The Handschriftenportal will be developed in two phases, each lasting three years. So far, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has granted funding for phase one.
Phase 1 | Setup of the Handschriftenportal and releasing a beta version
As the Handschriftenportal is a completely new project, the first three years (2018–2021) will be dedicated to developing the front end for the presentation and creating a cohesive technical basis for storing data (‘central record‘) including interfaces for importing and adding new metadata on manuscripts. A beta version is to be released in 2021, which will allow for preliminary testing and help determine how effective and useful the website’s features are.
In addition to these technical developments, the metadata currently available on Manuscripta Mediaevalia will be reviewed and improved. In particular, a large quantity of digital full texts will be extracted from existing printed manuscript catalogues and the corresponding metadata will be generated and supplemented. A newly developed data model will form the basis for all improvements.
Phase 2 | Further development of components and setup of a virtual workspace
A second project phase is to follow the release of the first fully operational version of the Handschriftenportal. If the project continues to receive funding by the DFG, phase 2 will commence in 2022 and will concern itself with adding advanced features into the Handschriftenportal.
More in-depth data curation and standardisation is planned, including information which goes beyond the core metadata. The system architecture is to be expanded. This will primarily involve the development of a ‘virtual workspace’ in which registered users can take notes and work on their own material (transcriptions, links, etc.), amend and make suggestions for the descriptive data available for a manuscript and share and publish their personal research results. A platform for publishing will also be developed for catalogues of manuscripts.
Finally, the DFG guidelines for cataloguing manuscripts will be adapted to current practices. Thus, the guidelines will be updated to to meet the requirements of the digital age.