Preface: I am attempting, in these pages, to provide descriptive and critical essays concerning sources of information about symbolic things: signs, symbols, myths, etc. The mystery of how something attains more meaning than is obvious has long puzzled people. For scholars and interested persons in the various fields that study or use symbolic images,* I hope this website and critical essays prove useful. Equally, I have tried to provide some tools that will help the everyday person who finds an interest in symbols, whether in literature or their own dreams, or from some other stimulation. My initial sources of materials are the Florida International University Libraries and my own personal collection. Yet, I am already having to use Doug Hasty and his Interlibrary Loan Dept. team to seek out and borrow other volumes that I find needful. Thanks, Doug.
Navigation and contents: Most pages begin with an introductory paragraph (in bold, as is the previous paragraph) followed by paragraphical essays on the various sources that relate to the specific topic of the chapter. Following the essay paragraphs is a bibliography of the materials included in the essays and, occassionally, a few sources not reviewed but of possible interest. At the end of the essays and at the end of the bibliography there is a dragon:
Clicking on the dragon should take you to the next chapter/page. Near the first paragraph will be the "devil" image in the right margin; clicking on it takes you to the bottom of the page (and, consequently, to the "dragon" link to the next chapter.) Near the bottom of each page is an "angel rising" image, linked to the top of the page. Most pages, as they develop, will have "section down" images similar to those on the TOC to take you to the next section of text, allowing you to avoid the "slide bar" to the right of your browser window. These usually move the screen down 1 to 2 paragraphs. While I have tried to space these "section down" links so as to relieve having to use the slide bar (which I detest having to use for scrolling long pages like my own,) due to the variety of monitor sizes, choices of dpi settings, and the differences in size of default font, I know of no way to adequately present this feature that some of the readers will not find inadequate. Please remember: This is a work under construction; sources will appear and disappear; further, when they first appear, it may be a while before they are annotated.
Special Features: In addition to the standard features on the bibliographic essay pages, there are a few special pages which I am developing to help the reader. I strongly urge you to read the "Introduction to Symbolism." The introduction, Chapter One, gives the context in which I have created these pages, as well as discussing the difficulties and varieties of opinion about symbolism. You may know what you mean by "symbol," "symbolism," and "myth," but there are people who will disagree. That is the nature of this field of study--especially because it cuts across so many divergent scholarly disciplines. On the introductory page several major scholars of symbology are mentioned and their ideas, briefly, highlighted. The definition of terms are elucidated in, I hope, an entertaining method, but certainly in a series of paragraphs that give context to the essays of the following pages. The links to quotes necessitate that you have any "popup blocker" turned off. This also applies to the commentary index. (See below.)
For those people interested in a complete, alphabetical bibliography of all the sources I am considering for this work, there is an "Annotated Bibliography of Print Resources." In this chapter (§17), I have listed all the sources used or considered, with brief, descriptive annotations. Each citation entry begins with a "palm," then the author (in bold print) or editor, where appropriate. (For those persons unfamiliar with standard bibliographic formats, an underline at the beginning of a citation indicates that the previously listed author in the bibliography is also the author of the current title.) The title of the source is then listed; following traditional format, if it is a chapter or journal article, it will be in quotation marks, if a book, then it will be underlined. Translator and original title of those sources not originally published in English will usually be next, where appropriate and where known. (Modern "copyright" law has led to some horribly inadequate and lax documentation within books.) Normally, however, the publication data (place, publisher, date) will follow the title of the publication, including known publication history and any variant edition information. Following this is the number of pages (in the examined volume) and the ISBN where known, to allow anyone needing to request the source through a library's Interlibrary Loan office or wishing to purchase it, to ascertain the edition/item desired. When graphic images are an important part of the source, there will be an indicator:
= Source has graphics and text; = Source has only graphics, any text is limited to labels.
