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Digital Resources in Palaeoslavistics: towards Building a Network for Medieval Slavic Sources

Joint research project funded by Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien, 2015-2017.

Research partners:

  • Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Gothenburg
  • Department of Language Studies, Umeå University
  • Department of Modern Languages, Uppsala University
  • Department of Slavic Languages, Stockholm University
  • Institute of Literature BAS, Bulgaria

Project coordinators:

  • Docent FD Antoaneta Granberg, department of Languages and Literatures, University of Gothenburg
  • Prof. PhD Anisava Miltenova, Institute of Lietarure BAS

Present state of knowledge in the field, significance and objectives of the joint research:

Digital humanities have become central to the planning and implementation of many international research projects. The aims of such projects within the palaeoslavistics is to provide easy access to the written sources in the course of their investigation and conservation, and for their use in education and popularization of the scientific results to a wider audience. Within this context, the Bulgarian-Swedish research cooperation has also been implemented within several joint initiatives of the Institute of Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities with the universities in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Uppsala. Among these initiatives two joint projects should be mentioned: Building a digital library of Slavic manuscripts, early printed books and reference data base (2008-2011) and Terminological issues of accessing digitalized resources for medieval studies (2012-2014). Some theoretical issues within these projects were also discussed within the national Swedish project Digitalized descriptions of Slavic Cyrillic manuscripts and early printed books in Swedish libraries and archives, with support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (2010–2012) that has resulted in the database Cyrillic and Glagolitic Books and Manuscripts (further CGS) and the international database coordinated by Bulgaria, Repertorium of Old Bulgarian Literature and Letters (further Repertorium; http://repertorium.obdurodon.org/).

Among the results of the earlier Bulgarian-Swedish cooperation are the specification of uniform standards for electronic description of medieval Slavic manuscripts and early printed books, and, more specifically, the specification of the terminology used in the description of the books for the common service of the Church (Gospels, Plolog, Menaion and different other hymnographic books, Typica etc.) and of the books for individual reading and individual worship (prayer books, monastic anthologies, etc.). Including the standardized descriptions in the data bases allowed the comparative investigations of the sources, in a larger context. The work de visu with sources from the Bulgarian and the Swedish repositories resulted in new knowledge about the history of Slavic literacy and the possibilities of the digital humanities. That is why a new member of the project team was proposed to be included in the new project, professor Per Ambrosiani, from the University of Umeå where the digital humanities is one of the main scientific profiles.

The proposal for a new joint project aims to continue the fruitful cooperation between Swedish and Bulgarian medievalists. This will be a contribution to the long-term relations between the two countries, particularly in the light of the centennial of the establishment of the Bulgarian-Swedish diplomatic relations, which is celebrated in 2014-2015.

Different national and international projects in the field of the digital palaeoslavistics resulted in the creation of different information portals, data bases, electronic libraries, and other electronic resources. In addition to CGS and Repertorium, there should also be mentioned the full texts data bases Манускрипт, TITUS, Corpus Cyrillo-Methodianum Helsingiense; the thematic website with descriptions of manuscript collections SLOVO; the catalogue descriptions of collection of microfilms, Hilendar Research Library, databases about translations to Slavonic Versiones Slavicae, the digital encyclopedia resources and information sites, like: Slavica Snactorum, Cyrillomethodiana, Obzhtezhitie; libraries with digital photos of manuscripts: the National Library in Sofia, The National Library of Serbia, the National and University Library in Ljubljana, the National Library of Russia, Russian State Library, Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Bulgarian National Academic Library and Information System NALIS; the digital portals Europeana, Manuscriptorium; digital editions of manuscripts, e.g. Codex Suprasliensis from the 10th century, Stanislav’s Četi Menaion, etc. Here, must be mentioned some on-line and and off-line resources accessible at different library institutions, such as the digitalized collection of the manuscripts and early printed books from Zographou Monastery of Mount Athos at the University library in Sofia, the digital catalogue of the Cyrillic manuscript collection in the British Library, envisaged for access in the British Library and in the Central Library of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (http://repertorium.cl.bas.bg/descriptions/MSLIST.html). These resources are structured in different ways and they do describe, present and interpret the sources differently. All these different sources do most often not have links to each other.

The proposed project aims to create a basis for a global network with annotated information about the different electronic resources within the palaeoslavistics. The project aims to create electronic references between CGS and Repertorium for easier navigation in both data bases.

Project outline (pdf)


Antoaneta Granberg universitetslektor

Box 200, 405 30 Göteborg

Lundgrensgatan 7

+46 (0) 31 786 1826

Sidansvarig: Fredrik Fällman|Sidan uppdaterades: 2017-06-02

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