Speaker: Wouter Haverals and Mike Kestemont
Affiliation: 1, Center for Digital Humanities (CDH), Princeton University, USA; 2, Antwerp Center for Digital Humanities and Literary Critcism (ACDC),
University of Antwerp, Belgium; 3, Institute for the Study of Literature in the Low Countries (ISLN),
University of Antwerp, Belgium
Title: The Middle Dutch Manuscripts Surviving from the Carthusian Monastery of Herne (14th century): Constructing an Open Dataset of Digital Transcriptions
Abstract: A substantial collection of Middle Dutch manuscripts survives from the Carthusian monastery of Herne ( Hérinnes-lez-Enghien ) in nowadays Belgium. During the latter half of the fourteenth century, Herne served as a significant literary hotspot in the region around Brussels, with a devoted community of monks deeply involved in the production of (vernacular) texts and manuscripts, often as collaborative efforts. The corpus offers abundant material for the (computational) exploration of authorship, translation, and scribal cultures in the premodern Low Countries. Yet, much of this material has remained digitally inaccessible. Here we describe the creation of an almost exhaustive, open-access dataset comprising diplomatic transcriptions of all known Middle Dutch Herne manuscripts, acquired through handwritten text recognition. Apart from rich codicological and textual metadata, we include a normalized text layer (with expanded abbreviations), as well as a linguistic annotation layer (with lemmas and part of speech tags). We conclude by discussing our work against current trends in medievalist scholarship. The dataset is released together with this paper and we encourage its re-use in future research.