World of Dante: A Hypermedia Archive for the Study of the Inferno

  1. 1. Deborah Parker

    University of Virginia

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This presentation will demonstrate how users can access information on The World of Dante: A Hypermedia Archive for the Study of the Inferno function, a project developed under the auspices of IATH (Institute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities, University of Virginia) in 1996-97. The major sections of The World of Dante include a visual archive of approximately 300 images (Gustave Doré's engravings, the engravings which accompanied Alessandro Vellutello's 1544 commentary to the Divine Comedy, maps of towns, and photographs of geographical sites and architectural and artistic structures named in the Inferno), the TEI-tagged Italian text of the Inferno, presented through Dynaweb (an SGML-aware Webserver), and a text visualization, a VRML model of the Inferno. More specifically, this presentation will focus on the editorial criteria used for the encoding of the Inferno, modifications made to TEI guidelines for the reference strings, and explain how The World of Dante differs from other Dante projects currently online, notably The Dartmouth Dante Project, The Tweb Digital Dante Project sponsored by Columbia University, the University of Notre Dame's Renaissance Dante in Print, and Robert Hollander's forthcoming Princeton Multimedia Dante Project.
In order to familiarize users with information encompassed by the project, the demonstration will present the visual material assembled for Inferno 31 and explore how the various accompanying can enhance a reading of the poem. The presentation will then shift to a discussion of the textual apparatus and a demonstration of the kind of information that can be quickly retrieved in simple keyword searches. The next set of sample searches will illustrate the kind of results that can be retrieved when searching the editorial markup of Dante's text as well as show how this project can perform searches better than traditional concordances.
Briefly, passages pertaining to persons, places, in other words geographical sites named on Earth and in Hell, mythical creatures, deities, architectural and artistic structures, and passages relating to Dante's and Virgil's journey through Hell have been tagged. These essentially material features constitute a tractable body of data that span the entire length of the canticle. These features have been tagged when mentioned by their conventionally recognized proper or standard name (ie Minos, Satan, Styx, Virgil) and by various devices of language such as circumlocution, epithets, apostrophes, patronyms, matronyms, and toponyms. Willard McCarty's The Analytical Onomasticon Project, especially his delimitation of the devices used by an author for naming persons and places, provided a helpful model for establishing the editorial criteria in The World of Dante.
The demonstration will end with a discussion of how The World of Dante can enhance teaching and researching of the poem.
Online references:
Alighieri, Dante. La Divina Commedia illustrata nei luoghi e nelle persone. Ed. Corrado Ricci. Milan, 1921.
Dante con l'espositione di Christophoro Landino et di Alessandro Vellutello... Venice, 1564.
La Divina Commedia di Dante con commenti secondo la scolastica. Ed. Gioachino Berthier. Friburgo, 1892.
Dante Alighieri's Inferno with the Original by Dante Alighieri and Illustrated with the Designs of Gustave Doré. New York, 1890.
Sacchetto, Aleardo. Con Dante attraverso le terre d'Italia. Florence, 1544.

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Conference Info

In review

"Virtual Communities"

Hosted at Debreceni Egyetem (University of Debrecen) (Lajos Kossuth University)

Debrecen, Hungary

July 5, 1998 - July 10, 1998

109 works by 129 authors indexed

Series: ACH/ALLC (10), ACH/ICCH (18), ALLC/EADH (25)

Organizers: ACH, ALLC