Title Building a collaborative editorial workbench for legal texts with complex structures

Encoded by   Vanessa Hannesschläger

Encoded by   Daniel Schopper


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


The "Capitularia" -project is concerned with the (hybrid) edition of decrees by Frankish rulers, an important source for various aspects of early medieval European history. Due to the manner of dissemination, these legal texts are only extant within often quite sundry compilations. The modeling of an overarching structure to depict and reference the single textual units in their various manifestations within the manuscripts hence poses one of the biggest challenges for the TEI encoding.

"Capitularia" is a long term project (2014-2029) funded by the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and is being prepared in close collaboration with the "Cologne Center for eHumanities" and the "Monumenta Germaniae Historica" as well as other partners. Since the cooperators are scattered, a central platform for internal communication as well as for the distribution of resources among staff is essential to facilitate successful cooperation. WordPress was selected as CMS, serving not only for the web publication, but also as a collaborative editorial workbench. Features already included (e.g. search facilities, multilingualism) were enhanced, new functionalities added, such as the "Capitularia XSL Processor" plugin that allows for the transformation of XML files to HTML within the CMS. This transformation is the final step of a sophisticated XSLT processing pipeline that has been custom-built. The "Capitularia Page Generator" enables automated generation of pages. In order to facilitate the editorial work with the numerous textual witnesses, collation is backed by variance scores available in the backend. This functionality is based on CollateX with the algorithms included in the "Capitularia Collation" plugin.

The paper will present straits of encoding capitularies as examples of texts with a complex and varying structure, as well as our approach to deal with these issues. We would also like to discuss further ideas for the future development of a collaborative workbench within the CMS.