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Summer School - Digital Humanities: Making a Digital Edition – Basic Skills and Technologies, 28 June - 2 July 2021, Belgium

Publish Date: Jan 24, 2021

Deadline: Mar 20, 2021

Event Dates: from Jun 28, 2021 12:00 to Jul 02, 2021 12:00

Digital Humanities

Making a Digital Edition – Basic Skills and Technologies

Summer School | 28 June - 2 July 2021

Intensive 5-day entry level hands-on course on making digital editions and managing digital collections. In this course, participants will acquire a set of basic computer skills to share and reuse images through IIIF (using Raspberry Pis); transcribe the texts on these images in TEI-XML; and prepare their transcriptions for the web.

For a more detailed day-to-day overview of the course, please read our Course Description. 

If covid-19 won’t allow us to organise a live summer school, candidates will be informed of this by 1 April 2021 at the latest. Please visit our website for the latest updates.

If you have any questions please contact us at 

Course Description

In the past few decades, digital editing and digitisation of archival documents have been rapidly gaining prominence. Aiming to cater for both of these branches of Digital Humanities, our summer school offers an in-depth, hands-on curriculum to familiarise students with basic and more advanced tools in the field. Apart from acquiring a set of technical skills, our programme includes the more general practical guidelines on how to make a digital edition.


In preparations for the summer school, participants will be asked to complete a minor autodidactic assignment make sure they all have a basic understanding of some of the core technologies the course will build on: HTML, CSS, and command line interfaces. This assignment does not require any previous knowledge, and the skills will be homed further during the summer school. 

MONDAY | Introduction and Web Technologies


On the first day, the tutors will introduce the course setup, and divide the class into groups. Each of these groups will receive a Raspberry Pi mini computer for the duration of the course, on which we will be developing digital scholarly editions together. Connecting them over a router, we will set up Local Area Network of Raspberry Pis, and configure the devices to prepare them for the task ahead. Using the Raspberry Pis, each group develops a minimal web page, that will be shared over the network by the end of the day. 

TUESDAY | Transcribing and Querying Documents


On the second day, we will move from HTML to XML, learning to transcribe text-bearing cultural or historical documents according to the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). We will cover the basics of digital scholarly editing and text encoding, and learn how to query the XML documents we’re producing through XPath.

WEDNESDAY | Transforming XML Documents


On the third day, we will start from the XML documents we developed in class, and learn how we can prepare them for the web, by transforming them into HTML through XSLT. We will do this using the XPath expressions we have learned the day before. This effort will result in a minimal, static representation of a limited number of transcribed document pages, that can again be shared with the class over our network of Raspberry Pis. In the evening, Elena Pierazzo will present a keynote lecture on the topic of Digital Scholarly Editing, with a focus on her concept of the prêt-à-porter edition. 

THURSDAY | Developing a Dynamic eXist-db Webapp


On the fourth day, we will start to install eXist-db on our Raspberry Pis — an XML database that facilitates hosting a more dynamic digital scholarly edition of our images and XML transcriptions. 

FRIDAY | Using eXist-db Applications

TEI Publisher

On the last day, we will introduce TEI Publisher, an eXist-db application that aims to simplify the production of digital scholarly editions by linking the TEI’s ODD format for documenting encoding schemas to a set of configurable CSS rules. Afterwards, students will have the opportunity to consult the tutors and keep developing and fine-tuning their Digital Scholarly Editions — which they will present t the rest of the class at the end of the day. 


Upon successful  completion of the summer school course (including the preparatory assignment), students will be credited 3 ECTS — the certificates of which they can present to their home institutions. Students who which to earn 6 ECTS instead, will receive an additional assignment that will be completed individually over then summer. In this assignment, students will be asked to apply what they learned to their own materials, and develop their own small-scale demo edition.

To include the credits in the curriculum at the home institution, participants need an agreement with the responsible person at the home institution.

A certificate will be awarded at the end of the programme.

Target group

Undergraduate (BA3), graduate (MA) and postgraduate (PhD, postdoc) students as well as professionals in the field of Humanities.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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