October 20, 2019

Part of the Team Behind “The Parthenon of Books” Launches a Searchable Database of 125,000 Books Banned or Censored Somewhere in the World

From the University of British Columbia:

When Argentinian artist Marta Minujin wanted to build a replica of the Parthenon out of banned books, UBC professor Florian Gassner was one of the first people she turned to for help.

Gassner, a senior instructor in UBC’s department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European studies, was a visiting professor at the University of Kassel (Germany) at the time. He and colleague Nikola Roßbach came up with list of 70,000 titles that Minujin used in her work.

But they weren’t done. After The Parthenon of Books was unveiled in 2017, Gassner, Roßbach and a team of students went to work on a new project that launched last month.

We asked Gassner what it’s all about.

 

What is this new resource you’ve created?

It’s an online database, fully searchable, listing—at this point—125,000 books that have been, or currently are, banned or censored somewhere in the world.

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Who do you see using this resource?

Basically three different groups. It could be for anyone who stands in front of their bookshelf and wonders if a particular book ever caused any stir or trouble. For students who work in this field, it will be a starting point to research additional information. And finally for researchers—I myself was recently fixing a couple of lines of code in the database and came across a name I was vaguely familiar with. I started looking into this character, and I have decided I am definitely going down that rabbit hole.

Read the Complete Interview

Direct to the Database (Die Kasseler Liste)

Die Kasseler Liste is a growing database that presently comprises 125,000 data sets. It documents the global scale of censorship. Book bans persist across the world, on all continents, with varying reach and intensity, depending on political and social contexts.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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