Project history

SCRIPTA project started in 2004, from a double statement observed by many historians:

  • The need for publishing documents: Leopold Delisle expressed, in a 1864 conference at the Société des Antiquaires de Normandie, the will for publishing ancient documents. Many other scholars have after Delisle expressed the same need in many occasions.
  • The great dispersal of manuscript and edited sources.

Concerning at first Norman charters, the SCRIPTA project is part of a larger concern about building and publishing textual corpora for the scholar community.

The first technical choice was to build a MySQL database, associated with PHP engined website.

SCRIPTA has been conceived at first as a database for providing access to a large corpus of documents. On the other hand, some tools have been built to provide support for editing documents, or at least, creating metadata for the edition. Exporting structured and documented data in XML format is provided by a plug-in specially built for the MySQL database. However, the MySQL structure showed some limits, as the XML exported version needed to be enriched to provide an editorialized text good enough for scholarly publishing.

Since 2010, the evolution of the project has benefited of the evolution of editorial XML tools and protocols developed at the University Press of Caen, in the Digital document team at the MRSH of Caen. These new processes were tested on the project of an edition of an unpublished corpus, the charters of the bishops of Evreux. This project, headed by Gregory Combalbert, being part of the programme "e-cartae", was planned in collaboration with the SCRIPTA team. The project was to build a web-interface for creating critical editions, publishing, searching (advanced or simple) and browsing structured medieval charters.

The SCRIPTA MySql database had been exported in XML-TEI, with the same encoding standards that other CRAHAM's digital projects. SCRIPTA is now published on-line with the PLEADE software, which provides publishing, searching and indexing tools for digitized archival documents. The native format of PLEADE is XML-EAD: so our TEI files are converted in EAD format, to be published by Pleade software. The second step will be publishing a new and enriched version of SCRIPTA directly form the XML-TEI source, with a new publishing software, actually under development at the MRSH of Caen.

Many other developments will enrich later the SCRIPTA project, in relation with other digital publishing projects built by CRAHAM and the MRSH: shared indexing tools between different corpora; integrating digitized images of charters and other original documents, with a special funding by COSME consortium, in relation with several archive services in Normandy, especially the Archives départementales of Rouen.

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