Consolidate 2015

Consolidate 2015

Project Acronym LIPPS

Research Programme Title (from 20 to 200 characters) Letteratura Italiana Poesia dei Primi Secoli (banca dati testuale e motore di ricerca)


Abstract of the Research Programme (to 1500 characters)

Thanks to the diffusion of new digital technologies in literary studies, much of the various national textual traditions are now available in digital format; a good percentage of them are available in advanced encoding formats such as XML/TEI, although the level of coding of these resources is mostly ‘limited’ to the representation of the textual and editorial structure. These high quality digital collections of textual resources are an optimal starting point to begin a systematic program of digital edition featured with a philological and bibliographical apparatus. We propose to create (1) a solid philological textual database of the Italian poetic literature of the XIII century (many of which are still excluded from digitization), extensible to all the Italian poetry itself; (2) a database that can be searched by title or author.


State of the Art:

National and International Scientific Starting Point (to 3000 characters) In June 2005 the European Commission adopted its i2010 strategy which seeks to maximize the benefits of new information technologies. Defining i2010, the European Commission has indicated digital libraries as a principal project to be realized, with the aim of providing a common access to millions of digital objects from digital collections, distributed in a wide range of museums, archives, libraries in Europe. This means not only that such a project is important for the institutions but also that it has a relevance for the universal intellectual heritage, granting an access that goes beyond the geographical location. In recent years, we can see a huge increase of textual databases and, even a simple search on digital libraries available, leads us to hope for a stronger intellectual union. Digital libraries in the world have so many different characteristics. We will list the most influential national and international. The most important project of the European Union in this area is Europeana, then we can count: Biblioteca Italiana, Liber Liber, Biblioteca Digitale dell’Accademia della Crusca, Biblioteca della Letteratura italiana Einaudi, Aboca Museum (Sansepolcro), Archiweb (Bologna), Biblioteca Augusta (Perugia), Biblioteca Digitale Piemontese – BDP (Torino), Biblioteca Digitale Toscana (Firenze – Pistoia), Biblioteca di Archeologia e Storia dell’arte (Roma), Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Milano), Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli, Biblioteca Provinciale Claudia Agusta di Bolzano, DigitaMI, Istituto veneto per la storia della Resistenza e dell’età contemporanea (Padova), Società Italiana di Meccanica Celeste Astrodinamica (Roma), AMS Historica – Università di Bologna, Internet Archive, Gallica (Parigi), ABU : La Bibliothèque Universelle, Cyberlibris, Medica@ – BIUM (Parigi), Les OEuvres de Lavoisier (Parigi), Bayerische Staats Bibliothek (Munchen, Germania), Göttinger Digitalisierungs-zentrum (Gottingen, Germania), Sammlung Albert Hardenberg (Emden, Germania), EEBO – Early English Books Online, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel De Cervantes (Spagna).


Research Programme Description (to 5.000 characters):

Within the general trend to digitalization of cultural heritage, especially of literary texts (cfr. Supra “State of Art: National and International Scientific Starting Point”), two problems increasingly emerge: (1) the philological quality or reliability of texts available on line; (2) the possibility of an informed choice in a wide range of texts available on line. The first problem is harder to solve due to the crisis of traditional evaluative systems of the scientific community (reviews, academic evaluations, reputation, etc.). The second problem is exacerbated by the amount of texts offered on the Web (for instance, on 19th September 2015, Google offers 1.450.000.000 results for ‘Dante’, which makes every choice unavoidably random). The research aims to contribute, in different ways, but coordinated, to the solution of both the above problems by providing a textual database: (1) the poems of Italian literature from its origins to 1299, accompanied by philological annotations, (2) a corpus of reliable digital editions of texts of Italian literature of the early centuries, and – at the same time – (3) evaluation of cards, organized in a simple search engine, related to the texts avaliable on line, to allow the user to choose between them, according to their different needs, such as the philological reliability, computer operability, reading easyness, affordability, accessibility, etc. We emphasize that these different needs are not necessarily present in the same e-texts: a “generic reader” might consider an obstacle a philological analysis apparatus or the application of rules of edition too conservative and rigorous; on the contrary a scholar (eg. of Italian language) will consider completely unusable texts “normalized” editorially and thus deprived of some of their most scientifically significant traits. The chronological scope of the proposal (not excluding to extend it in the future to other centuries of our literature) is between the first literary manifestations of the italian vulgar (early thirteenth century). Research is about the list of texts selected by OVI (Opera Institute of Italian vocabulary, 2,318 texts for 23,173,538 occurrences, last updated on 04/08/2015). Each poetic title listed in OVI archive will be the subject of the following operative steps: a) searching and direct reading of the paper version cited by OVI; b) establishment of a philological record-card, which will include a descriptive (bibliographic) and an evaluation part, aiming to define the reliability of the edition (according to its date, to the reputation of the publisher, to the judgment of the scientific community, etc.). This part of the research will be supported by the experience already accomplished by the Research Unit of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, coordinated by Prof. Raul Mordenti, within the project PRIN 2010/2011 “Poetry of memory, memory of the poetry. Word theme and occurrences in inscriptions and in the literary system “(national coordinator Prof. Paolo Mastandrea), and the work of a skilled team of young scholars trained in the course of that research (team coordinator Prof. Daniele Silvi, see. Annex 1); here comes the request to activate 3 paid placements, within the university department. In particular they have already started preparatory works that produced a database dedicated to the authors of short compositions active in the fourteenth century (see. Attachment 1, List of Authors). c) identification of (possible) presence of text already in digital format on the Web, and the production of an Informatic Record-form, containing information on operating systems and software applications, consistency, portability, tagging systems, etc. This part too may benefit from a consistent previous work, done by the dott. Femmmini for his thesis (a computer technician of our University, member of the research group); d) producing a mechanical digital reproduction (by scanning) of texts, starting from the chosen edition (which will be accompanied by the two record-sheet seen in points b and c); e) the implementation of a digital database that organize electronic texts of the LIPPS project on the network, and could act as a simple search engine (see. Attachment 2); f) the online publishing, on the site of the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, of the search engine and the other texts produced.


Objectives and Expected Results of the Research Programme (to 3000 characters):

The research aims to challenge (certainly not solve) the two issues described in the summary: (1) the philological level or reliability of texts available on line and (2) The Possibility of an informed choice in a wide range of texts available online. The research project (TITLE) aims to create (1) a solid philological textual database extensible to all the poetry of the considered period (many of which are still excluded from digitization); (2) a database that can be searched by title or author. The dissemination and exploitation of the expected results will be enhanced by the implementation, within the website of the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, of a search engine, and the opportunity to produce seminars open to all students and teachers of the Ateneum about methodologies generally applied in literary studies and specifically used for this project. The research project that we present is a candidate to become a tool of consultation and research for all those who, whishing to read Italian literary texts of the first centuries, are now forced to navigate through the sea of Web – without a compass (therefore without indexing tools). It is expected, in accordance with the need “Consolidate the Foundations”, free access for study reasons, also in application of the “Berlin Declaration” on Open Access and the subsequent “Messina Declaration” (2004, signed by the our University).

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