1. Geography of literature

    Investigation

    Goal

    Study and analyze places described in works of literature (houses, streets, fountains, gardens or parks, monuments, bridges, mountains, etc.)

    Research question

    Even in works of fiction, writers usually describe real places. But are their descriptions accurate or do these places undergo considerable changes in the writing process or over time since the book was written?

    Equipment

    Camera, books and magazines, scanner, archival records.

    Why use data from multiple participants?

    GlobalLab is a unique scientific laboratory for school students. This project allows young people to acquire a great deal of knowledge about geographic places in literary works and share discoveries in this area. Multiple researchers covering the same place simply confirm and add to the reliability of the data. It also allows study of the same place from diverse perspectives.

    Investigation Protocol

    1. Choose an excerpt from any book that describes the place you are interested in. It may be a street, a house, a bridge, a plaza, a mountain etc. It might be most rewarding to choose a place you have visited yourself, but you can select any place for your research.
    2. Gather as much reliable information as you can. You can visit some archives or a library; inquire of teachers and other specialists, especially if the place you are analyzing is located in your city. If you inquire of more people then you are more likely to accumulate more material. If your chosen place is far away from you, you can look for information about it on the internet; do not forget to check the reliability of any internet sources.
    3. During your investigation you should answer the following questions:
      - When (which year) was the chosen book written and what was happening during that historical period?
      - Did the author visit this place in person? If not, then how did (s)he know about it and why did (s)he decide to describe it?
      - Is the current appearance of the place different from the description in the book? Are there other books in which this place is also mentioned?
    4. Often in the world of literature place prototypes are used. Such places, despite their altered name, are easy to recognize by events that happened there or by their description. There are a number of studies on such cases. You may consider these types of places, too, but you should be able to prove that the invented name belongs to a real place.
      WARNING: Be sure to specify where you got the information. The most reliable sources are books (include the bibliographic information- year, month, author, publishing house, pages), archival records, periodicals (author, article name, date, year and month of publishing, pages). If you take information from an Internet source be sure to note a page link and the last modified date (this information can usually be found on the bottom of the page).
    5. Make your own picture of the place or find a modern one on the internet. If you use a picture made by someone else, be sure to credit the source.
    6. Fill in the Report Form.

    Safety tips

    Be careful during the investigation. Do not forget basic safety measures and, while taking photos, do not go into the street.

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    • Project was published on:January 16, 2014
    Report Form Before filling in the Report Form, please read the Investigation Protocol