Saturday, 11 April 2015

Przemyslaw Nehring: The Scrinium Augustini Project

The aim of my short communication is to present a project led by the Faculty of Languages at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland). „Scrinium Augustini" (www.scrinium.umk.pl) is a new open-source tool designed to enhance the efficiency of comprehensive studies on the correspondence of Augustine. It is a fully searchable on-line catalogue of issues present in the Augustinian correspondence. The whole matter of this corpus was divided into an original conceptual frame of ten main categories: Philosophy Doctrine|Polemics|Ascetics/Monasticism|Religious Practice|Everyday Life|Political, Legal and Economic Issues|Language and Literary Culture|Augustine|Personal Names|
These main categories can be called roots and trunks of trees. From every trunk a number of branches and leaves of subordinated issues grow very organically.
„Scrinium Augustini" enables users to go through the letters in several ways. In the „Tiles mode" it is possible to go down from the most general categories to the most detailed ones; in the „Tree mode" the user can visualise trees of issues/topics present in Augustine's correspondence; the „Letters mode" means checking out the content of particular letters and the „Simple search mode" is a traditional search-as-you-type device.
I am convinced that „Scrinium" is a genuinely new approach to data bases in humanities and as such it needs discussion on its worth and possible usefulness. The Patristic Conference in Oxford would be the best opportunity to do it

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