Sources with few or incidental graphics will not always have mention of the graphics in the entry. Following the graphics indicator, there may be an alphanumeric number in brackets ( [ ] ), that is a personal acquisition number from my own collection. The final item listed in the citation will be, where known, the standard Library of Congress subject classication, which is also an alphanumeric series. Warning about call numbers: Please note that even in libraries that usually follow the LC classification, many times they will vary from the number that the Library of Congress assigns for some books, for various reasons. DO NOT TRUST that the number will be correct for a library that you use; always check their online catalog or card catalog.
In the annotations that follow the citations in the "Annotated Bibliography of Print Sources," I have tried to summarize both the content (often listing the major sections or chapter headings) and the perspective. The latter is often the hardest to clearly and fairly epitomize about books concerned with symbols, signs, and their like, but the perspective may give the user of this bibliography a better idea as to the usefulness of the source for their own purpose. I have also tried to evaluate the effectiveness of any bibliography and/or index that may be included in the work. Any other research/interpretation aids included in the work are mentioned. The annotations in this "annotated bibliography" are not the same, nor usually as extensive, as those discursive paragraphs in the essays. However, annotations of the bibliographic citations usually precede, temporally, the essays.
There is also a "Bibliography of Websites" to be found, in the chapter following the bibliography of print sources. This is more subjective, perhaps, and includes its own subject index. Unfortunately, there are myriads of pages on specific symbols, styles of symbols or signs, and classifications of symbols and signs to be found on the web. Fortunately, several people have compiled excellent bibilographies of websites, which are mentioned in this list of sites. The entries usually follow the format of: Page links; Site name; Main site url; graphic indicator. This bibliography also uses the same graphic image indicators as the "Annotated Bibliography of Print Sources."
I am also compiling an index of images* with major commentaries within the print sources. By the term, "major," I have used the standard of "not less than one full page within the source." Unfortunately, given the styles of format and printing, one full page in one source may contain the same information as a single paragraph in another. Therefore, do not depend only on this index alone for interpretative materials; examine some of the major dictionaries examined in the related topical chapter/page. This index does depend on a popup window to work easily. If you block popup windows, finding which source has the specific commentaries becomes very cumbersome, requiring you to look for esoteric codes.
There is also a bibliography of graphics sources to consult when you are more interested in the graphic images, the visuals, than their definitions or applications. Please note, it is a bibliography, not an index. Therefore you may use it to search for the most likely sources of graphics, but it will not direct you to which sources have a particular graphic.
I have also created a glossary of the main terms I have used in the essays and with what definition I have used them. This is necessary when even the term, symbol, can range in meanings from "any mark that means something" to "that which participates in that to which it points." (See the Introduction for a greater explanation of this and other terms.) In addition to defining how I use the terms, I have added links to other definitions people have given for the terms. Some of these definitions will be compatible with my own, others are in direct conflict. And, as with most any set of defined terms, there are even a couple of words I use with differing (but not conflicting) meanings. Both meanings are given in the glossary and should be obvious from the contexts in which I use them as to which I intend.
Finally, for anyone particularly interested in symbolism in its broadest sense, I am in the process of developming a combined bibliography from the bibliographies of the more important sources contained in this online bibliography. It is in a Word document, and a bit lengthy (currently, over 50 pages.) I am willing to share this "work in progress," although I must warn you that it is designed for my purposes, showing what access I have to the sources, and, furthermore, using some abbreviations within citations (e.g., U Pr, for "University Press"; "NY:" (without a city) for New York, New York, etc.) If you are interested, please send me an email, via the link at my name, below, and I will respond.
Click on the Dragon to proceed to the next section
*Please check the "Glossary" for precise meanings of the main terms used; for instance, by "images," I am not referring only to graphic images, I am not even primarily referring to graphics nor to visual images.
|Steve Morris' Home Page||FIU Library Page||Steve Morris' Compositions TOC||Symbols & Symbolism: Title Page & TOC||Symbols & Symbolism: Topical Index to Site|
|This page created and maintained by Steve Morris, (email@example.com)
Business & Legal Research Specialist,
Reference & Instructional Services Dept.
Steven and Dorothea Green Library
Florida International University
Miami, Florida 33199
Content Last Updated :