Friday, February 8, 2013

An Anthroposophical Reference Companion

- by Colin Price

Note: For more details about  An Anthroposophical Reference Companion, and instructions for downloading a trial copy, click here.

In the last issue, Mark McAlister wrote an article, Towards a Bibliography of Rudolf SteinerIn this article, Mark rightly raised a number of pertinent questions about the confusion that can exist when undertaking a search for a lecture, written work, subject, location, publication, lecture-format or other designation. For many years I have shared that frustration, and since there was no place I could turn, to find what I wanted, I developed my own research compilation. In case you have not had time yet to look into my Anthroposophical Reference Companion 2013, I might just mention that it is an electronic database of all of Rudolf Steiner's lectures and writings that have ever been translated into English. The programme scans the whole of the contents of the database, and with its help you can go straight to any of the following in less than a second:

* Any one of the thousands of lectures that Rudolf Steiner ever gave.
* A complete listing of all the dates when he lectured in any given city.
* All the references to any given subject you might want to research.
* All the different publications in which a given lecture has appeared.
* The many different translations that have been made over the years, and by whom.
* The publication history of any written work or lecture.
* The different titles that have been given to a particular lecture, to see if you already possess it
* A search by date, year, subject, format, GA/CW number, word or phrase.
* When, where, and to whom a lecture was given.
* Any magazine or periodical publication of a lecture, article or essay.
* A listing of all the other lectures in a given series, even non-sequential ones.
* A listing of published lectures by either magazine or newsletter format.
* A listing of subjects within a given lecture.

This reference work is continuing to expand, and volume 1 is already in its 5th edition. There are 3 volumes altogether that make up the Reference Companion, and these comprise well over 1,500 pages. Although I am making a charge for it, my primary intention is to make it available to others so that they too can use it to its full capacity as a research tool. You mentioned in your article that "you cannot find everything in one place." This Reference Companion tries to provide just that. I find it of great interest, by the way, that one or two of our study-group members much prefer the translations of the older publications, and find the more modern translations lacking.

The work is far from complete, even now, and I am especially interested in filling in some of the blanks in the database  Your comments and suggestions would be most welcome!

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