The third lecture from the cycle Digitizing the Past: Prague Talks on Digital Humanities was given by Roman Bleier and Florian Zeilinger (Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the University of Graz).

The lecture Digital Scholarly Editions and Historians: Editing the Records of the Imperial Diet of 1576 took take place on May 25, 2022, at 2 PM, ONLINE. The recording can be accessed on Youtube on the link below.

A team of researchers at the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the University of Graz are developing a digital scholarly edition of the records documenting the Imperial Diet (Reichstag) of Regensburg in 1576. At the Imperial Diet, between June and October 1576, Emperor Maximilian II and more than 200 representatives of the imperial estates (Reichsstände) of the Holy Roman Empire discussed and decided about the political fate of Central Europe. The numerous meetings and deliberations at the Imperial Diet are of central interest to the ongoing project and new digital edition.

From a digital scholarly editing point of view, the project explores a particular way of editing historical documents (seen as a text characterised by its content) and representing the formal information, for instance about the above-mentioned deliberations, as structured data in RDF. This kind of editing is a further development of editing practices used by historians–in a recent article Georg Vogeler suggested the name “assertive edition”.

Our presentation will explore this editing approach in context of the Imperial Diet’ s records edition. We will discuss how we have edited the historical records and semantically enriched them with TEI markup, how we extract “facts” in form of RDF triples, and how we combine the edited texts with a database. This approach
allows us to access the Imperial Diet of 1576 as a bundle of communication events and thereby opens it up for historiographical research interested in content, communication and procedures.



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