Musisque Deoque. Developing new features: manuscripts tracing on the net

Linda Spinazzè (Venice)

Digital Classicist and Institute of Classical Studies Seminar 2010

Friday August 13th at 16:30, in room STB9, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

The main goal of my project into Musisque Deoque (hereafter MQDQ), is to find, fit and apply an appropriate high-level standard protocol to access a specific database in order to enhance the user experience of MQDQ.

The MQDQ Project aims to produce new digital editions of more than 600 Latin poetic texts (currently ca. 340,000 verses) with the substantial addition of critical apparatuses; at the moment there are about 80,000 latin verses interested by a minimal apparatus. MQDQ is quite a challenging and widespread project, there are five Universities and about 20 people involved in the developing of the corpus. My project within MQDQ is to to find out an automatic method to link the single item-code in MQDQ to the on-line resources, built in accordance with the standard protocols used by public libraries, archives and other institutions.

The philological use to mention codices is usually quite difficult to understand for a non-specialist audience. The sigla assigned to codices within a critical edition (A, B, etc...) are the same for every author but often the reference manuscript is miscellaneous: for instance, in Maximianus' editions the ms. Etonienses 150 (Eton College 150) is collated as A, but in Arator the same codex is collated as N. As a result, the identity of each manuscript is not preserved beyond the labels assigned to it, and the information about sources is useful only if the user reads a single author in the MQDQ database.

Firstly an indipendent database of codices is created where the manuscripts are identified by standard nomenclature (i.e. location, library, fund and shelf mark). Secondly, each codex may be connected to multiple Conspectus Codicum where the editor usually quotes the code by the using of a philological nomenclature.

The most important thing, however, is to create a surplus of information on individual codices, linking as much information as possible to the single manuscript. In this way, when reading a text interested by some variants, the user can check a specific code and discover some further details about it.


The seminar will be followed by wine and refreshments.

Audio recording of seminar (MP3)

Presentation (PDF)