Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) was a german composer who is nowadays mainly known for his best selling opera Der Freischütz although he has composed more than 150 works (ranging from operas to piano pieces) in total and has been of substantial influence on the history of musical composition in the whole 19th century. Next to his musical Œuvre he wrote several articles for music journals and even sketched a novel which unfortunately remained unfinished. Additionally to these works intended for the public the Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Gesamtausgabe (WeGA)1 aims at publishing Weber’s private correspondence and diaries as well until Weber’s 200th anniversary in 2026. The WeGA was genuinely a ‘traditional’ scholarly project funded by the German Academy of Sciences and Humanities but has turned during the last years more and more into a ‘modern’ digital editions’ venture both in the field of musical and text edition. The proposed poster should illustrate the current state of development of the text edition and it’s framework and some envisioned future perspectives:
Every primary (e.g. diary entry, letter, article) as well as every secondary textual object (e.g. prosopographies, commentaries, descriptions of works) are encoded in conformance with the current TEI P5 guidelines (additionally the encoding of metadata for musical works follows the guidelines of the Music Encoding Initative2). Schemata have been developed and documented for every type of text making use of TEI’s meta language ODD. The overall encoding focus – besides the textual features – lies on the markup of persons, places, works and roles (e.g. in an opera or play).
These files (currently > 15.000) are stored in a subversion system and then exported to an eXist production database for online presentation and to another eXist development database for internal work.
The website of the WeGA which presents the edition to the user is driven by the native XML database eXist.The TEI files are the raw data that are transformed on-the-fly to XHTML for convenient reading while, for a maximum of transparency, they are still accessible in raw XML format through a dedicated tab. A third view on the text is facilitated by the digital facsimile which is presented if not restricted by copyright issues.
The extensive markup (and identification) of persons, places, works and roles in the TEI data allows for a dense linkage between these objects in the web application; additionally, for every such link a preview tooltip with the most relevant information is generated to avoid unnecessary page exits.
Further incorporated website standards are a search function and faceted filtering.
One of our main concerns is to present not only the textual data but also to provide the documentation of encoding practice and the necessary schemata, along with examples, to keep record of the making of the edition and to provide stimuli for envisaged correspondence editions, especially in the field of musicology.
The web application mimics the look of current social network sites and centers around persons and their social networks. These networks (the contacts of a given person) are computed through the available correspondence and are presented in a separate frame on every person’s ‘homepage’. (Two persons A and B are connected if there is some correspondence material in our corpus that was sent from Person A to B or vice versa.) It is a future goal to elaborate on relations of arbitrary objects and to compute and visualize their distance (e.g. by which nodes are Carl Maria von Weber and Mozart’s Zauberflöte connected?)
The WeGA tries to develop tools and views not only for a ‘reader’ (who is close reading the texts) but also for ‘clients’ who want to access the (raw) data by automatable tasks. Furthermore do we try to incorporate authority files to allow for automated linkage with other repositories. An already established example of Linked Data is the PND beacon3 that connects prosopographic information about a given person from different sources. The information from these sources (e.g. Wikipedia or the German Biographic Dictionaries) are then directly embedded in our web application via according tabs or simply listed as web links.
A future goal is to provide a well documented API to allow for machine interaction with our data.