Crowdsourcing a digital Husserl Bibliography

On Saturday 27th, the Open Commons of Phenomenology is organising an event to create a complete, digital and free bibliography of Husserl’s work. You can participate either in Leuven or online. Click here to register for the event.

In this post, I’d like to explain in a bit more detail what we are trying to achieve, what will happen at the event and how you can contribute.

1. Creating a digital bibliography

The objective of the event is pretty straightforward: we want to compile a complete list of Husserl’s published works, which can be accessed, searched and exported from the Open Commons website completely for free. The list of Husserl’s works will include of course all monographs and articles, but also – for each book – a detailed list of chapters with pagination. Further, the bibliography will list all reeditions and translations of each work.

To get an idea of how this looks like, you can check out the almost complete bibliography of Maurice Merleau-Ponty that is already online on the Open Commons. Some of Husserl’s publications are also already online, for example his Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie.

2. Inputting references

Creating the bibliography itself is a very simple, but quite slow process which consists of inputting references in the Open Commons database. This is done directly from the website, through our inputting module:


To access the inputting module, you need to create an account and then go to the inputting page, either by clicking “Add a reference” in the top menu (under Repository), or following this link here. Before the event we will provide a video tutorial of how to input references. During the event itself we will of course be happy to answer all your questions (in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, etc.). All inputs are moderated, so you don’t have to worry about making a mistake or two as these will be corrected for you.

3. The Biblio Sprint

Up to now, myself and Rodney (Parker) have been “heroically” doing almost all the inputting on our own (we’ve entered almost 8000 entries). To accelerate this process and get our lives back, we are counting on your help! The idea of the biblio sprint, indeed, is for as many people as possible to get together on a given day and input references collectively. In Husserl’s case, we estimate there are about 1500-2000 references to input (counting all book chapters, translations, reeditions, etc.). So if we can gather 15-20 people, that’s 100 references per person, or about 3-4 hours work. At the end, we’ll have a complete, digital bibliography that everyone can use for free for ever after.

In essence, the event will simply consist of a group of people gathering in Leuven (or through our Internet live-video) to input references through the Open Commons website. Of course, we’ll try to make things agreeable by having drinks, food and music, and some little competitions (of which I’ll tell you more later). Planning the event for the whole day also means we can take it easy and enjoy some conversation.

4. Participating

You are most welcome to participate! Don’t be shy, we’ll be happy and grateful for every participant, whether grad or undergrad student, layman or expert. All you need is a computer and internet connection. You can either join us physically in Leuven, or you can participate online. We will be streaming a video of the event as it happens and will be available on skype, Hangout and Social Media to communicate with you wherever you are in the world.

If you join the event in Leuven, don’t forget to bring your laptop with you.

It is a good idea to register either on the facebook page or the event page. But you can also just join us on the day, no problem! And of course, you can participate for as long as you want: even a short hour would be great. If you have any questions, please post in the comments below.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Leuven or online! If you can’t join us, please share the information widely.

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