Interdisciplinary Center for Narratology

living handbook of narratology (LHN)

Within the framework of an innovative cooperation between Hamburg University Press, the editor of Hamburg University's Library Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg (SUB), and the academic publishing house de Gruyter, the ICN has developed an interactive narratological handbook. From May 2009 to April 2013, the LHN was hosted and maintained by Hamburg University Press. This Wiki-based version remains preserved under the date April 30, 2013, and is further accessible at: Since May 1, 2013, the LHN appears in a new design, based on a DRUPAL-CMS installation.

The living handbook of narratology is an Open Access publication. It makes available all 32 articles contained in the original print version, the Handbook of Narratology, edited in 2009 by de Gruyter. But the living handbook is not only just one more e-publication, since it continuously expands its original content base by adding new articles on further concepts and theories fundamental to narratology, and to the study of narrative in general.

The groundbreaking living handbook project had been granted funds until 2012 by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in the context of their programme "Literaturversorgungs- und Informationssysteme (LIS)" and is also financially supported by the University of Hamburg.

An article written by Isabella Meinecke, Hamburg University Press, and published in the University's magazine UHH Hochschulmagazin (May 2010) provides further information.

A quick overview of the living handbook's innovative key features:
Dynamic Content: The living handbook offers the opportunity to comment on existing articles and to suggest additions or corrections. The static print publication is transformed into a dynamic hybrid publication. For more information, see

DH-Tools: The living handbook offers the additional functionality of an electronic publication, including full-text search capability, one-click-export of reference information, and digital humanities tools for text analysis, e.g. the software VOYEUR, developed at the Canadian McMaster University, and the open source software CATMA with a focus on textual markup and analysis, developed at Hamburg University by Jan Christoph Meister and his team.

Open Access Business Concept: The cooperation between Hamburg University Press, de Gruyter and the ICN is a unique and seminal business concept for hybrid publications.

Sustainability: Since the cooperation with de Gruyter envisages a periodic reprint ot the Handbook of Narratology, including new online contributions, the sustainability of the online version is guaranteed.