RECLAM: German literature on CD-ROM


  1. Introduction
  2. Finding and Starting RECLAM
  3. Browsing a database
  4. Searching and annotating
  5. Printing and saving


The Reclam database consists of a number of CD-ROMs each of which presents the full text of a German literary work (or a number of them) by an author or more with accompanying biographical, bibliographical, contextual information and some illustrations (portraits of authors, pictures of manuscripts...etc.). The interface and contents of the Reclam CDs are both in German. The operating system allows for searching, browsing, bookmarking and annotating at any point in the text (to be retrieved and read later). All of the titles included in the databases operated by LETRS currently belong to authors who florished in the 18th and 19th centuries (with the Kafka for instance writing through the first two decades of the 20th). For reasons of technical peculiarities, some of these databases operate under Windows NT while others can only work under Windows 95 (requiring the assistance of LETRS consultant during operation hours). Please consult the list below for the titles available and the Operating System associated with each title:

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Finding and Starting RECLAM databses:

Windows NT
From the START button, go to ELECTRONIC TEXTS. A new sub-window will appear with a view of the server. Use the START button within the server window, and go to Electronic Texts again. Find the Reclam program group and select the title you wish to explore.

Windows 95
With the help of a LETRS consultant, make sure that the desired volume (CD-ROM) is in the appropriate drive. Point your cursor to the START button on the screen and go to Electronic Texts. Select the database you wish to use.

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Browsing a database

Once you have selected your database, you will see a starting page (main menu) that looks the same for both Windows NT and Windows 95 programs. The exact contents of each menu may vary from one author or work to another. Below is an example of some of the available starting points on the Friedrich Schiller. Wilhelm Tell database (the red text is our translation of the German commands):

You can start viewing the work by clicking on the specific title (above the author's image in this case) or you can go to a specific page in the work by clicking on the word "Seite". The headings in the left-side column give you background and supplementary information about the author, the work(s), and the research. If you choose to move to a specific page in the text, you will see the following window:

Almost every page is divided into two sections. When you choose the page or when you start browsing from the main menu, you will end up with a window that looks similar to the one below. Please note that the "read out" option requires a functioning sound card and other hardware. Please check with a LETRS consultant if you need to use this feature.

As you can see from the menu above, it is possible to move forward and backward in the text, or go back to the main menu if you wish to access a particular page.

In some pages you will see the command KOPIEREN "COPY" replacing the DRUCKEN "PRINT" command. Clicking on this word will copy the contents of the window to the clip board. You can later paste the material onto a Wordpad or Notepad document to print. As a matter of fact, you can access the copy command from any part of the database by right-clicking into the document and selecting KOPIEREN from the sub-window that will appear. If you need only parts of the text on a page, you can drag the cursor (while holding down the left button on the mouse) over the desired portions of the text.

In the above sample window, you may have noticed that the word "Hausrecht" is pre-underlined by the creators of the database. An underline indicates that a linguistic or critical point is available for viewing. Simply, double-click on the word in question and you will see the available remarks which can also be copied and printed out.
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Searching and Annotating:

Whether you are at the main page (menu) or at any other page in the document, you can access the SUCHEN "SEARCH" command by clicking on the button where the word appears. Alternatively, you can right-click on any portion of the text and choose SUCHEN from the sub-menu. Either way, you will see the following window:

For an advanced form of search, click on the button that says ERWEITERTE SUCHE.... The advanced-search window looks something like this:

In the above search window, you have the choice between limiting the search to the active window or expanding it to the whole database. You can also do a combined search using AND/OR operators, you can specify the maximum number of hits to return, allow phonetic-resemblance searching, ...etc. For entering accented characters of characters that are unique to German, you can use the WINDOWS Character Map program (available under the START button menu and then PROGRAMS --> ACCESSORIES). Some characters may already have shortcut keys assigned to them.

When you click OK, the window where the first occurrence of your search request is encountered will be displayed. You will be asked if you wish to see the next hit and so on and so forth.

If you come across an interesting part of the text that you wish to bookmark or leave personal remarks about for you to come back to them later, you may do so by right-clicking on the text in question and choosing NOTIZE "Annotation" from the sub-menu. When at the main menu, you can click on the word NOTIZEN to recall all of your annotations and bookmarks. The annotation window is shown below:

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Printing and Saving

Although the PRINT command is available on some of the pages of the RECLAM databases, it seems that the only way to export text is to copy the parts needed and paste them into a word-processing document. From there, the text can be saved in the desired format or can be printed out. Fortunately, personal annotations can be saved to the database under both the Windows NT and Windows 95 operating systems, and they should be available for you to review the next time you use the database.

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Last Updated: 4/13/2000
Comments: Library Electronic Text Resource Service /
Indiana University