Online Resources for Philosophy Research

When universities began to move online in spring 2020 as a result of Covid-19, Project Vox published a list of permanent online resources to use in the classroom. As we are still in a global pandemic, we would like to share these resources again with updated links and some added materials. In these uncertain times, we hope that providing a brief list of online philosophy resources can help with transitioning to online teaching. We will share our personal take on resources that we use when preparing our philosopher entries as well as permanent resources that are always free and open. We hope you find these useful. 

What Online Resources do our Project Vox Researchers Use?

Jane Harwell, Project Manager

Many of the women philosophers featured on Project Vox’s site use poetry to convey their philosophic ideas, including but not limited to Margaret Cavendish and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. I use many resources available for free online in my personal study of poetry. Eighteenth Century Poetry Archive, or ECPA, is a digital collection of poetry. The site itself features annotation tools, allowing the user to easily identify poetic meter and rhythm as well as quickly search the Oxford English Dictionary for words within the text. For Better for Verse is a tool created for users to practice identifying stressed and unstressed words in a poem; I love sharpening my skills on that site.

Dana Hogan, Lead Researcher

Biographical publications are good places to start when searching for images of women philosophers; not all of these portraits will be true images of the historical figure, but they are valuable nonetheless as representations of cultural conceptions of the figure specific to a time and place. A resource commonly used by art historians is Artstor, a searchable database of images for educational and scholarly use.

Yasemin Altun, Lead Image Researcher

When doing images research on our previous philosophers, I have found it useful to check databases like ARTstor if I am looking for specific high-resolution images that are not available directly from a museum or other holding institutions (always check with them first!). For locating a reputable source of a more obscure image you’ve come across online, TinEye or Google images both have a reverse image search feature that allows you to paste an image file and generate other websites where this image appears. Using the “captions” field on JSTOR is another great hack to locate more obscure images. Oxford art/Grove art online has really handy biographic, dictionary-like entries pulled from Benezit. The Dictionary of Art Historians likewise provides profiles on art historians whose work may have involved representations of early modern philosophers. For French art, Joconde and RMN photo are pretty comprehensive databases of art in French national collections. Keep in mind that certain databases require personal or institutional subscriptions to access full versions/features.

Alyssa Granacki, Researcher

For readers and teachers of Italian, Treccani is an amazing site. In addition to a dictionary, encyclopedia, and teaching resources, it offers over 30,000 biographical entries on famous Italians, including a number women writers and philosophers. It’s always my starting point for learning more about Italian texts or figures. I also like the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists site, which provides a wide variety of resources in both English and German! 


Permanent Resources

The following content is always openly available for researchers and educators. 
Guides and Libraries
  • For your further convenience, here is Duke Library’s guide to “Freely Available Databases and Search Tools,” created by Cheryl Thomas of Duke Libraries.
  • The Internet Archive is an always openly accessible library of digitized and digital content, from books to datasets to web pages. 
  • HathiTrust Digital Library provides access to digitized books for member institutions as well as guests. 
  • British Library provides access to high-resolution digitizations of maps, manuscripts, and more on their digital collections page.
Philosophy
For a much more extensive list of philosophy content available online, please see the American Philosophical Association’s catalog of resources.
Art History
  • National Portrait Gallery has a database of its portraits available for viewing online.
  • The Met Collection has a database of its artworks available for viewing online.
  • The Met Publications is another resource by The Metropolitan Museum of Art but with fully digitized art history books.
  • Museum Martena allows viewings of many artworks by and related to Anna Maria van Schurman, our upcoming figure. The website is in Dutch.
  • Smarthistory is a collaboration of more than 300 art historians, archaeologists, curators and academics who want to make the highest-quality art history resources freely available to a global audience.
  • Timeline of Art History by The Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn hosts a catalog of essays and works of art as well as a chronology.

Project Vox

As an open educational resource, we also want to draw attention to some of our own content that we hope will help our audience with teaching philosophy online.
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Many thanks to Roy Auh, who complied the earlier version of this post that was shared in March 2020. We hope you find this list helpful. If you know of a resource that is not on this list, please feel free to contact us (projectvox@duke.edu) with suggestions.