Building a Lexicographic Infrastructure for Serbian Digital Libraries

Natalia Ermolaev, Toma Tasovac


Digital infrastructures are essential for advancing humanities scholarship in the digital age. In this paper, we discuss three ongoing projects by the Belgrade Center for Digital Humanities (BCDH) — “Transpoetika,” the “Digital Library of Serbian Cultural Heritage of the 18th Century” and the “Annotated Digital Edition of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić’s Srpski rječnik” — as case studies for how a lexicographic infrastructure can contribute to the creation of more sophisticated digital libraries (DLs). Designed around a robust and inter-operable dictionary web service, the BCDH DLs offer a broad range of functionalities for user engagement with cultural heritage texts. Features such as full-content searching, multiple browsing options, glosses, concordances and indexes, hypertext and hypermedia links allow users to define, explain, and order the language and literary culture. At the same time, these DLs highlight the inherent contingency and dialogic nature of language systems by inviting users to comment, question, explore, and play with the material through features such as innovative interface and social media. By facilitating exploration of the complexities and variability of cultural heritage, the BCDH projects exemplify the positive potentialities of DLs for humanities scholarship and cultural heritage discourse.

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