Caroline T. Schroeder (University of the Pacific) and Amir Zeldes (Humboldt University) launched a new, collaborative digital project in Spring 2013.

Coptic SCRIPTORIUM (Sahidic Corpus Research: Internet Platform for Interdisciplinary multilayer Methods) is an interdisciplinary platform for search and computational research in texts in the Coptic language, particularly the Sahidic dialect.

Coptic, having evolved from the language of the hieroglyphs of the pharaonic era, represents the last phase of the Egyptian language and is pivotal for a wide range of disciplines, such as linguistics, biblical studies, the history of Christianity, Egyptology, and ancient history. Coptic has proven essential for the decipherment and continued study of Ancient Egyptian and is of major interest for Afro-Asiatic linguistics and Coptic linguistics in its own right. Coptic manuscripts are sources for biblical and extra-biblical texts and document ancient and Christian history. SCRIPTORIUM will provide the first open-source technologies for computational research across the disciplines as applied to a corpus of Coptic texts. The project will develop new methods specifically tailored to Coptic and adapt existing tools to analyze the language as well as to search and visualize linguistic and historical data mined from the digital corpus.

As a fully open-source platform, the SCRIPTORIUM technologies and corpus will function as a collaborative environment for digital research by any scholars working in Coptic. It will provide tools to process texts, a searchable richly-annotated corpus of texts processed in part with such tools, a collaborative platform for scholars to use and contribute to the project, and research results generated from the tools and corpus.  Finally, SCRIPTORIUM will serve as a model for future digital humanities projects utilizing historical corpora or corpora in languages outside of the Indo-European and Semitic language families.

For more information, contact C. Schroeder: carrie [at] carrieschroeder.com.

View a video describing the project on YouTube.

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