The “XML/Repetti” Project: XML Encoding and Manipulation of Temporal Information in Historical Text Sources
Fabio Grandi , University of Bologna, Italy
Federica Mandreoli , University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

Short Paper: Short Paper 7: Data Models

The paper deals with the deployment of XML-related technologies in Cultural Heritage applications concerning the encoding of temporal semantics in the digital version of historical documents. Since written sources have often the same importance as material evidence in medieval archaeology, our approach can be applied to the development of tools for the support of archeological research. In previous work we developed an XML/XSL infrastructure called "The Valid Web" for the definition and management of historical information within Web documents. In this paper we describe the application and extension of such an approach to the realization of the electronic version of Emanuele Repetti's historical-geographical dictionary of Tuscany (nineteenth Century). The ex-tension concerns the uniform management of temporal indeterminacy (involved in expressions like "near the end of 1456"), the use of multiple calendars (e.g. Julian and Gregorian, with possibly different "styles") and granularities (e.g. years versus days). The proposed solutions have been inspired by similar research done for temporal query languages (TSQL2) and are promising as suit-able to efficient implementation although supporting semantic richness. From the user viewpoint, the proposed XML extensions allow the addition of historical metainformation to the encoded text sources and their "intelligent" temporal navigation via standard Web browsers. The project also involves the definition of optimized search algorithms, storage and temporal indexing of XML-encoded Repetti's dictionary items, implementation of a prototype. As a byproduct, also a tool for computer-aided temporal XML-encoding of text sources will be developed to be used by Cultural Heritage operators (e.g. archaeology researchers).


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Published: 01/09/01
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