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Faust and the Faust-Tradition

Professor Morton; this page describes a teaching collaboration funded by a grant from the Duke Graduate School

Goals of the Digital Faust Project

The purpose of the Digital Faust project is to visualize the chronology and history of the Faustian themes in literature and art by paying close attention to editions of works and illustrations contained in works written in the Faustian tradition. There are easily over 6,000 works that fall into this tradition, but the Digital Faust project is on a much smaller scale. 

We hope to build an online library (exhibit) of 200 - 300  iconic  Faustian images in chronological order; this chronology will serve to contextualize your final research papers.

The project is designed to give you some hands-on experience with archival research and digital tools:

  • you will get an introduction to working in Rubenstein library at Duke
  • you will learn how to work with rare books and other archival materials
  • you will learn how to use the KIC scanner to produce digital images
  • you will learn how to find public domain cultural works
  • you will learn how describe digital objectsand how to build an online exhibit using OMEKA (an exhibit software used by many museums and other cultural organization)


  • January 28 - class will be held in the Rubenstein Library; we will look at ~60 to 70 unique Faust items held at Duke
  • January 30 - class will be held in Bostock 023; you will be trained on uploading and describing images in OMEKA 


You will add digital objects to the OMEKA class site as assigned during the month of February. This project is a work in progress, your feedback will be used to modify assignments.

The class will be divided into 4 groups, and each group will have specific assignments (they will be listed on this library guide):

1. January 30 to February 10: RARE BOOKS HELD IN RUBENSTEIN LIBRARY: Each group will scan the front page and the illustrations of 3 books in Rubenstein Library, and each group will upload the images to OMEKA and describe them according to a template.

2. Starting February 10 until February 28:  WORKS COVERED IN THE COURSE: Each group will be assigned authors from the syllabus, and will scan or download the front page of the earliest edition available for the work, as well as the illustrations; the group will add the images  to OMEKA  and describe them according to a template (see the note on digital libraries below).

3. Starting February 10 until February 28: FAUSTIAN ART WORK:  Each group will be assigned several important artists (creators of Faustian themed illustrations), and will scan or download the images and add them to the OMEKA site with description.

The number of images that each student adds to the OMEKA site is under 15 per student. You will find that many images are readily available on the Internet; our project takes the images, traces them to their original context, adds dates and descriptions, and displays them in chronological order

March and early April

By April 5: PRIMARY SOURCES USED IN YOUR RESEARCH PAPER: Each student will upload the primary sources they are using for their final papers; i.e. the image of the front page of the historic edition of a work used in the research paper, or images of the illustrations in the edition, images of art work in oil, sculpture, film stills, photos of sculptures, images of graphic novels or comics, etc.

Images connected to your final project have to be uploaded to OMEKA by the first week of April, before class presentations – so that you can use the OMEKA site during your presentations. 

April 22

There will be a speaker and box lunch on April 22 during the last class in Perkins Library 217

Look at an example of an online exhibit using OMEKA and NEATLINE at Yale


Digital Libraries

You will start with print sources in Duke's Rubenstein Library, but you will also find, download and describe digital objects from Digital Libraries; the Multimedia Project Studios at Duke can help with any technical questions about formatting images

The best source for digital images (books and other) is the Faust collection at the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek in Weimar, Germany - the library holds between 14,000 and 15,000 items. 

Below are a few examples of other digital libraries:

Historia von D. Johann Fausten 1587

More Contact Information

Andy ArmacostHead of Collection Development and Curator of Collections, Rubenstein Library

Will HansenAssistant Curator of Collections

Daniel Griffin, OMEKA DG Website