Duration: 2023-2024
Remarkable: An innovative, modular and sustainable publishing environment for digital editions.
Valorisation: Mondriaan- en Van Gogh-edition.

The Huygens Institute publishes important and prestigious digital editions of cultural and historical sources. Until now, we often developed a new digital environment for each edition. This leaves us with lots of room to improve efficiency.

The eDITEM project is developing a publishing tool for digital editions that will consist of several templates. After all, editions contain several types of texts – such as letters, manuscripts or journal articles – and supporting components, such as an introduction or a biographical component.

Many similar types of texts and supporting components recur in most editions. It is therefore more efficient to develop generic templates for future editions. Then new software only needs to be written for the really unique facets.

To make the right choices, the project team consists of both scholars from the Innovating Digital Editions and DHLab research groups and research software engineers from Team Text of the Digital Infrastructure department of the KNAW Humanities Cluster. This interdisciplinary group brings together knowledge of editions, research methods and information technology.

Open source

We are initially developing this tool for the Huygens Institute’s edition projects, but the software is open source and can therefore also be used by other institutions.

Phase 1: Mondrian

The project consists of two phases. In the first phase, we develop and test templates within the project The Mondrian Papers. In that project, we are working together with RKD (the Netherlands Institute for Art History) towards a digital edition that will be published by the end of 2023. We will then deliver a first version of the publication architecture. In addition, templates will become available for a letter edition, for modern manuscripts, for published articles and for supporting components such as introduction, biographies and bibliographies.

The eDITEM architecture will be established based on the knowledge and experience of the Innovating Digital Editions research group, combined with in-depth knowledge of the texts to be published. DI-Team Text provides the connection to a modern infrastructure for publishing very diverse documents in different technical formats.

During the first phase, we check whether our publication architecture and templates are suitable for digitally publishing a very similar collection, the Van Gogh Letters project. We do this in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum.

Phase 2: exploration

In the second phase, we will introduce other source types and edition types in the development project. We will explore whether we can also use the new templates to revamp and connect, for example, the letter editions in our Huygens Resources. And we want to find out what is possible with the sources that are unlocked in major projects such as Republic, Globalise and Dutch Prize Papers.


Van Gogh Museum