Using XML to generate research tools for Wittgenstein scholars by collaborative groupwork


research question
aims and objectives
research context
research methods
  Research Context    
  The context is provided by the recent publication of Wittgenstein's Nachlass: The Bergen Electronic Edition, which contains facsimiles and edited text versions of Wittgenstein's Nachlass. This edition is produced from source transcriptions in a markup-language called MECS and was a major international project of approximately 50 man-years duration which has become a principal Wittgenstein resource for scholars for the foreseeable future. The current research proposal begins the next phase: to increase the utility of this resource by providing contextual material and scholarly tools. However, the research problem is to ensure that these tools are context-sensitive, i.e. only tools that are directly relevant to the user are made available according to the position of the user in the text.

The sample is based on the First World War period because the partners have access to a wide variety of material arising from their work on The Bergen Electronic Edition, including manuscripts already prepared in flat-file format (Bergen), correspondence in flat-file format (Innsbruck), graphics in facsimile and edited formats (Hertfordshire), and chronological and biographical data (Professor B. F. McGuinness). In addition each of the partners have previously published scholarly articles and books about Wittgenstein's work in that period. The aim will be to link these resources in a context-sensitive way enabling the user to access, for example, correspondence linked to the philosophical texts by date, person or location; translation facilities (the texts are in German or English), interpretative tools for textual and graphical content, etc.