Berlin School in Codicology and Manuscript description with TEI 29 April to 3 May 2013

I was lucky to get a bursary to attend a specialist training at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin in codicology, the study of manuscript books as material objects, and the use of TEI-conformant XML to record and analyze codicological data with such amazing instructors as M. J. DRISCOLL, J. P. GUMBERT, and Eef OVERGAAUW just to name a few. A full description of the course and the instructors can be found at

It was a honour to spend one week with the international participants and instructors, scrutinizing manuscripts together, exchanging ideas and learning so much about the sometimes – at least from textual scholars – overlooked area of manuscripts as a physical object! I was also deeply impressed by the possibilities of TEI-conformant XML for editing, archiving, and analyzing all kinds of documents and got so enthusiastic that I enrolled myself for the Oxford Summer School in Digital Humanities ( to learn more! I think this is the future of editing. Just have a look for example at the Digital Jane Austen Edition ( Now imagine what you can do with medieval texts. Digitize glossed manuscripts and indicate who wrote when which gloss. Digitize a specific text, let’s say a prophecy, and indicate the changes during time and even languages…Of course it requires high technical knowledge, but then the possibilities are almost like magic and more will probably invented in future.

Some impressions:


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