Information on the search technique

Being able to use a search function in an edition is convenient, but often the benefit turns out in practice to be not as great as hoped for. Irrespective of the number of search terms and which ones you strive to include, for example to capture a person in the text: It is not only a meticulous task, but you cannot be certain of having tracked down all occurrences because some variation or description could be in use that you had never even dreamed of.

Consequently, you have to take different approaches if you want to improve the ability to index a text—and this is what has been done in the scope of the online edition of the “Teutsche Academie”. Our efforts were concentrated on two of the most important ‘types’ of content in the text: People and places. In a task of painstaking detail, the members of the project team enriched each occurrence of the respective persons, regardless of whether they are mythological or historical, artist or worldly ruler, philosopher or lawyer, and references to places in the text with metadata so that they can all be found in the simplest way.

What does this mean for you? That’s easy: You can access the passages in the text which are of interest to you more simply and quickly and with greater certainty. You do not need to think about whether or not the person you are searching for in the text is mentioned with an incomplete or abbreviated name, a byname or nickname, in Latinised form, declined or even in a roundabout way – we have already taken care of this for you.

Therefore, if you are interested in Pope Urban VIII, you will automatically find those passages in the text in which reference is made simply to the “Papst” (German for “pope”), but he is meant. Equally, if you search for Claude Lorrain, the search results include those passages in the text where he is called “Claudi Lorenes” or “Gilli”. To give a final example, you can also find occurrences of Joachim von Sandrart in which he is called by his nickname, “der Gemeinnützige” (The Charitable, which he had received as a member of the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft), and of course independent of whether or not the text reads “der Gemein-nutzige” or the modern spelling.

The same process was applied to the places. Regardless of whether Sandrart writes about St. Peter’s Basilica as “St. Peter’s” or the “holy church of Petri”, you should not have to rack your brain to think of the correct search term, just as you wouldn’t for the alternative names for the Colosseum: “amphitheatre” or  “Schauburg” (a castle where plays are staged).

A pleasant side-effect of the addition of this metadata is that you can query which names are used. In each entry for a person or a place, you can find a list of the names used (“notations”) on the left-hand side below the heading “Occurrences in the text” and the number of occurrences of each notation in the text alongside it in brackets.
If you are specifically curious about where Sandrart used which name or which variation in the text, you can choose the notation in question from the dropdown menu here and choose “Display” to see the corresponding passage in the text.