The Maniac Collector's Inbox
UNESCO Translation Index
Just before Christmas, the great Sherlockian Peter Blau emailed to ask me if I knew about UNESCO’s Translation Index. UNESCO stands for Untied Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Like many things Peter asks me about, I was not aware of this publication but soon, I was all over it. The index is a listing of translations, worldwide. There is a search engine that allows the user to enter an author’s name and see what works of theirs has been translated. A search of ‘Doyle’ brought back 1,944 entries, however, the electronic listing only goes back to the mid-seventies.
The official title is the Index Translationum and according to their website, it is a list of books translated in the world, i.e. an international bibliography of translations. The Index Translationum was created in 1932 and this year is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Does this sound right up my alley, or what? I t is a database contains cumulative bibliographical information on books translated and published in about one hundred of the UNESCO Member States since 1979 and totals more than 1.800,000 entries in all disciplines: literature, social and human sciences, natural and exact sciences, art, history and so forth. The references prior to 1979 can be looked up in the printed editions, available in all National depository libraries.
There are 1,944 entries for Doyle and of these, 1,500 are for Canonical works. Taking this information further, about 500 of these entries were not included in The Galactic Sherlock Holmes. I am now busy adding them. What I found most exciting so far is there are two languages I did not know that translations of Sherlock Holmes existed. These are Assamese and Tajik. Svarlak Hamchar rahasya Kahini is an Assamese translated by Yoges Das. It was published by Saraighat Prakashan, 2003 and is 88 pages in length. Qhikojaqho dar borai Šerlok Holms is a Tajik translated by S. Saraf. It was published in Dušanbe by Irfon in 1982. This books has 449 pages and was translated from English to Russian to Tajik and it contains the Memoirs.
After finding these two new translations, I started an email writing campaign and this morning the first of them paid dividends. I heard back from Svetlana Morozova, of East View Information Services in Moscow. Her title is Expert of Customer Service and Information Section, Books Department and in my eyes, she has more than lived up to her title. In her email to me this morning, she had found a copy of the Tajik book and it was on it’s way to America.
According to my records, the Canon now has translations in eighty-three languages. Once I have been able to research the printed Index Translationum this total many increase. My daughter Kelly Hamil has a Master’s Degree in Library Science and I plan on putting her education to work for me. She has informed me that it is legal to copy up to ten per-cent of a book for research purposes without being effected by the copyright laws. I am sure that the Doyle section will not be more than ten per-cent.
I will provide more information as it becomes available.
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