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Prototype of a Historical-Critical Online Edition based on the Estate Materials of Josef Maria Baernreither

Hosting organisations
Uni Innsbruck - Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft u. Europäische Ethnologie
Responsible persons
Kurt Scharr and Christof Aichner

Joseph Maria Baernreither (1845–1925) was one of the leading politicians of the late phase of the Habsburg monarchy, who dealt intensively with both the social issues of the monarchy and the national problems of the multinational state.

Baernreither recorded and reflected on his work in a diary (19 volumes). Based on these diaries from 1921 on, Baernreither wrote an edited version of the diaries entitled “Fragments of a Political Diary”. These have survived for the period from 1897 to 1912 as typescripts in eight volumes. After his death, Josef Redlich and Oskar Mitis published excerpts from these “fragments”.

As historians we have to deal therefor with three different text variants of Baernreither’s diaries/memories. The aim of the project in general is to make these different versions of the text available in digital form and to visualize the relationships between the different text variants and thus also to document Baernreither’s editorial work, the active change of his memories.

The project aims thus to investigate the feasibility of an RDF-based graph model of a Historical-Critical Edition. The goal is to express all information about the relations between text variants, which are encoded as strings in attribute values in the existing TEI markup, by RDF structure elements. This eliminates the need for string evaluation. Based on the scientific specifications, an ontology of the relation network is created, from which the instances of the individual connections are derived. If there are usable standard ontologies, these are used, otherwise a proprietary one is developed and combined with these. The use of the W3C standard Web Annotation Ontology ( for modeling the connections will be investigated.

In addition to this experimental part of the project, there is a conventional part, which includes the modified TEI markup of the full texts and the HTML pages generated from them using XSLT. In this way it links the project to the Commission projects already underway at ACDH-CH.