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New version eLaborate and new email address

A new version of eLaborate is now available, see for more information the eLaborate3-website. The elaborate information desk can now be reached at a new email address:

eLaborate, a tool for the preparation of digital text-editions

At the Huygens Instituut KNAW (a research institute for text edition and textual scholarship of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) a digital tool has been developed for the making of text-editions and for textual research in online working environments: eLaborate. In February 2009 a new version of this tool became available. In eLaborate, researchers can create websites in which they can work, individually or with a group of collaborators, on the transcription and edition of a text. They can use any personal computer that is connected to the internet. Central in the working environments are scans or digital photos of the source material. The edition-in-progress can be shown to other editors, collaborators or invited readers at any given moment. When such a digitally born edition enters a phase of completeness, it can be launched in a newly styled user-friendly website, which is, in principle, freely accessible. This website includes better navigation and a simple search engine. The first edition in this new series, Carolingian Scholarship. Glosses on Martianus Capella, was launched in November 2008, and in the improved online environment in February 2009.

eLaborate offers a framework for the digital presentation of an edition, and the possibility to create project- and/or editor-specific categories of annotations. It has a print option, and it offers a flexible system of annotation categories, so that the different stages of the edition (diplomatic transcription, critical edition, translation and commentary, etcetera) can be distinguished. Soon the possibility of uploading large collections of scans or photos will be added.

eLaborate does not only offer a framework for the digital presentation of an edition, it offers also flexibility in presentation and functionalities. Each functionality that is developed for a certain edition, moreover, is automatically also available (as an option) for other editions in eLaborate. The editor/researcher - and in a later stage also the user! - of an edition created in eLaborate can choose functionalities available in his or her own edition project and in the project of others, and implement them in his/her own website. As long as new projects are started in elaborate, the tool will thus be in constant development, and the community of users can profit from all recent developments. In this way we hope to create an ever improving digital tool, not only for the making of editions, but also for the analysis of texts.

At this moment several edition projects are using eLaborate. These are only accessible for researchers who are included in edition projects, and who have the official status of reader or corrector. To give an impression of the different kind of projects that use eLaborate for their editions or transcriptions, we offer a list of short descriptions of the individual projects:

Barholomeus Anglicus, Van den proprieteyten der dinghen
The book of Albert about women's secrets
The apostle-plays of William of Haecht
The Beatrijs Codex
Carolingian Scholarship. Glosses on Martianus Capella
Cornelius de Fine
Correspondence of Albert Verwey 1880-1895
Jan van Leeuwen
The Lancelot compilation ,Walewein ende Keye
Virtutes apostolorum
Johannes Antonides van der Goes, Y-stroom

Scans of 40 years of the Vaderlandsche Letteroefeningen, prepared for online consultation and searches in rough OCR-s, are available at

Further information about the projects and about eLaborate can be gained from
The Huygens Institute developed eLaborate with a subsidy from the Strategic Fund of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Institute uses eLaborate for edition projects in which teams of researchers who are in different places can collaborate online to create a digital edition. In a second phase the files may be used to create a printed edition. A selection of the annotation material can also be formatted for the printed edition. More about the background of eLaborate, concerning content and technique, can be found in the article by Joris van Zundert, De evolutie van een filologisch instrument , October 2007.

Short description of projects-in-progress:

Bartholomeus Anglicus, Van den proprieteyten der dinghen
The members of the Workgroup Middle Dutch Literature on the Artes (WEMAL) have created a website on which a diplomatic transcription of a fifteenth-century Middle Dutch translation of 'De proprietatibus rerum', a thirteenth-century encyclopaedia of Bartholomeus Anglicus, Van den proprieteyten der dinghen, has been realised. This project was directed by Prof.dr. Orlanda Lie and Drs. Noor Versélewel de Witt Hamer. For the transcription a printed edition published in 1485 was used, which is now kept in the University Library of Amsterdam, Ned.Inc. 291. In the next stage, the diplomatic transcription will be provided with annotations and commentary. The diplomatic text was made available on 17 December 2009.

