11/23/14 SBL Panel “Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies”

Posted by on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in Digital Humanities, LAWDI Linked Open Data, public presentations, TEI XML.

Syriaca.org editors Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent and David Michelson will present at the Society of Biblical Literature in San Diego, California on 11/23/14 as part of the panel “Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies”

Their talk will be entitled “Using Linked Open Data to Explore Manuscript Collections: A Case Study from Syriaca.org”.

For those following the talk live, here is a list of the links from the presentation. Nota bene: some links are to beta or development code and thus are subject to change:

Visualization of LOD relationships between a manuscript (BL Add 12.174) and related entities in Syriaca.org:


Visualization of LOD relationships between literary “works” and the rest of Syriaca.org: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1Jc8WRZpHr1WvPTraDsuSd9eO6nvUKZl3s20vzugswho/pub?w=1724&h=1118

Entry for “Sinjar” in The Syriac Gazetteer:


Manuscript Description of BL Add 12,174 from a partner project:

http://www.mss-syriaques.org/eng/search/results/141616-Collection-de-Vies-de-saints-et-de-martyrs.html (This is encoded in XML, but the XML is currently not yet accessible directly).

All TEI encoded manuscripts of Syriaca.org in an open access Github repository:



The paper abstract is as follows:

One scholarly benefit of the emerging field of Digital Humanities is the possibility of applying information technologies developed for the world wide web to traditional research questions in the humanities. This paper explores the use of a Linked Open Data model (LOD) by Syriaca.org: The Syriac Reference Portal to build a manuscript union catalogue linking together various Syriac manuscript catalogues. LOD is a set of “best practices for publishing and connecting structured data on the Web.” Syriaca.org is a collaborative online reference tool for Syriac studies. As a born digital reference work, Syriaca.org relies on XML encoded data (describing manuscripts using the TEI guidelines) and a Linked Open Data framework in which conceptual entities (such as persons, places, manuscripts and texts) are linked together using URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) and RDF (Resource Description Framework). The advantages of the LOD data model for publishing information about manuscripts include robust ability to link manuscripts with named entities or concepts (such as authors, scribes, or locations) and the ability to explore these connections through a knowledge graph. This paper will demonstrate how Syriaca.org has used all of these technologies in its effort to create a union catalogue for Syriac manuscripts.

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