COLLATE Collaboratory for annotation, indexing, and retrieval

From the project home page

[COLLATE is] a Web-based collaboratory for archives, researchers and end-users working with digitized historic material. It… offers new ways of document-centered knowledge work to distributed user groups. European film heritage and censorship processes in the 1920s and 1930s were chosen as an example domain for the project. The developed COLLATE technologies, however, can easily be adapted to other application domains and usage contexts which are similarly information-intensive.

The current COLLATE collection of rare historic documents was provided by three major film and national archives from Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. It consists of about 20000 digitized document pages describing film censorship procedures related to historic films and enriched context documentation including press material and digitized photos and film fragments. Members of these institutions – film historians and archivists – worked as pilot users, employing the COLLATE system for detailed cataloguing of the document collection and for in-depth content indexing and annotation of relevant sub-collections.

At the end of the project we established both an innovative Web-based collaboratory with a comfortable work environment for in-depth knowledge work with the material and a comprehensive, selected digitized collection of rare historic documents on European historic film that was interpreted and annotated by a multination team of film experts.

Since the end of the project the achieved results have been maintained and made available to the public. The project partners plan to further promote the system, i.e. both the technologies and contents (first of all Fraunhofer IPSI as the coordinator and major technology delevoper and the Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF as coordinator of the content providers).

Source(s): Web-based solutions

DigiPal Launch Party

Date: Tuesday 7th October 2014
Time: 5.45pm until the wine runs out
Venue: Council Room, King’s College London, Strand WC2R 2LS
Co-sponsor: Centre for Late Antique & Medieval studies, KCL
Register your place at 

After four years, the DigiPal project is finally coming to an end. To celebrate this, we are having a launch party at King’s College London on Tuesday, 7 October. The programme is as follows:

  • Welcome: Stewart Brookes and Peter Stokes
  • Giancarlo Buomprisco: “Shedding Some Light(box) on Medieval Manuscripts”
  • Elaine Treharne (via Skype)
  • Donald Scragg: “Beyond DigiPal”
  • Q & A with the DigiPal team

If you’re in the area then do register and come along for the talks and a free drink (or two) in celebration. Registration is free but is required to manage numbers and ensure that we have enough drink and nibbles to go around.

If you’re not familiar with DigiPal already, we have been been developing new methods for the analysis of medieval handwriting. There’s much more detail about the project on our website, including one post of the DigiPal project blog which summarises the website and its functionality. Quoting from that, you can:

 Do have a look at the site and let us know what you think. And – just as importantly – do come and have a drink on us if you are in London on Tuesday!

The DigiPal Team

The Enigma of the Sinaitic Glagolitic Tradition



Continuing the ASF-project The Sinaitic Glagolitic Sacramentary (Euchologium) Fragments (P19608), this project continues the interdisciplinary collaboration of the Institute of Slavic Studies (ISS), University of Vienna (humanities), the Computer Vision Lab, Vienna University of Technology (computer scientists) and the Institute of Science and Technology in Art (ISTA), Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (chemists).

It is devoted to the recording, investigation and critical and facsimile edition of several newly detected Glagolitic manuscripts from St. Catherine’s monastery on Mt. Sinai (Sin. slav. 1/N, 3/N-5/N) and the comparative analysis of the whole Sinaitic Old Church Slavonic collection (10th-11th/12th c.), on the one hand, and the further development and application of new technical means for the preservation, investigation and virtual restoration of (damaged) written cultural heritage and its access for the research community, on the other.

In this joint venture three complex results are to be expected:

1. editions and comparative data of the relevant documents (codicology, palaeography, graphemics, and material);

2. improved imaging devices and new computer-programmes for the preservation, analysis and restoration of (damaged) written sources; and

3. the solution of the “Sinaitic Glagolitic Enigma”, i.e. new insights in the literary, ecclesiastic and overall cultural history of the Slavs and their connections with the Christian Orient.


  • Languages: German, English, Russian, Bulgarian
  • Countries: Austria – and cooperations with Russia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, UK, Greece, Italy,
  • Duration: 2011/02/01-2014/01/31
  • Keywords: palaeoslavistics, paleography, codicology, graphematics, digital imaging, image enhancement, document analysis, multispectral imaging, toolbox for manuscript analysis, material analysis
  • Funding: Austrian Science Fund (project number: P23133)



Project Head: Heinz Miklas (ISS)

Robert Sablatnig (VUT), Manfred Schreiner (ISTA)

Melanie Gau (VUT), Fabian Hollaus (VUT), Dana Hürner (ISS), Gunn Pöllnitz (ISTA), Willi Vetter (ISTA)


Links and references

  • Publications [1]
  • Manuscript: Collections of ancient and medieval Slavonic and Russian texts [2]
  • NEWS: Publication announcement of 1st volume of the “Glagolitica Sinaitica” series (with special thanks to the Holzhausen Publishing House) [3]
  • Publication Announcement Faksimile Edition of Psalterium Demetrii Sinaitici [4]

Queste del saint Graal



Interactive online digital edition of La Queste del Saint Graal (Quest for the Holy Grail), manuscript Lyon, BM. p.a. 77.

This is a prototype edition based on the TXM platform. It allows visualizing manuscript images, several layers of transcription and translation into modern French. Integrated search engine makes it possible to build concordances of word forms and morphological categories. Editorial principles are explained in a detailed introduction.


  • Languages: Old French
  • Dates: 13th century

Links and references



École normale supérieure de Lyon and ICAR research laboratory


Alexei Lavrentiev

Turning Over a New Leaf



VIDI project Turning Over a New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance is concerned with the relationship between written culture and society, specifically how innovations in the technology of the medieval manuscript (the handwritten book, or codex, used before the invention of print) relate to cultural change.

The project explores how the “new book format” of 12th-c. Renaissance, custom-tailored for the age, which includes new types of script, new page layouts and new reading aids, most notably pagination, running titles, paragraphs, quotation marks, footnotes, cross references and diagrams, is a technological innovation which improved what is called “book fluency,” or the ability to read a text quickly and accurately. While in the late eleventh century intellectual culture nearly completely lacked tools that could rise to these occasions, by the outset of the thirteenth century scholars had a rich palette of aids at their disposal that facilitated comprehension and speedy access. The inventions dramatically changed the reading experience of medieval individuals. It helped to create a new international community of scholars, bound by a shared desire for knowledge. And it proved remarkably durable: it is essentially the book we are holding today.

Component 1: The Physical Manuscript (Coordinator)assesses what physical changes occurred on the page and how the new book format they helped to create evolved over time. Component 2: Readers (PhD Student) focuses on the cultural background and geographical location of the readers who handled the 300 manuscripts. Component 3: Texts and Genres (Postdoctoral Researcher) focuses on the relationship between the physical features of manuscripts and the texts they contain.


  • Languages: Latin, Vernacular
  • Countries: Netherlands, France, Belgium
  • Dates: 1075-1225
  • Disciplines: Codicology


  • Dr. Erik Kwakkel


Erik Kwakkel