The Bibliography of Polish Etnography Online (BEP) has been created to present the achievements of native ethnology/cultural anthrophology and to promote these achievements abroad. It is a bibliographic database which makes it easier to search for the desired literature (tab: Online catalogue) . The bibliography comprises not only respective literature on the subjects of ethnology/cultural anthropology, but also selected items from anthropology-related social and humanistic fields of science.
The present bibliography combines the contents of three computer databases created at different times and in different circumstances:
1. Notes from the years 1986-2000 originate from the database collected in the Ethnographic Documentation & Information Center (ODiIE) of the Polish Ethnological Society for the needs of the publication of the Polish ethnography bibliographic volumes (see publications): retrospective (for the years 1926-1939) and present (for the years 1986-1999) published on the basis of targeted grants awarded to the Society by the State Committee for Scientific Research (currently the Ministry of Scientific Research and Information Technology). The database for the years 1986-2000 comprises a selection of publications
2. Notes from the years 2001-2006 collected for the thesis entitled ‘The Bibliography of Polish Ethnography Online’ financed by the State Committee for Scientific Research in the years 2004-2006 as a research project no. 1HO1H 042 26.
3. Notes from the years 2007-2011 re-created in the Ethnographic Documentation & Information Center (ODiIE) of the Polish Ethnological Society in cooperation with the Institute of Ethnology and Culture Anthropology of the University of Łódź.
As a result of the diversified origin, the database includes selections of publications from the years 1986-2000 and is, if possible, being continuously updated.
As for the publications from the year 2001 and later, the bibliography includes a rather comprehensive collection of scholarly and popular science achievements of Polish ethnologists and anthropologists (non-serial publications and articles) published in Poland and a partial register of articles published abroad.
Apart from the works by Polish ethnologists, academic scholars, museum employees and employees responsible for the dissemination of culture, the indexed publications also included:
- the works presenting an ‘anthropological perspective’ which may be of interest to ethnologists, authored by cultural science scholars, sociologists, historians and humanities scholars
- the articles of foreign authors which were published in Polish publications and were usually the aftermath of ethnological conferences organized in Poland
- the works of foreign ethnologists/anthropologists which were reviewed in Polish ethnological journals
In the majority of cases, the bibliographic descriptions were prepared from experience, and in few cases when the source texts could not be reached (particularly articles published abroad or regional publications difficult to obtain), on the basis of the photocopies submitted by the authors or online catalogues (such descriptions are indicated with an asterisk* by the title).
The bibliographic description was created with the CDS/ISIS software whose version allowed only the Polish language diacritic marks, therefore the diacritics from other languages could not be used.
The chapters which appear in the printed version of the Bibliography of Polish Ethnology to order the material according to the subject or regional criteria have been replaced in the online database with the notion of Discipline and Area. They have been introduced to support quicker and less detailed search for the works that are of interest to the user.
The notions are all the more important because it was not until 1990 when the keywords which determine the content of the described works in the most synthetic manner, also following the intentions of the authors, began to be entered.
Therefore, when searching the online bibliography for the works from the earlier years, the user may only find them by specifying the author, any word from the works’ title, or the discipline or the area to which they relate. The descriptions from the years prior to 1990 included neither the names of the editors of the series nor the ISBN or ISSN numbers.