In mid-June, I will start a small sub-project and finally get to work with the Ethica Complementoria again! I won a small grant from the University of Oslo’s “Teksthub+DH“, a network to support digital humanities focusing on language and textual sources. The network itself is part of a university-wide endeavour to strengthen IT in research. With the grant money, I was able to hire a research assistant. This is what we are going to do:
We aim to create a dataset to be used as the basis for a bilingual (Danish/German) digital scholarly edition of one of the most popular books on ‘etiquette’ in early modern Germany and Northern Europe: the Ethica Complementoria.
Originally written in German, the book made its way to the Nordic region through the Danish translation from 1678. This first Danish print will be published in parallel with the German version used for the translation.
The transcription project is part of a larger project on the book and revision history of the Ethica Complementoria, led by Annika Rockenberger and will be conducted by Håvard Loeng. An overview of all editions has been published digitally at the Herzog August library: http://diglib.hab.de/ebooks/ed000738/start.htm.
Manual transcription of two 300+ page texts is not feasible anymore. However, traditional Optical Character Recognition (OCR) yields inferior results for older printed books. Therefore, we aim to test, evaluate, improve, and build upon the NorFraktur model from the National Library of Norway. NorFraktur is a public Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) model in Transkribus. It was trained on the HTR algorithm developed by READ Coop to recognise manuscripts and older prints automatically.
The development project contributes to both a digital scholarly edition with open access (planned as part of the publications by the Norwegian Language and Literature Society at bokselskap.no) and to the improvement and expansion of an open HTR model that the scholarly community can reuse for early modern prints in Norwegian (including Danish and German).