Medieval and Modern Manuscripts in the Digital Age (MMSDA) 2016

2 – 6 May 2016, Cambridge and London

We are very pleased to announce the sixth year of this course, funded by the Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network (DiXiT), and run by King’s College London with the University of Cambridge and the Warburg Institute. The course will run in two parallel strands: one on medieval and the other on modern manuscripts.

The course is open to any doctoral students working with manuscripts. It involves five days of intensive training on the analysis, description and editing of medieval or modern manuscripts to be held jointly in Cambridge and London. Participants will receive a solid theoretical foundation and hands-on experience in cataloguing and editing manuscripts for both print and digital formats.

The first half of the course involves morning classes and then afternoon visits to libraries in Cambridge and London. Participants will view original manuscripts and gain practical experience in applying the morning’s themes to concrete examples. In the second half we will address the cataloguing and description of manuscripts in a digital format with particular emphasis on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). These sessions will also combine theoretical principles and practical experience and include supervised work on computers.

The course is free of charge but is open only to doctoral students (PhD or equivalent). It is aimed at those writing dissertations relating to medieval or modern manuscripts, especially those working on literature, art or history. Eight bursaries will be available for travel and accommodation. There are thirty vacancies across the medieval and modern strands, and preference will be given to those considered by the selection panel likely to benefit most from the course. Applications close at 5pm GMT on 22 February 2016 but early registration is strongly recommended.

For further details see or contact

[Originally posted by Elena Pierazzo]

Europeana Regia




Europeana Regia, a digital collaborative library of royal manuscripts is the name of a project that ran from 01/2010 until 06/2012. It’s purpose was to draw together three collections of royal manuscripts that are currently dispersed and which represent European cultural activity at three distinct periods in history: the Bibliotheca Carolina (8th and 9th centuries), the Library of Charles V and Family (14th century) and the Library of the Aragonese Kings of Naples (15th and 16th centuries). These manuscripts are fully accessible on the websites of the partner libraries and are also included in Europeana.

Besides the digitisation of more than a thousand manuscripts a major accomplishment has been to harmonise the export of metadata available in various formats (EAD, MARC21, TEI, MAB, etc) during the delivery towards The European Library and the Europeana. Although the project has been carried out by five major partners, in the end manuscripts are available from 31 institutions.

Europeana Regia has been funded by the European Commission under the Information and Communication Technology Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP).



  • Languages: Latin, English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan, Dutch
  • Countries: France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland
  • Dates: 9th cent., 14th cent., 15th cent.
  • Names:
  • Disciplines: manuscript studies, palaeography, metadata formats


Links and references

Manuscripts are available as well at:



punctum delens

Punctum delens is the name given to marks (usually a point, but also small x, underlining, or strikethrough) used to indicate deletion. Dots are also found above or below individual letters in several spelling systems, including Irish (where a raised dot often called a punctum delens was used to indicate lenition until the middle of the last century) and various transliteration systems for Arabic.

When used to indicate deletion, the punctum delens (and equivalent) represents the structural category deletion. Most markup languages (including strict XHTML 1.0/HTML 4.0, and TEI), therefore, do have a relevant element.

When used as part of a spelling system, the dot is either part of the “letter” in question, or a diacritic. In such cases, it is not a structural category and does not have a corresponding element in most structural markup languages. Representation in such cases is by Unicode.

Source documents

Print documents

The Punctum delens (and equivalent) is less common in print than in manuscript sources. The most common usage is probably in legal and electronic documents, including wordprocessor files, where strikethrough is often used to mark deleted text during the drafting stage. (Dots found above or below letters in spelling systems such as pre-mid-twentieth-century Irish and most Arabic transliteration systems are not (structurally speaking) true examples of the punctum; they should not be treated as deletion).


The Punctum delens (and equivalent) is far more common in manuscript sources; indeed, if we extend the category to include scoring or any other mark of deletion, it is probably universal.

