1500 Digital Manuscripts Edited on E-codices

NEWS – Another important milestone: 1500 digital manuscripts edited on e-codices.

Over the past ten years, e-codices has published about 15% of Swiss medieval manuscripts in digital form; this is a total of 1,500 manuscripts, about 1,300 from the medieval period. For more than 350 manuscripts, new scientific descriptions were prepared in collaboration with curators and a large scientific community.

Christoph Flüeler, founder and director of e-codices, states: “What matters most to us has never been the sheer number of manuscripts or how often each digital manuscript is consulted, although these numbers really are impressive. Much more important to us is meeting the demands of research and kindling new demand, using technology to strike out in new directions, and changing how manuscripts are regarded. For us, the diligence that goes into a critical edition of a text also remains the model for the edition of a digital manuscript”.

Flüeler explained this as follows in a recent article: “A digital manuscript edition should, like a critical text edition, follow documented scholarly research criteria and not produce a plain, unexamined reproduction of the material object […] <it should> create some added value […] <and> should obviously provide a reliable foundation for current research of the original manuscript” (read the full version).

Previously e-codices recorded only author names with authority files. All names received a GND-number (Gemeinsame Normdatei, Universal Authority File) so that different variants of a name, particularly common with medieval authors, could be identified as one specific author.

With the new update, the author index will successively be expanded to become a person index. In addition to the author, the following person roles will also be systematically recorded from now on: commentator, translator, scribe, illuminator, bookbinder, annotator, patron, former possessor, librarian, seller ; restorer-conservator and describer will come soon.

In future, work titles, entities, locations and even manuscripts (!) will be provided with authority files and will be captured via a special account by the GND (Gemeinsame Normdatei, Universal Authority File).

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