In her workshop, SPP 2130 Mercator Fellow Dr Yen-Mai Tran-Gervat (Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris) takes comparisons between modern European translation histories and projects as her point of departure for a closer look at fundamental methodological problems – first and foremost structuring decisions. While the Historia de la traducción en España (2004) is structured according to Spain’s three major regional languages (Catalonian, Galician and Basque) and the Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (2005–2010) by source language, the Histoire des Traductions en langue francaise (2012–2019) proceeds on the basis of theme/genre. The workshop also focusses on such questions as what distinguishes a history of translation from a classical history of (national) literature, how the latter can avoid falling into normativity traps and reproducing unconscious prejudices, and what influence academic departmental debates have on the matter.
Whereas the three above-cited major book projects were all launched between 2000 and 2005, there are meanwhile a growing number of digital resources on translations and translators available. Two workshop participants, both involved in the development of historically oriented translation databases – one Polish and one Uruguayan –, report on pertinent examples of such resources.