There are a lot of Web sites focused on Borges. For the student and researcher the best site is the Borges Center at the University of Iowa. The site is available in English, French, and Spanish.

In their Borges Studies Online section are a number of excellent resources including articles as well as a few entire books. Most of the material is in Spanish but there are a few very good resources listed that are freely available in English.

One item that all readers of Borges should download is A Dictionary of Borges (PDF). This 270 page book written by Evelyn Fishburn & Psiche Hughes is completely available and a very enjoyable book to browse. While some of their definitions of places in Buenos Aires are not what I would say, the book is written for the person who has never been to Buenos Aires or doesn’t know much about the city or Argentine culture and history.

Another wonderful book available from the same site is by Beatriz Sarlo, Borges: A Writer on the Edge. It is also available in Spanish. I’m going to be talking more about Sarlo’s book in another posting.

Both of these works are out-of-print and very difficult to locate in print. So, it is great that these resources are available to everyone without having to track down a physical library. The copyright of the books are held by the authors and it’s very kind of them to allow the University of Iowa to make these works available.

More libraries, publishers, and universities should make out-of-print books available, particularly when the copyright is held by the author. All scholarly authors are likely to agree to that. Of course, maybe Google Books will eventually make the full text of the scholarly works that they scanned available someday. That will be a great asset for education in the developing world. (No scholarly writer is getting rich from royalties and only a very few creative writers ever make more than their advances). I can tell you that even here in Buenos Aires it is very difficult to find scholarly books in English and very few of these scholarly works are ever translated into Spanish. As a librarian, I’m passionate about expanding open access to scholarship.