Title Applying Standard Formats and Tools: "Alexander von Humboldt auf Reisen" as an Example for the Collective Subsequent Use of DTABf and ediarum

Encoded by   Vanessa Hannesschläger

Encoded by   Daniel Schopper


The Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License applies to this text.


In the project "Travelling Humboldt – Science on the Move" (here: AvH) of the BBAW1, a digital edition of those writings of Alexander von Humboldt are provided, which emerged from his journeys to America and Russia. The project is supported by TELOTA2, which develops tools for the creation of digital scholarly editions, and DTA3, which provides a platform for large TEI corpora of historical texts.

Subsequent Use in and from AvH

The source material is very heterogeneous: Humboldt rearranged and complemented his journals subsequent to his journeys. Nevertheless, it was possible to base the main part of the annotation guidelines on the existing DTABf-M4; only a small amount of project specific additions was necessary. The digital edition is created in ediarum5, which has been adapted for the DTABf-M and the project specific annotations. The project’s encoding demands are examined for their generalizability. If they may serve other projects as well, the respective adaptions are implemented in the DTABf-M and ediarum.BASIS. This way, standards are directly optimized based on their usage within a project.

The resulting standardbased digital resources may in turn be reused in diverse contexts. For instance, the DTABf-conformant texts may be added to the DTA corpora, may there be combined esp. with the apostilles of Humboldt’s Cosmos lectures6 and from there integrated in the CLARIN infrastructure. With the web service correspSearch, the edited letters can be linked to other letters already published elsewhere in editions7.


The current use case is an example for consequent reuse of existing TEI resources, workflows, and tools within multiple projects. This way, efforts are not concentrated on new developments but rather on the improvement of existing standard tools and formats as well as the handling of project specifics. The creation and usage of interoperable TEI resources is an important preliminary in this context.