cases, some confusion can arise, as figures and plates are published elsewhere in an issue or a volume. This hasn't always been noticed while entering the bibliographical details, for which we offer our apologies.

Further information: The FlintSource literature database is maintained as an Access-database, along with references to our samples, and for the more recent entries some keywords about the contents and geographical scope of the publication. If you think a copy of the database could help you with your work on prehistoric lithics, let us know, and we'll mail you a copy.
This and all other requests for information, remarks and corrections, can be mailed to the email-address.

Last modified on:
January 31, 2008
Contents primarily by:
Rengert Elburg
Comments to: