8/10/2015 “Encoding Western and Non-Western Names for Ancient Syriac Authors” Short Talk at #balisage #culturalHeritage

Posted by on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 in Uncategorized.

On August 10, 2015, Syriaca.org team members Nathan Gibson and Winona Salesky will be presenting a short talk, coauthored with David Michelson, at the Balisage Pre-Conference Symposium on Cultural Heritage Markup in Bethesda, MD. (See details in the full program here.) The theme of the symposium is “using markup to preserve, understand, and disseminate cultural heritage materials.”

A preliminary version of the talk is available in the preliminary proceedings, published in Proceedings of the Symposium on Cultural Heritage Markup, Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 16 (2015), doi:10.4242/BalisageVol16.Gibson01.

Encoding Western and Non-Western Names for Ancient Syriac Authors – Nathan P. Gibson, Winona Salesky, and David A. Michelson

One of the major digital challenges of the Syriaca.org research project has been to encode and visualize personal names of authors in Middle Eastern languages (especially Syriac and Arabic). TEI-XML and HTML are digital standards for the encoding and visualization of cultural heritage data and have features for encoding names and displaying Middle Eastern languages. Because these formats were developed primarily for Western cultural data, however, representing our non-Western data in these formats has required complex adaptation particularly in regard to marking up name parts, customizing search algorithms, displaying bidirectional text, and displaying Syriac text with embedded fonts. These requirements have led us to develop small-scale systems that may be of use to other cultural heritage preservation projects involving names for ancient and, especially, non-Western entities.


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