Presentation Open Access

Referencing annotations as a core concept of the hallerNet edition and research platform

Daengeli, Peter; Forney, Christian

May 2019 saw the launch of hallerNet, a platform revolving around prominent actors of the Enlightenment and nature research in 18th century Switzerland. HallerNet aims to illuminate the transformation of the early modern République des Lettres into the modern scientific community and its discipliniary differentiation by combining digital source editions with a very rich body of prosopographical and bibliographical research data.

Whereas the online platform is brand new in its current shape, the underlying metadata has a long history and considerable depth (cf. e.g. Stuber/Daengeli/Forney 2019). With the onset of a large project on Albrecht von Haller's reviews and letters, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2018-2023), all ca. nine thousand extant reviews by Haller will be edited in conjunction with some eight thousand thematically related letters (on their relationship cf. Stuber 2004).

This undertaking, again, will heavily rely on earlier research and more specifically on a series of printed editions of Haller's correspondence. The proposed contribution will discuss the process of the digitisation and re-working of such print predecessors. Specifically, the fate of the footnote shall be pondered and the chosen solution in the context of hallerNet editions presented, both on the level of the TEI encoding and the presentational rendering.

The implemented model consists of three types of annotations, the most prominent one of which is attached to references to database objects (persons, institutions, publications, plants and so on, themselves modelled along the TEI guidelines). This encoding allows to relate, for instance, a specific mention of an actor in a letter or review to his or her social position and place of activity during the given period. This interweaving of textual data with extensive metadata allows for very interesting social historical queries and enables editors to e.g. derive and compare social profiles of specific correspondences (Sonntag/Stuber/Forney 2019).

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