TextGrid: Creating, publishing and archiving digital editions and other data from the arts and humanities via a Virtual Research Environment and its repository

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Sibylle Söring

    Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Gottingen State and University Library) - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (University of Gottingen)

  2. 2. Ubbo Veentjer

    Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Gottingen State and University Library) - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (University of Gottingen)

  3. 3. Stefan Funk

    Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Gottingen State and University Library) - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (University of Gottingen)

Work text
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Today, scholarly digital editions represent one of the core application areas of the Digital Humanities. Virtual Research Environments (VREs) enable and support the creation, publication, and long-term archiving of such data. Answering an increasing demand for digital and collective research features in the humanities, the joint project TextGrid, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has, since its start in 2006 and in continuous exchange with the research community, developed a VRE that aims at mapping the entire research process.

Whereas the TextGrid Laboratory (TextGridLab) contains a versatile open source software for editing and generating digital sources collaboratively in a protected virtual environment, and allowing for a differentiated user rights management, the TextGrid Repository (TextGridRep) offers an open, XML/TEI-based long-term research archive, in which both the text and image data generated with the TextGridLab, as well as external digital objects, can be published, browsed, explored, analysed, cited, and archived.

A crucial factor of a VRE’s success and impact is the use of both technological and semantic standards. The TextGrid architecture supports, amongst common metadata standards, the markup language XML together with the well-established markup data format TEI. They reflect international standards for the sustainable, searchable and reusable mark-up of humanistic sources, especially of digital editions. A differentiated user rights management facilitates collaborative work on a shared project in a non-public environment. Tools, data, and methods can be used mutually, regardless of the operative system, software equipment, or location.

In addition to the tools and services available in the TextGridLab, the TextGridRep provides the user with the possibility to save, publish, and search a variety of digital resources such as XML/TEI encoded texts, images and databases, therefore supporting the creation of Linked Open Data. Thus, both core components of the VRE, the TextGridLab and the TextGridRep, are aligned for an optimal interaction, interlinkeage, and workflow between and with one another.

Beyond the creation of resources, TextGrid ensures the persistent availability of and access to research data as well as optimal interconnectivity, supporting international standards. Collaborative research is facilitated by e.g. the annotation of images; further annotation features are currently evaluated.

Thus, TextGrid facilitates the creation of digital editions, from the provision and creation of primary data in XML to published and citable research data; data that can also be made available in an external online portal, or be exported into a print-ready document (PDF).

As of today, TextGrid has approx. 1.500 registered users and approx. 40 research projects from a broad spectrum of humanistic disciplines ranging from philology, cultural studies, medieval studies, jewish and ecclesiastical history to linguistic and musicological studies. Amongst them are single scholars and medium-scale research groups such as "Theodor Fontane's notebooks", as well as large, long-term projects like “Johann Friedrich Blumenbach – online” or “IDIOM – Interdisciplinary Dictionary of Classic Mayan”.

The poster will display how a complete scholarly workflow can be mapped via a VRE like TextGrid – from collecting and generating primary data through enriching it with metadata and XML/TEI, and finally publishing it in a portal and/or a repository, following sustainable standards and thus allowing for citation, long-term accessibility, further interlinking and scholarly re-use. In this scope, the poster will not only focus on text-based research data, but will also explore technologies allowing for a web based annotation, viewing and publishing of image formats such as Digilib.









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Conference Info


ADHO - 2014
"Digital Cultural Empowerment"

Hosted at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Université de Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland

July 7, 2014 - July 12, 2014

377 works by 898 authors indexed

XML available from https://github.com/elliewix/DHAnalysis (needs to replace plaintext)

Conference website: https://web.archive.org/web/20161227182033/https://dh2014.org/program/

Attendance: 750 delegates according to Nyhan 2016

Series: ADHO (9)

Organizers: ADHO