Companion page to Mesotext

This is the companion page to my PhD thesis Mesotext. Digitised emblems, modelled annotations and humanities scholarship. To quote from the Introduction, the book argues that '(...) digital annotations make it possible to create live connections between the primary literature that scholars study, and the secondary literature that they produce. It will show how digital tools can help scholars annotate the sources that they study, and help them conceptualise the issues that interest them. These typed annotations can facilitate entry into and exploration of primary texts, and can provide the supporting arguments for the articles and studies that scholars write about primary texts. I will call these typed annotations mesotext, and the book converges towards the chapter that introduces the concept and explores its usefulness in the context of humanities scholarship.'

To support that claim, the book reports on a number of experiments with annotation tools that can create these annotations. For illustrative purposes, from this page I point to demo applications, source code and other electronic documents that can demonstrate some aspects of these tools. The book was published by Amsterdam University Press (here), it can also be ordered from e.g. Amazon (here) and is electronically available here.

5. Digital Edition Annotation using EDITOR

Chapter 5 of the thesis reports on development and use of the EDITOR annotation tool. The following links may be relevant: [but are mostly no longer available]

6. A SANE Approach to Annotation in the Digital Edition

SANE continues work on EDITOR. SANE proposes facilities to exchange annotation information between annotation tools and annotation consumers. One of these facilities is a markup language for annotation exchange (SANE-ML). A tentative Relax NG schema for SANE-ML is available here: More information at the project page at the Huygens Institute: [no longer available].

The schema is also included as Appendix A of the book.

7. Decoding Emblem Semantics

'Decoding Emblem Semantics' sketches an approach towards describing networks of signs in emblem books and elsewhere. There is a demo application that shows how fragments of texts and image can be related to the meanings they support. That page is available here: Unfortunately, the page was developed before proper SVG support in Firefox was available, and requires Internet Explorer with the Adobe SVG viewer.

From that page, a number of additional files is available: the emblem, encoded in TEI/XML, the sign data with a corresponding ontology, and a number of stylesheets. The ontology is also printed in Appendix B of the book.

8. Creating a Metaphor Index

In chapter 8 I describe work on the development of a metaphor index in the emblem book Amoris Divini Emblemata. The result is available at

From that page, a number of additional files is available: the emblems, encoded in TEI/XML, the sign data with a corresponding ontology, and what I call the 'narrative', the secondary text that frames the sign data. The ontology is (partially) printed in Appendix C of the book.

9. Towards a TEI-Based Encoding Scheme for the Annotation of Parallel Texts

Chapter 9 describes how TEI feature structures could be used in the annotation of literary texts. I found it useful to extend the TEI's facilities slightly. The ODD file that describes the TEI customisation is available here: It is also printed in Appendix D of the book.