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Volume: 6 | Article ID: art00037
Incunabula Basilea: a Web 2.0 application as research tool to early prints
  DOI :  10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2009.6.1.art00037  Published OnlineJanuary 2009

While the digitization of books offers great values by facilitating access, the careful design of the access-software can greatly enhance the value of a digital library. The access-software of many digital libraries just mimics the behavior of printed editions. Using the new features that the Web 2.0 (collaboration, AJAX, DHTML, dynamic web-pages, JavaScript etc.) and the multimedia-based characteristics of hyper textual linking offers, the access-software can be enhanced to a full-fledged research tool that goes way beyond just displaying digitized pages of text. Within the research project “Incunabula Basilea: Late-medieval doctrine as image and text reading”, an interdisciplinary research project by the imaging & media lab and the Department of Art History of the University of Basel, such a enhanced webapplication will be developed (An incunabulum is a book, single sheet, or image that was printed - not handwritten - before the year 1501 AD). The web-application will implement an expert's Wikiconcept which allows to interconnect books, pages, parts of pages, images and image-regions with rich, commented links. When populated, this web of links allows an in-depth analysis the relationship between the different works represented in the database.In our case, this will be exemplified by the works of Sebastian Brant (1457-1521), a humanist and satirist from Basel/Strasbourg who published 1494 AD an allegory called “Das Narrenschiff” (the fools ship). This work was very influential and incorporated many engravings by Albrecht Duerrer. Within the framework of our web-application, experts worldwide will have the possibility to link pages or areas of pages to other works, pages, page-areas or images, available either in- or externally, in a intuitive manner using a GUI and comment these links. The general user will have the possibility to follow these commented links and perform network analysis in order to find non-obvious connections between the different works. The web-application is developed using code-igniter, a PHP-based model-view-controller framework and makes heavy use of advanced AJAX and JavaScript/CSS technology.

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Lukas Rosenthaler, Patrick Ryf, "Incunabula Basilea: a Web 2.0 application as research tool to early printsin Proc. IS&T Archiving 2009,  2009,  pp 175 - 177,

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