Oxford German Studies Archive Online

The editors of Oxford German Studies are pleased to announce that digitisation of the entire run of OGS is now complete.

As colleagues will know, the journal has been a part of Faculty life for forty-five years. It began as a yearbook in 1966, initially with OUP, but subsequently with the firm of Willem Meeuws. In the late 1990s production moved in-house, so that the journal was edited and typeset by the Faculty’s European Humanities Research Centre. OGS was given a new, more modern, design and expanded from a yearbook to a twice-annual subscription journal from vol. 34 (2005), and proved to be a modest commercial success in its new form, with its sales per issue more than doubling. With vol. 38 (2008), OGS expanded again to its present size of three issues per year, each one being roughly the word-count of the old yearbooks. It now follows an alternating pattern of general and themed issues. Recent themes include Dorothea von Montau, the Prussian saint; curiosity in German literature; friendship in medieval culture; the life and work of Eduard Moerike; visual culture; and Thomas Mann. OGS is increasingly widely read, with one-third of its subscriptions in Germany, and its present-day form is much more prominent in citations. For example, a synopsis of OGS 38.3, “Remembering the GDR”, edited by Karen Leeder, occupies more than a page in the Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies.

All subscribing individuals and institutions have free online access to the OGS archive. (Vols 34 to 39 were already online; it’s vols 1 to 33 which are making their debut.) As Oxford is a subscriber, members of the Faculty should have free access at the following URL if they are using a computer on the University network:


Scanning the journal’s archive was undertaken by Maney Publishing, which handles business and distribution for OGS. It was quite a major undertaking, since early numbers are now valuable and had to be handled with care, and since many, many contributors had to be contacted for copyright permission. While some went on to have major scholarly careers (not always in German studies), others went into business or the diplomatic service, and tracking them down involved a good deal of sleuthing. We are happy to report that not one contributor withheld permission, so that the online run is complete.

It takes around six weeks for new scholarly matter on Ingenta to percolate into Google’s indexing, but from the New Year the journal’s back run should be rather more prominent in search hits. Retro-digitisation can also be a conservation tool: OGS is deposited with trusted-third-party schemes like Stanford’s LOCKSS (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”), for example, and this should make its long-term survival more likely.

The foreword to OGS 1, written by Ernest Stahl (Taylorian Professor in 1966), lays out a  manifesto which has stood the test of time remarkably well:

“Oxford German Studies is a new annual publication designed to meet a need created by the expansion of German studies in this University. The editors hope to bring together contributions which throw new light on their subject and are of more than antiquarian interest. These will be mainly on German literary history, but the journal will also be open to work on related subjects, such as philosophy, art, and social history. There will be no regular book reviews, but occasional review articles are envisaged. The present number contains features upon which the editors wish to place particular emphasis. Mr. Pasley and Mr. Reed have drawn on  important unpublished sources for their essays on Kafka and Thomas Mann respectively, while Mr. Mitchell bases his account mainly on conversations and correspondence with W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood. This is a kind of contribution we wish to encourage as a special item of our editorial policy. We also hope to help young scholars by publishing the results of their researches: Mr. Peters’s article on Kleist and Kafka is based on work recently undertaken for an advanced degree. As far as possible, the editors will not impose a limitation on length. Nor will they, within reasonable limits, enforce restrictions of subject or of the language in which articles are written. The only standards they feel bound to maintain are those of scholarship and readability.”

The journal continues to welcome enquiries about possible articles or themed numbers, which should be made to the General Editors in the first instance.

Nigel F. Palmer and T. J. Reed, General Editors
Marie Isabel Schlinzig, Editorial Assistant
Graham Nelson, Production Editor


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