Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
More a blog than a journal, the Black Death Network was established online to create an interdisciplinary network sharing information on new research connecting scholars from all disciplines for understanding 14th-century crises. These crises included widespread harvest failures, human famine, and the Black Death, which in the middle of the century swept through Europe killing 30–60% of the population. The Network arose from a session at the 18th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) held in Helsinki, Finland, August 29th through September 1st, 2012.
There is an editorial team of scholars from Germany and the UK who sort posts into the following categories: climatology, dendrology, Diseases, Epidemiology, Famine, Genomics, Geoarchaeology, Historical Ecology, Human Osteology, Landscape archaeology, Lectures / Readings, mass graves, material culture (archaeology), Medieval History, Methods, concepts & theories, Microbiology, Posts, Publications, Research articles on the 14th century crises, Researchers, weather / climate, Yersinia pestis, and Zooarchaeology. The blog is hosted at hypotheses.org/ open edition, a platform for academic blogs organized by the German Historical Institute at Paris, the French National Library. The Institute provides the blog with its ISSN and archives the blog, making it possible for it to be searched and cited. Researchers join the Black Death Network through a link on the site.
Many posts are simply links to other materials, which are useful when the links are live – unfortunately, many of them are dead. A listing of researchers presently signed up on the network is available at: http://bldeathnet.hypotheses.org/category/researchers, and this is probably the most valuable aspect of the site and that of which librarians may want to make scholars of 14th century European history and related disciplines aware.