Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dear colleagues (with apologies for cross-posting),
On «Ad fontes», an e-learning platform provided by the University of Zurich, all abbreviations from the «Cappelli» have been digitised and are now fully searchable.
In October 2015, the University of Zurich hosted the Cappelli-Hackathon, a very successful crowd sourcing project, during which all 14'357 abbreviations collected in Adriano Cappellis' «Lexicon abbreviaturarum» were digitally registered and systematised through a specifically for the task designed web interface. Since then, the registered abbreviations have been checked and – where necessary – corrected through expert validation. They are as of now freely available, either as part of the Ad fontes platform (Cappelli online) or through the new app, App fontes.
The search interface not only allows to search by the readable letters, with the possiblity to set wildcards for non-identifiable characters, but also to search by visual criteria. Through the use of a 3x3 grid, the abbreviations have been systematised by the placement of abbreviation marks and other visual features; user may now use this grid in the search interface to help them find results.
Thus, the project allows a better and easier way to access the «Cappelli», an invaluable tool for everyone working with handwritten sources. Since «Ad fontes» offers also a link to the digitised original page, it is even possible to cite from the «Lexicon abbreviaturarum» using the project.

P.S.: The data as well as the pictures can be downloaded (

Tobias Hodel, lic. phil.
Universität Zürich
Historisches Seminar
Projekt «Ad fontes»
Culmannstrasse 1
CH-8006 Zürich 

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