The book of Albertus about women's secrets
The book of Albertus about women's secrets is a Middle Dutch treatise of gynaecology. It starts with the words 'Hic incipit Alberti liber De secretis mulierum', and ends with the Middle Dutch text 'Hier endet Albertus van die secreten der vrouwen'. Bineke Glas is responsible for the edition of this medical text, which treats the female body, female diseases, their causes and treatments, and matters related to pregnancy and childbirth. It is a compilation and altered version of at least three Latin treatises (Trotula, De secretis mulierum, and De chirurgia), and at least one Middle Dutch text (now lost). The manuscript is kept at the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, Codex Medicus 798. Except for a diplomatic transcription, the edition will also contain a critical edition and a translation of the text.

The apostle plays of William of Haecht
In Groningen, students are working under the direction of Bart Ramakers on a critical edition of three plays, 'Spelen van Sinnen van dWerck der Apostelen', written by Willem van Haecht in Antwerp, 1563-1564. The manuscript is kept in the Royal Library in Brussels. Van Haecht was factor of the Antwerp Chamber of Rhetoric (Rederijkerskamer) 'De Violieren' and organiser of the famous 'landjuweel' of 1561. His three apostle plays together dramatise the second book of the Acts of the Apostles. These plays are good sources for the study of literary and theatrical practices of the time (their stage-managing is often spectacular), but also interesting because of their many references to contemporary religious and artistic discussions.

The Beatrijs Codex
The Beatrijs Codex (The Hague, Royal Library, 76 E 5) is a richly executed miscellany dating to the third quarter of the fourteenth century. It contains texts such as the Beatrijs (a Mary miracle), the Dietsche doctrinale (a translation/adaptation of Albertanus of Bre-scia’s De amore et dilectione Dei et proximi by the Antwerp townclerk Jan van Boendale) and the Heimelijkheid der heimelijkheden (a translation/adaptation of the pseudo-Aristotelian Secreta secretorum by Jacob van Maerlant), in addition to prayers and other lesser-known texts. Not all of the shorter texts have been edited as yet, while most edi-tions of the longer texts go back to the nineteenth century. In the Mastercourse ‘Beatrijs, Brussel en de veertiende eeuw’ [Beatrijs, Brussels and the Fourteenth Century] (Leiden University, Department Dutch Language and Culture, 1st semester 2009-2010) a start has been made with a diplomatic transcription of the entire codex. The project is supervised by Wim van Anrooij (Leiden University).

Carolingian Scholarship. Glosses on Martianus Capella
First published in November 2008, new version in February 2009, regular updates (every two months) since then.
At the Huygens Institute, Mariken Teeuwen put together a team of collaborators to work on the edition of the oldest gloss tradition on Martianus Capella's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, a handbook on the seven Liberal Arts from late Antiquity. The team consisted of Thomas Brouwer, Bruce Stancefield Eastwood, Mary Garrison, Jean-Yves Guillaumin, Natalia Lozovsky and Sinead O?Sullivan. Together they transcribed and annotated the glosses of one of the central manuscripts for the oldest commentary tradition on Martianus (dated to the first third of the ninth century), Leiden, University Library, VLF 48. The edition is freely accessible online, and regularly updated to include new comments, corrections, and improved functionalities.

Cornelius de Fine
Marie-Charlotte le Bailly studies Cornelius de Fine's, diary, which is known to us under the title Ephemerides Historicae. In eLaborate she realises a transcription of the author's own manuscript, which is kept in three volumes in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. These three volumes contain the years 1511-1531, 1536-1543 and 1544-1548. Their shelf marks are Vatican City, BAV, Ottob. Lat. 1613, Ottob. Lat. 1614, and Ottob. Lat. 2138. If time permits, she will add two later copies of the diary at a later stage.

