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NSFGrant Will Help Scholars On International Web Project For Medieval German Texts And Dictionaries

March 19, 2001-- A $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will enable the University of Virginia Library and the University of Trier, Germany, to post on the Internet some 100 medieval German texts and several related dictionaries that will help scholars trace the history of German literature and language.

The award to the U.Va. Library’s Electronic Text Center (Etext Center) will support the creation of a Web archive called "Middle High German Interlinked." The two universities will digitize works from the period of Middle High German, the predecessor of modern German. That period, from about the 12th through the 14th centuries, includes noted chivalric poetry, songs and epics.

"This collaboration between U.Va. and the University of Trier will show how the Web makes it easier to deliver complex literary and linguistic electronic files, thus facilitating more international cooperation," said David Seaman, director of the Etext Center. "Middle High German Interlinked will provide a wonderful set of databases."

The project will use XML (Extensible Markup Language) to create a comprehensive text-archive tightly integrated into the online dictionaries. The Brothers Grimm, compilers of the famous "Grimm’s Fairy Tales," edited one important 19th-century dictionary included in the project.

"Middle High German Interlinked" will serve as an independent resource to answer research questions posed by language and literature historians, as well as by those engaged in the study of Middle High German texts, Seaman said. The project also will provide links to other

reference works, including dictionaries, historical grammars, and works concerned with the history of literature.

The U.Va. Etext Center, founded in 1992, was the first electronic center of its kind. It provides Internet access to thousands of humanities-related texts in some 12 languages. For more information, visit the center’s Web site at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu

Contact: Melissa Norris, (804) 924-4254 or Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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