私にとっての人文科学 – Farhana Hoque (プロクエスト シニアプロダクトマネジャー)

人文科学分野の自由なコミュニケーションの場を目指してプロクエスト日本支社がTwitter上で作ったコミュニティ、「#じんぶんカフェ」。弊社のプロダクトマネジャーが人文科学について語るシリーズ第2回目をお届けします。今回は歴史コレクションデータベース開発に携わるプロダクトマネジャー、Farhana Hoqueです。日本語訳は英語原文の下に続きます。



Farhana Hoque
プロクエスト シニアプロダクトマネジャー

My favorite subject at school was History.

This may have been because I grew up a stone’s throw away from the famous ‘Iron Bridge’ in Shropshire (see photo) – the world’s first cast-iron bridge, built by Abraham Darby III and now recognized as one of the great symbols of the Industrial Revolution. I was fascinated by how the Industrial Revolution had transformed societies and made them more outward looking.

Thinking about this childhood experience and also my current job, probably Arts and Humanities means History to me.

It was not until I was at high school and university that I dived into The Early Modern Period for the first time. To my surprise and wonder, the developments in this period –  although more slowly paced – felt greater and had far-reaching impact.

The early modern period is broadly the centuries between 1500 and 1700. It encompasses some of the most dramatic transformations of society and hotly contested events in history. The printing press was invented in the Holy Roman Empire by the German Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, based on existing screw presses. New discoveries also fed into the so-called ‘scientific revolution’ of the later 17th century, in which the observational methods pioneered by Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and members of London’s Royal Society, such as Isaac Newton, replaced models provided by ancient philosophers like Galen and Aristotle.

The technological development of gunpowder in this period, strengthened nation states and their military. Their unprecedented coercive capabilities allowed the European powers to ‘discover’ New Worlds, notably in the Americas, acquire overseas territories, and exploit for their own benefit the resources they found there, including people: this was the age of the slave trade and also the birth of a capitalist global economy.

It is the later point, the travel literature, the maps, the new encounters with “the other” that fascinates me the most. Although I studied History initially, it was Anthropology that I turned to at graduate level when I shifted my focus to documenting peoples and their culture.

For this reason, I particularly enjoyed the Blog on “Silence”. “Silence” is Martin Scorsese’s film on Christian persecution in Japan. The blog was written by our Early European Books (EEB) metadata editor, Simon Hudson. The blog was interesting because of the way it uses film, Early printed books, particularly travel literature in EEB, and images to help provide context to a relatively unknown episode in Japanese history.

Early European Books (EEB) contains the curated “Early Modern Period” collections of 5 National European Libraries. This is the first time that we have such a wealth of material available in one place. Much of this vast corpus of material is unchartered and so there is always the possibility of discovering something new….








このような理由で、私はProQuestのウェブサイトで公開されている”Silence”というタイトルのブログを非常に興味深く読みました。”Silence”はマーティン・スコセッシによる、日本におけるキリスト教迫害をテーマにした映画です。このブログ記事はEarly European Books(EEB)のメタデータエディターであるSimon Hudsonにより書かれたものですが、この映画と近世に発行された書籍や印刷物、特にEEBに収録されている旅行記が、まだ世界に広く知られていない日本の歴史とその詳細な背景を知るのに非常に良いリソースであることを分かりやすく説明していると思ったからです。(Silenceの日本語訳はこちらからどうぞ。)


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