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Ambraser Heldenbuch: Transcription and Scientific Dataset TEI Download

Mario Klarer, Aaron Tratter, Hubert Alisade

Since January 2017, a research group led by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mario Klarer at the University of Innsbruck has been working on the go!digital project Ambraser Heldenbuch: Transcription and Scientific Dataset, funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The project’s aim is to transcribe the entire Ambraser Heldenbuch (Vienna, Austrian National Library, Cod. Ser. nova 2663) on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Emperor Maximilian’s death.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Emperor Maximilian I commissioned Hans Ried, a scribe from Bolzano, to copy texts for the Ambraser Heldenbuch.1 The Ambraser Heldenbuch consists of 25 important texts of German medieval literature on approximately 250 parchment folios. Fifteen of these texts have survived solely in the Ambraser Heldenbuch as Early New High German versions, including Erec by Hartmann von Aue, the anonymous Kudrun and Mauritius von Craûn. Most modern editions of these unique texts are re-translations into standardized Middle High German that do not represent the original textual source correctly. For many years, scholars and editors have been demanding a transcription of the entire Ambraser Heldenbuch that is faithful to the manuscript text.2

The project team has been transcribing the Ambraser Heldenbuch with the software Transkribus. The generated data are saved as XML files, which contain the transcribed text as well as the coordinates of the respective lines in the manuscript. The three text columns of each page of the Ambraser Heldenbuch are labeled as text regions, which are, in turn, divided into lines. The codex’s unique status as the only source for a number of canonical medieval literary works requires an allographic transcription that refrains from any kind of standardization or normalization. For example, variants of letters, such as long ‹s› or rounded ‹r›, will be maintained in order to be as faithful as possible to Hans Ried’s use of characters and diacritical signs in the Ambraser Heldenbuch.

Another important aspect of the project is the annotation of the transcription. This includes tagging of verses and stanzas as well as initials and rubrications, all of which provide added value to the transcription proper. The meticulous processing of the texts of the Ambraser Heldenbuch paves the way for a variety of potential applications in further research and editorial endeavors.

The consistent allographic transcription of the entire Ambraser Heldenbuch will serve as a reference base for linguistic investigations of Early New High German and will facilitate editorial projects on individual texts from the Ambraser Heldenbuch. After the completion of the transcription, all generated data, together with the final transcription guidelines,3 will be accessible via public repositories.


1 See Alisade (2019).

2 E.g. Leitzmann (1935); Gärtner (2006); Homeyer and Knor (2015).

3 For a preliminary synopsis of work in progress transcription guidelines, see Klarer (2019).


  • Alisade, Hubert. 2019. “Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Ambraser Heldenbuchs. Die Beauftragung Hans Rieds.” In Kaiser Maximilian I. und das Ambraser Heldenbuch, edited by Mario Klarer, 27–35. Vienna: Böhlau.
  • Gärtner, Kurt, ed. 2006. Erec von Hartmann von Aue. 7th ed. Tübingen: Niemeyer. Altdeutsche Textbibliothek 39.
  • Homeyer, Susanne, and Inta Knor. 2015. “Zu einer umfassenden Untersuchung der Schreibsprache Hans Rieds im Ambraser Heldenbuch.” Zeitschrift für Deutsche Philologie 134 (1): 97–103.
  • Klarer, Mario. 2019. “Vom Buchstaben zum Text. Die Handschrift von Hans Ried und die Transkription des Ambraser Heldenbuchs.” In Kaiser Maximilian I. und das Ambraser Heldenbuch, edited by Mario Klarer, 171–86. Vienna: Böhlau.
  • Leitzmann, Albert. 1935. “Die Ambraser Erecüberlieferung.” Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 59: 143–234.


Team members: Mario Klarer (Primary Investigator), Hubert Alisade, Veronika Führer, David Messner, Markus Saurwein, Claudia Sojer, Aaron Tratter

Institutions: University of Innsbruck - Department of American Studies

Funding body: Austrian Academy of Sciences (go!digital-2.0)

Website: https://www.uibk.ac.at/projects/ahb/

Suggested citation:

Klarer, Mario; Tratter, Aaron; Alisade, Hubert. 2021. Ambraser Heldenbuch: Transcription and Scientific Dataset. 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/11471/562.50.242. PID: o:konde.p2