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Re: [XTalk] "How they do it"

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  • Richard Mallett
    Reply to : Jeffrey Gibson (et al) ... Can I ask a supplementary question, which (as a non-scholar) I have often wondered : How on Earth do you fill in all
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 11, 2008
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      Reply to : Jeffrey Gibson (et al)
      >
      > I'm thinking of surveying scholars whose production of articles and
      > books is enviable and whose research and knowledge of the filed is
      > prodigious, to find out how they "do it".
      >
      > What sort of questions about reading and writing habits etc. etc. do
      > list members think I should ask?
      >
      > What sort of habits are yours?
      >
      > Jeffrey
      >
      >
      Can I ask a supplementary question, which (as a non-scholar) I have
      often wondered : How on Earth do you fill in all those references ? For
      example, when Darrell Bock, in Jesus According to Scripture, refers to a
      specific page of a specific edition of Jesus and the Gospels by Craig
      Blomberg in support of the incipient trinitarianism in the story of
      Jesus' Baptism, how does he know where to find that reference ? If I
      look at the books on my shelf, I can't even remember reading some of them.

      --
      Richard Mallett
      Eaton Bray, Dunstable
      South Beds. UK
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Crosstalk In Response To: Richard Mallett On: How They Do It From: Bruce RICHARD: How on Earth do you fill in all those references? For example, when
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 11, 2008
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        To: Crosstalk
        In Response To: Richard Mallett
        On: How They Do It
        From: Bruce

        RICHARD: How on Earth do you fill in all those references? For example,
        when Darrell Bock, in Jesus According to Scripture, refers to a specific
        page of a specific edition of Jesus and the Gospels by Craig
        Blomberg in support of the incipient trinitarianism in the story of Jesus'
        Baptism, how does he know where to find that reference?

        BRUCE: NT books often don't have subject indexes (as distinct from Authors
        Quoted and the Index Locorum), or when they do, they are not very complete.
        So something else is indeed needed. As far as I know, people do it different
        ways. Some are: (1) You have the book on your shelf, and you reach out and
        grab it. It helps a lot if you have made your own select subject index on
        the endpaper, at the time you first read the book. (2) Photographic memory.
        The catalogue of Manchu language books in the Tôyô Bunko Library (Tôkyô) was
        compiled, not on site, but in Seattle, and in part (as I understand) from
        the memory of Okada Hidehiro. Remarkable guy. But even the least of us can
        sometimes recall, Well, it was on the upper left corner of an opening toward
        the front of that medium-sized book with the burgundy cover. This cuts down
        the back-search time considerably. Use what memory you have. (3) My teacher
        had the habit of recording locations of reviews of a book on the TP of his
        copy of that book. Of course, this involves owning the book; it doesn't work
        if you are dependent on some library located outside your house. (4) Some
        people keep copies of articles, or sections of books, in 3-ring binders
        labeled and arranged by subject for future reference. With stick-on notes
        protruding above the top margin at points especially likely to be required
        later. (5) The classic method is cards, traditionally 5x8 rather than 3x5,
        with one quote plus source per card, and the topic as a heading at the top.
        They teach this in history methods courses, or used to. It works best when
        you are researching one very particular subject at a time. If two at a time,
        you keep two little files of cards, and so on. (6) As a more compact version
        of this, I have found that a large Rolodex has its merits.

        Whatever works. What *doesn't* work very well is trying to think, eighteen
        months or years later, Now where did I read that? And having no visual or
        lexical clue to help you.

        As to what books to consult in the first place, there are many very good
        guides to the NT literature, or to certain segments of it. One general
        source worth mentioning is New Testament Abstracts, very complete (it
        includes both journal articles and books). It is put out by the Weston
        Jesuit School of Theology. I should suppose that the real libraries can be
        distinguished from the others by the fact that the former subscribe to it.
        There is now, I understand, an online version, produced in collaboration
        with ATLA, and available to libraries through EBSCO.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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