Correspondence of Albert Verwey 1880-1895
Annemarie Kets of the Huygens Institute works with students and trainees on the edition of yet unpublished letters written by and addressed to Albert Verwey (1865-1937), from the period 1880-1895. Approximately 1800 letters are kept in the University Library of Amsterdam, ca. 720 written by Verwey himself (drafts or author's copies), and ca. 1090 addressed to him by ca. 275 different correspondents. The edition aims to be, first and for all, a research instrument. In the first stage, the letters will be transcribed diplomatically. In the next phase, internal and external metadata (personal names, years, place-names, titles, etcetera) will be encoded and/or embedded in the edition.

Jan van Leeuwen
A group of Flemish-Dutch scholars works together on an edition of twenty-two Middle Dutch ascetic-mystic treatises, also known under the name Opera omnia, by Jan van Leeuwen - a fourteenth-century mystic, follower of Jan van Ruusbroec, known as 'the good cook' of Groenendaal. At this moment the group consists of Jo Reynaert, Amand Berteloot, Hans Westgeest, Youri Desplenter, Thom Mertens, and Guido Debaere. The project is coordinated by Dirk Geirnaert. These treatises are kept in three major collections: Brussels, Royal Library, IV 401 (ca. 1460), 667 (1540) and 888-90 (1543); the contents of Brussels 667 and Brussels IV 401 are a match. For the edition Brussels IV 401 and 888-90 are used as principal sources. In the 1990s, a first diplomatic transcription of these treatises was realized. The group intends to complete this first transcription in eLaborate, and to add codicological and text-critical remarks and annotations.

The Lancelot compilation, Walewein ende Keye
eLaborate is used as a tool for the production of editions of several texts of the Lancelot compilation, manuscript 129A10 in the Royal Library of The Hague. 30 November 2009 the digital critical edition of Walewein ende Keye was published by dr. Marjolein Hogenbirk and Prof.dr. Wim Gerritsen. Dr. Karina van Dalen-Oskam is working on the edition of Torec, and is especially interested in the possibility of the authorship of Jacob van Maerlant of the original text, which was shortened and rewritten by the compiler. Drs. Reindert van Eekelen and dr. Willem Kuiper are working on a diplomatic and a critical edition of the Queeste van den Grale, and several trainees are working on the text Arturs Doet, under supervision of Prof.dr. Herman Brinkman and dr. Marjolein Hogenbirk.

Virtutes apostolorum
Els Rose, project leader of the NWO-VIDI project The Dynamics of Apocryphal Traditions in Medieval Religious Culture (January 2008 - December 2012), prepares a study of the transmission of the Latin Virtutes apostolorum. She works together with Maarten Prot (PhD student) and several research assistants. The Virtutes apostolorum, partly Latin rewritings of the ancient apocryphal Acts of the apostles, partly new compositions, occur in manuscripts from the late eighth century onwards as a more or less coherent series of texts describing the acts and martyrdom of the twelve apostles. The individual texts, one for each apostle, are of diverse background and character. The titles accompanying the series differ per manuscript: passiones apostolorum, miracula apostolorum, gesta apostolorum, or, most frequently, virtutes apostolorum. Twenty-five manuscripts have been selected, and on the basis of these an edition will be compiled for the series Corpus christianorum, series apocrypha, endorsed by the Association pour les études de la littérature apocryphe chrétienne (AELAC). A study of transmission and use of these texts will be accompanied by a linguistic analysis.

Johannes Antonides van der Goes, Y-stroom
The Y-stroom is a long poem by Johannes Antonides van der Goes, dated 1671, in Dutch, consisting of four songs of ca. 800 verses each. Added to this is a section of 27 pages of preliminaries, in Latin and in Dutch. We would like to edit the text of 1671 in facsimile, and critical edition, with annotations and commentary, and with a general introduction about the author, the genre, the work, the picture painted of Amsterdam and how this relates to the real Amsterdam of the time. The preparative work will be done at the University of Amsterdam in several Bachelor and Master courses, under supervision of Jan Bloemendal, Frans Blom, Marten-Jan Bok, Lia van Gemert, Jeroen Jansen, Paul Knevel and Elmer Kolfin. At the Huygens Institute, Boukje Thijs has also done preparative work. eLaborate will be used for the overall structure of this project.


Last modified: 28-09-2012 12:22