Towards an XML-TEI Edition of Diplomatic Documents – Part 2. EVT Visualisation

One of the most common formats in digital documentary editions is the side-by-side layout (Pierazzo, 2014). It allows us to compare a digital facsimile with the transcription of the original document, a potentially useful feature for researchers interested in the “evidentiary value” (Kline and Perdue, 2013) of the consulted materials.

As part of a larger research project at the CVCE, Diplomacy within Western European Union (WEU), we are working on a digital edition using this dual layout. The edition will include XML-TEI P5 encoded documents and digital images of the original sources from the WEU archives. An overview of the collection and the corresponding workflow are presented in Part 1.

The work is in ongoing, and we are currently adapting the EVT (Edition Visualization Technology) framework to the CVCE’s needs (existing and intended Web site architecture, different types of documents and projects, users’ requests, etc.). As shown in the demo, the tool provides a series of features such as side-by-side visualisation, navigation, image-text linking, “hot” areas highlighting and zoom-in/out in the image.

Within a CVCE – EVT team collaboration, a student from the University of Pisa, Italy, will be involved this summer, together with the CVCE’s DH Lab, in building the edition starting from the EVT model.


Kline, Mary-Jo. Holbrook Perdue, Susan. 2013. A Guide to Documentary Editing. Third Edition. Online version. ADE, UVA Press.

Pierazzo, Elena. 2014. “Digital Documentary Editions and the Others”. In Scholarly Editing: The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 35.

Developing personalisation tools for ePublications

Digital Tools_51_43_42The CVCE has been working on the development of digital tools that enable our users to personalise content from our virtual research infrastructure on We are developing the idea of a Digital Toolbox where users will be able to customise content from all CVCE ePublications. The mid-term goal of the Digital Toolbox is to provide a personalised research infrastructure where users can create, collaborate and comment on their own personal ePublications.

Structure of an ePublication using MyPublications tool

Structure of a personal ePublication using MyPublications tool

In the later part of 2014 we launched, in beta version, the first version of the Digital Toolbox.  We have concentrated efforts on the development of the MyPublications authoring tool, development using a recently implemented Scrum methodology. The MyPublications tool will enable users of to write ePublications on topics of interest based on personalised research, teaching and learning needs by organising and structuring CVCE resources, such as historical documents, press articles, photographs and other multimedia material alongside your own text. The tool includes a presentation viewer, a sim ple interface where you can sequentially step through your ePublication (like a book!).  In the coming weeks the developer of the tool, Frederic Reis, will also add more features including a share link feature which will enable a MyPublications to be shared with colleagues and friends.

To find out more have a look at our first introductory video.

What about the technology underpinning the tool?

simplified model of mypublications tech infrastructure

Simplified model of MyPublications technical infrastructure

In diagram shows a simplified model of the MyPublications technology derived from the research infrastructure. The CVCE data repository uses Alfresco content management system to manage, store and retrieve a wide variety of cultural heritage objects such as documents, photographs, cartoons and videos.  These objects are then served to the Java based open source Liferay documents and media portal which delivers our CVCE ePublications to the web and our half a million website users.

The tool then works through the client side and is written using a combination of HTML 5, CSS & JavaScript to create an interface that calls saves and embeds links to any type of cultural heritage object found within the CVCE collection. The resulting MyPublication is essentially a series of sequential object links and original texts (sections, sub sections and paragraphs) all stored alongside the metadata in a MYSQL database.

We will launch the full, tested version of the MyPublications tool in the early part of 2015. In the meantime if you want to be a beta tester please feel free to sign up.