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


research question
aims and objectives
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  Research Question    
  The project evaluates the use of XML (Extensible Markup Language) for a diverse range of material relating to the philosopher Wittgenstein's life and work in the pre-Tractatus period (1906-1916). The principal objective is to facilitate the production of web-based material that integrates biography, correspondence and philosophical texts, with scholarly tools such as commentary and concordances, etc. The research question is how the XML, DTD and XSL documents should be constructed for this data set that would give maximum flexibility for the production of a variety of user-centred multi-media outputs using XHTML and XSLFO. The project will build on the prototype documents already in use by the technology partner. The advantage of XML is that it is software and platform independent, and therefore addresses the central issue of data preservation in digital archives (cf. European Union IST Call 7, 2002 Work programme section III.5.2).

The partners have considerable experience in the development of scholarly electronic resources in the humanities. In particular they include the authors of the recently published CD-ROMs Wittgenstein's Nachlass: The Bergen Electronic Edition (Oxford University Press, 2000, In addition, the University of Bergen is a core member of the international Text Encoding Initiative (TEI,, and the Universities of Hertfordshire and Bergen co-edited the edition of the international philosophical journal The Monist (ISSN 0026-9662) that was dedicated to interactive working ("Philosophy and Electronic Publishing: theory and metatheory in the development of text encoding" July 1997). The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen is an EU research infrastructure.