New Manuscriptorium creates access to more than 4 500 000 pages of digitized historic resources

The new Manuscriptorium platform developed during the 24 months of duration of ENRICH project has been launched. It will be for some time operated in parallel with the old Master based platform and will replace it after approval of the coordinators. The new platform is based on the TEI P5 metadata format but supports also many other formats used by the contributing digital libraries. Manuscriptorium now brings together more than 4 500 000 pages of digitized manuscripts and other rare historical materials located in the libraries and archives around the world, many of them of unique historical value and most of them in outstanding technical quality. The platform processes only the metadata while the image data are maintained in their original location, which makes the whole process much simpler and faster. The final representation of the manuscript is created by the client’s browser. It also brings improved search engine based on the research of end-user needs and completely new environment for displaying of selected manuscripts, allowing easy manipulation with the images.

The platform includes number of new tools and features developed and integrated during the realiyation of the ENRICH project including the following ones:

ENRICH Garage Engine
ENRICH Garage Engine is a tool for conversions between metadata standards. It covers the descriptive metadata standards that are mostly used in memory institutions, such as libraries, archives, and museums. It is a very important interoperability tool that enables easy collaboration with partner content providers using these standards. It will be regularly used in process of collaboration with current and future partners.

Gaiji Bank
Gaiji Bank is a tool to deal with non-Unicode characters. The possibility of easy use of non-Unicode characters is a crucial issue for work with historical documents and/or texts for data creators and users as well, because manuscripts and other historical documents require strict correctness in use of historical scripts and consequently in use of appropriate electronic characters/fonts. The method how to do it was developed in close cooperation with the TEI community. The Gaiji Bank will be hosted by the Manuscriptorium service. In the near future, the best practice of work with the Gaiji Bank will be evaluated in order that metadata creators can prepare descriptive metadata as well as full texts of primary documents in an appropriate way.

M-Tool online
M-Tool online is a new version of the former stand-alone M-Tool application. It enables creation of descriptive and structural metadata in conformity with the TEI P5 ENRICH schema. It will be implemented as a regular service into the new Manuscriptorium platform. It will be complemented with the new Manuscriptorium for Candidates (M-Can) environment for further checking and editing of distributed compound digital documents created with M-Tool Online.

Virtual Documents
Virtual documents can be created in the M-Tool Online. This feature allows the en-user to create virtual document from the selected fragments of various digital documents, even physically locate in different digital libraries. For example, the document showing the various representations of 15th century fashion can be created. This tool can very well be used for educational purposes. Each virtual document has its unique link and can therefore easily be shared in many ways (sent by e-mail, published as link on the webpage or any social network etc.)

Virtual Collections
Creation of virtual collections is one of utilities of the new Manuscriptorium platform. It has been developed in process of personalization of Manuscriptorium services. There are two types of virtual collections:
Static collections: These are created by the user by manual adding of the documents into selection. The collections can be saved in the user profile.
Dynamic collections: The dynamic collections are based on search queries. It is therefore assumed that this feature shall be used for more complicated search queries, but the use for simple queries is of course also possible. The search query is saved in the user profile and applied on request (by clicking). Therefore the dynamic collection always contains the most up-to-date documents fitting the given search criteria (for example. documents originating in certain country, from certain century etc.) Each virtual collection has its unique link and can therefore easily be shared in many ways (sent by e-mail, published as link on the webpage or any social network etc.)

Multilingual services
The multilingual web service was integrated into Manuscriptporium platform. SYSTRAN Translation Stylesheet was developed according to the content partners’ requirements and TEI P5 ENRICH specifications. SYSTRAN Web service had been adapted for all Enrich-specific translation engines, offering also the possibility to tag automatically the name entities introduced after the Vicodi ontology instances and Medieval ontology instances.