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DigiCULT
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29
XSLT, XSL-FO, XQuery, XMLSchema,
SVG, XPointer, Xlink and RDF). Each of
these languages can expand the potential
of XML documents, and many of these
specific mark-up languages were used
during the project.
I
n Fig. 1, an XML document, marked
up using a predefined DTD, has been
transformed using an XSLT (eXtensible
Stylesheet Language Transformations)
stylesheet into a corresponding XML
document (Fig. 2) coded in the standard
EAD DTD.
Another application of these complementary
languages is the use of style-sheets (XSL,
XSLT, XSL-FO) that make it possible to
easily obtain different layouts of the same
XML document in several file formats
(e.g. HTML or PDF).
Figure 3 shows how a Web browser, from
an HTML format, displays the fonds
I
n 2002, the Italian archive administra-
tion in conjunction with the
Consorzio Roma Ricerche began the
second phase of this project which invol-
ved the adoption of XML and the EAD
(Encoded Archival Description) DTD
(Document Type Definition). This resul-
ted in the database that is now online
(http://www.maas.ccr.it/) and which
contains all the data of the Guida
Generale in XML format coded accor-
ding to the standard EAD DTD.
X
ML provided this project with
several key advantages. It is a user-
friendly mark-up language that preserves
the semantic richness of SGML and is
more widespread. XML, unlike SGML,
can be viewed directly through a Web
browser, and this is one reason for its
success. Another big advantage is the
variety of different languages compliant
with the XML syntax (for example,
D
igiCULT's upcoming Technology
Watch Report 2 devotes a section
to the use of XML in the cultural herita-
ge sector (http://www.digicult.info/
pages/techwatch.php). In this short arti-
cle, Enrico Rendina from the Consorzio
Roma Ricerche introduces a digitisation
project and explains how XML has been
beneficial to the interoperability and
accessibility of digitised data.
T
he main goal of this project, started
by the Consorzio Roma Ricerche
(http://www.romaricerche.it/) in 1998,
has been the realisation of a digital ver-
sion of the four paper volumes contai-
ning the Guida Generale degli Archivi di
Stato Italiani. Comprising roughly 4000
pages, the Guida is a collection of the
descriptions of all archival materials sto-
red in the 98 Italian state archives. The
pages of the Guida were digitised (using
advanced OCR techniques) and the
resulting text files automatically marked
up as SGML. The SGML files were
imported into a database and made avai-
lable on the Web.
D
IGITISATION OF THE
G
UIDA
G
ENERALE DEGLI
A
RCHIVI DI
S
TATO
I
TALIANI
Figure 1. Mapping between original DTD and EAD
Figure 2. EAD markup
Consorzio Roma Ricer
che
,
2004,
http://www
.r
omar
icer
che
.it
Consorzio Roma Ricer
che
,
2004,
http://www
.r
omar
icer
che
.it