Structural encoding

Because Unicode has several dot-like diacritics, it is very easy (and tempting) to reproduce the punctum delens as a type-facsimile rather than in structural markup. This is a mistake, however: the punctum is properly speaking a feature of layout rather than orthography and hence only accidentally similar to the Unicode symbols. The correct way of encoding a “punctum” structurally is to use an element such as html:del or tei:del. Conversely, when the dot above or below a letter is part of the orthography of the language in question, it should be encoded in Unicode rather than structural markup.


In Strict (X)HTML, deleted text in print or manuscript sources is encoded using the following structural element:

<del>: Deletion

Most visual commercial browsers render the this element by default using strikethrough. The appearance of this (and most other) elements can also be controlled by external (e.g. CSS) stylesheets. See below, [[#Stylesheets|Stylesheets].


In TEI XML (P4), text marked by a punctum (or equivalent) is commonly encoded using the following structural element:

[[<del>]]: Deletion

Most commercial browsers do not have a default stylesheet for this (or any other) TEI element. Its display characteristics therefore must be controlled by stylesheets, either directly (i.e. using a formatting stylelanguage such as CSS or XSL-FO), or indirectly, after conversion to XHTML for display.


There is no fixed convention for representing the punctum delens in print transcriptions of medieval manuscripts. Because strikethrough is used widely in print to represent an equivalent structural category, however, this is probably the best bet for presentation. Underlining, which appears as a deletion mark in some manuscripts and has been used in the past in some print transcriptions is not recommended: this is used for insertion by in many legal documents and electronic texts. The construction of type-facsimiles using Unicode is not recommended.


Strikethrough (and underlining) in CSS is controlled by the font-decoration property. All textual elements can be assigned a value for this property. The relevant value for strikethrough is


Other permissable values include



del {
text-decoration: line-through;


There is no relevant category in XSLT.






PhiloLogic is an open source full-text search, retrieval and analysis tool developed by the ARTFL Project and the Digital Library Development Center (DLDC) at the University of Chicago. It is designed to work with a variety of data encoding specifications, most importantly TEI-Lite (XML/SGML) and other TEI variants (such as MEP and CES), as well as some support for plaintext, docbook, and ATE (Dublin Core, HTML and some extensions).

Further information, sample databases, downloads, documentation and our wiki are available at:

We currently have French and English messages. If you are using PhiloLogic and want to help by translating the interface into other languages, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you in any way that we can. We are particular interested in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German. Latin would be fun.  :-)

A couple of caveats: Please note that we have NOT translated system generated search forms. We have found that search forms and headers are frequently heavily modified by users and administrators. We have also opted not to support dynamic selection in the distribution, but this would be a trivial function. If we find we need to do it, we will add the patch to the PhiloLogic wiki.


TILE (Text-Image Linking Environment)

The Text-Image Linking Environment (TILE) is a web-based tool for creating and editing image-based electronic editions and digital archives of humanities texts.


TILE 1.0 supports the following tools and functionality:

  • Image markup tool
  • Annotate regions of an image by drawing rectangles, polygons, and ellipses, apply labels to selections, and manually create links between sections of an image and transcript lines.
  • Importing and exporting tools
  • Import TEI P5 or JSON data directly into TILE or create a script to import from various XML formats.
  • Export data as TEI or JSON, scripts can generate an output into any XML, HTML, or text-based format. Additional import/export tools can be developed as plugins.

Semi-automated line recognizer

Implemented in javascript, the TILE semi-automated line recognizer annotates images by detecting individual lines on an image, and selects regions of an image based upon those lines.

Plugin architecture

Extend the core functionality of TILE by creating a plugin that can manipulate TILE’s interface, filter and process data, and connect to other tools.

Development and versions

TILE is a collaboration between the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (Doug Reside, Dave Lester) and Indiana University (Dot Porter, John Walsh), and supported by an NEH Preservation and Access grant. Its team has partnered with Editing Modernism in Canada, and is looking for additional partners to support and extend the software.

Tile version 1.0 was released in July 2011, with an interface added for tagging and annotating manuscript images (Image Annotation), an interface added for automatically tagging lines using basic image analysis tools (Auto Line Recognizer), dialog tools for loading and saving data, support for TEI P5 formatted XML data etc.


Project home page