Interoperability of Text and Image in the Digital Edition of the Wenceslas Bible

Authors: Beutel-Thurow, Linda / Hintersteiner, Julia / Kern, Manfred / Sapov-Erlinger, Oleksii

Date: Thursday, 7 September 2023, 4:15pm to 5:45pm

Location: Main Campus, L 1 <campus:stage>


The Wenceslas Bible, created for the Bohemian King Wenceslas IV. around 1390-1400, is the first largely complete German-language translation of the Hebrew Bible after the Latin Vulgate, combined with elaborate and highly valuable illustrations. Therefore, it is one of the most precious cultural heritage objects of the Austrian National Library. The Bible contains six codices (Cod. 2759-2764) with 1214 parchment leaves featuring 654 main and countless marginal miniatures. The text of the Bible translation is of the highest interest for philologist and eminently significant in terms of cultural history, as it is integrated into the religious reform movements of the 14th century and must be seen in connection with the so-called Austrian Bible translator, the work of Jan Hus but also the English Wycliffite translation.  

The Wenceslas Bible – Digital Edition and Analysis is a joint project of the University of Salzburg and the Austrian National Library, financed by the Federal State of Salzburg. It aims to create a TEI based edition with a focus on the investigation of the text-image correlations. As a first step, the project has launched a prototype for the book Genesis in June offering a synoptic view for transcription and the facsimile. Further parts will be published continuously, including a revised text with editorial comments as well as a description and analysis of the illustrations including their relation to the text. 

The poster will delineate the primary goals of the project as well as the significant difficulties related to the process and compatibility of text modification and digital picture encoding. A section of the display will exhibit the TEI model implemented to connect the two edition tiers and the necessary connections that must be established throughout. It underscores the cross-disciplinary nature of the edition, encompassing methodologies from philology, art history, and Digital Humanities, with a particular emphasis on the methodical correlation between text and image, and its digital portrayal. 

About the authors

Linda Beutel-Thurow has been a research assistant at the University of Salzburg in the project The Wenceslas Bible – Digital Edition and Analysis since 2021. She is also writing her dissertation in the field of older German language and literature on the topic of Naming poetics of Middle High German epic. In both areas, she works thematically in the field of the semantic web and specializes in the use of tools such as Transkribus and AntConc, the TEI data format and norm data such as Wikidata.

Julia Hintersteiner is a Digital Humanities major and has been working as a research assistant at the The Wenceslas Bible – Digital Edition and Analysis since September 2022. She is working on image annotation and digital image recognition in the project, especially focusing on text-image correlations. Her interests include digital art history and intermediality in medieval context.

Manfred Kern is a full professor for medieval German language and literature at the University of Salzburg since 2010. His research concentrates on the reception of antiquity in the medieval ages, the theme of vanity in medieval literature, comparative studies in medieval lyric and epic poetry and recently in the medieval German bible translation. He is head of the project The Wenceslas Bible – Digital Edition and Analysis. For further information:

Oleksii Sapov-Erlinger, MA, (0009-0003-7012-5781), has been working since 2018 as a research assistant at the Digital Interactive Mozart Edition, a joint project of the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg and the Packard Humanities Institute, with focus on Data Modeling and Data Engineering in MEI. Additionally, since July 2022, he has been working as a research assistant at the Die Wenzelsbibel – Digitale Edition und Analyse, a joint project of the University of Salzburg and the Austrian National Library. His focus in this position is on TEI Data Engineering and Web Development. 

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