We have tried to put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Please e-mail us if you have questions that are not covered by the list below.

How did the database get its name -gender Inn?

The design and name of this database are the result of an interdisciplinary project conducted in cooperation with the Department of Art and Design at the Fachhochschule Köln. The English word Inn is used to imply hospitality, openness or, more generally, a place to meet.

In addition, inn is a German suffix which is often used to mark the female sex (when referring to professions). Thus: "Lehrer" (male teacher) and "Lehrerin" (female teacher), and the plural form "Lehrerinnen” (female teachers). Feminist linguists have suggested a different practice: Rather than using the form "inn" in order to append, as it were, the female to the male they have suggested the spelling "LehrerInnen" (with capital "I") as a generic term, denoting both the female and male sex.
As yet, this form remains fairly rare in everyday German usage. It goes without saying that gender Inn is keen to foster its wider use.


How did gender Inn come into being?

Since 1987 bibliographic records referring to secondary literature on feminist theory, feminist literary criticism and gender studies have been systematically collected and recorded at the chair of Prof. Natascha Würzbach at the English Department at the University of Cologne.
In 1990 the collected data were computerized using a specifically designed feminist thesaurus. In cooperation with the Regional Computing Centre (RRZK) of the university all records were transferred in 1996 into an internet-database, thus offering the opportunity for online-research.
The internet-database’s name "gender Inn" and its design are the outcome of an interdisciplinary project conducted in cooperation with the Department of Art and Design at the Fachhochschule Köln in the winter term 1996/97.

Interdisciplinary Project Group 'Gender goes Internet'

In response to an inquiry from Prof. Natascha Würzbach and Ms Susanne Webel from the English Department at the University of Cologne the interdisciplinary cooperation project "Gender goes Internet" came into being in 1996.
During the winter term 1996/97 four students (Nikola Berger, Jutta Frings, Doris Ladwig und Marta Pasiek) from the Department of Art and Design at the Fachhochschule Köln developed the Internet-database’s structure, navigational elements and web-design.
The project was conducted by Prof. Dr. Uta Brandes and Designer Melanie Völker, who is in charge of interdisciplinary "lighthouse-projects" at the Department of Art and Design.

gender Inn was first presented to the public February 3, 1997.

The following designs for the database's new name and appearance were rejected in favour of the current graphic design:

Design suggestions Logo suggestion


What kind of information do I find in gender Inn?

The database consists of bibliographic records pertaining to feminist literary criticism and gender studies focussing on British and American literature. In addition, great emphasis is placed upon the inclusion of general resources and introductory texts in feminst theory.
As the database has a declared interdisciplinary orientation we also include feminist literature on pedagogy, sociology, history and psychology.

Due to the huge increase of publications in women’s and gender studies over the last years, the database only covers monographs and essay collections. Journal articles are only included in special cases.
There are also no monographs on particular authors which, as a rule, can be easily found with the help of standard bibliographies such as the MLA. This does not mean, however, that searching for literature on particular authors like Virgina Woolf or Ntzotake Shange will produce no results.

gender Inn’s great advantage is the quality of its indexing. Up to 20 keywords are assigned to every document with the help of the feminist thesaurus which has been specifically designed to accommodate the needs of feminist research and was revised recently. As a consequence, very detailed search terms are available.

Since gender Inn was founded in 1987, this is the year in which we started searching the local libraries and publishers' book catalogues for relevant titles. However, the publication dates of the sources listed in the database go back as far as 1910. Numbers then rise slowly until a publication date of about 1985, after which year you will find a vast number of entries for every year.

Comments and further suggestions are welcome!


What are the technical details behind gender Inn ?

At the moment the software to manage the database is being changed from LIDOS to SQL.

Mr Heinz Stöwe from the university's Regional Computing Centre is doing all the necessary programming.

You will soon find more information on the technical details.


Can I borrow the books I researched in gender Inn from them?

Unfortunately this is not possible. gender Inn is a database and no library.The gender Innteam itself borrows books from surrounding libraries on a regular basis and return them after having added them to the database.


What kinds of links are listed on the gender Inn weblinks page?

The gender Inn Team is trying to present a comprehensive choice of gender and women’s studies links, with a strong focus on Anglo-American literary studies.

Primarily, the weblinks-page lists on-line databases where the visitors of gender Inn may complete their search for gender and women’s studies literature.

gender Inn also points to reading lists, bibliographies and metapages. With the exception of literary studies, no pages concerned with a special field of study (like feminst theology, feminist history, etc.) are listed.


Who is the gender Inn - Team?

In 1987 the database was founded by Prof. Natascha Würzbach as "Women’s and Gender Studies Database". In 1997, the database was made available for search on the WWW. The first team of women working for gender Inn were Josefine Danneberg, Annika Monsees and Susanne Webel (project manager).
In April 1999 the project moved to the chair of Prof. Beate Neumeier. The current team are Dirk Schulz and Astrid Recker.


Universität zu Köln
Englisches Seminar
- Abteilung Neumeier -
D-50923 Köln

Tel. ++49 - (0)221-470-3030
Fax ++49 - (0)221-470-6931

e-Mail: database-genderinn@uni-koeln.de