KONDE - Kompetenznetzwerk Digitale Edition


travel!digital TEI Download

Ulrike Czeitschner

Hardly any other medium covers a similarly complex and at the same time exciting variety of topics as the modern travel guide. Since the early 19th century, classics like the Baedeker convey travel expertise and profound background knowledge. The selection and assessment of destinations and attractions on site, the composition of facts and figures, but especially the ever changing perspectives and regularly revised references to history and the present, culture and society provide vivid insights into the many facets of travelling culture. Last but not least, the reader learns a lot about the motivation of travellers, their preferences and interests, the current conventions, zeitgeist fashions and trends. As researchers are always on the lookout for significant and promising sources, it comes as no surprise that the fascinating guidebooks attract their attention. So it comes that today you can explore these valuable contemporary witnesses online and follow the tracks of former travellers.

The travel!digital collection brings together German Baedeker travel guides on non-European countries published between 1875 and 1914. Key components include linguistic and in particular semantic encoding, domain-specific knowledge organization and content contextualization by Linked Open Data. Focusing on people and monuments, two essential elements not only of guidebook texts but cultural narratives in general, the project aims at showing that semantic technologies have great potential to unlock a discourse that goes far beyond travel literature.

TEXT TYPE 1st editions of German Baedeker travel guides

EXTENT 5 volumes = 3.089 pages = 1.51 million tokens / 1.21 million running words

PERIOD 1875–1914

SUBJECT non-European destinations

ANNOTATION XML/TEI [P5], Part-of-Speech Tagging, TreeTagger, STTS Stuttgart-Tübingen-TagSet, tokenEditor

SEMANTIC TECHNOLOGIES SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System, LOD Linked Open Data, Skosmos

travel!digital WEB APP

Tiles on the start page provide easy access to the Baedeker guidebooks. A reader combines richly annotated full-texts and digital facsimiles of the rare historical prints and offers detailed tables of content as well as a page-turning function. A citation suggestion along with a link for each page is included.

The index browser shows entry frequencies of word forms, lemmas, PoS-information and personal names. Filters and autocomplete facilitate both index and full-text search. In addition, comprehensive metadata of the digital resources as well as the historical prints are available.

The web app accesses ACDH Vocabularies API to retrieve and display information from the travel!digital thesaurus, the core component of this project. Linking included historical as well as contemporary lexicon entries and LOD sources with corpus occurrences, this domain-specific vocabulary reveals the impressive diversity in the Baedeker universe and invites explorers on a digital journey through time.

The entire data collection is freely available at ARCHE (A Resource Centre for the HumanitiEs), the ACDH repository. It comprises the full-text corpus including linguistic and semantic mark-up, digital facsimiles of all volumes, a TEI-schema of the applied annotations as well as the extensive thesaurus with more than 4.200 entry terms and over 3.200 links to the LOD cloud. Since this rich resource was created in the spirit of openness, you are invited to (re)use it intensively!


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  • Czeitschner, Ulrike, Barbara Krautgartner (2017): Discursive Constructions of Culture: Semantic Modelling for Historical Travel Guides. Sociology and Anthropology 5: 323-331. doi:10.13189/sa.2017.050406. http://www.hrpub.org/download/20170330/SA6-19608582.pdf
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Team members: Ulrike Czeitschner (Primary Investigator), Victoria Eisenheld, Barbara Krautgartner, Laura Lanig

Institutions: ACDH-CH

Funding body: Austrian Academy of Sciences (go!digital 1.0), ÖAW0204

Website: https://traveldigital.acdh.oeaw.ac.at/, ARCHE data download https://id.acdh.oeaw.ac.at/traveldigital

Suggested citation:

Czeitschner, Ulrike. 2021. travel!digital. In: KONDE Weißbuch. Hrsg. v. Helmut W. Klug unter Mitarbeit von Selina Galka und Elisabeth Steiner im HRSM Projekt "Kompetenznetzwerk Digitale Edition". Aufgerufen am: . Handle: hdl.handle.net/11471/562.50.240. PID: o:konde.p18