background image
of the system; the implementation of the system and finally an overview of the architecture for
the federation of multilingual digital libraries.The last section offers our conclusions and direc-
tions for future work.
D e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e D a t a b a s e s
We are currently working with three databases that store information about literature from the
sixteenth to eighteenth centuries: Spanish Emblem books, the Early Spanish Press (Relaciones de
Sucesos), and non-Spanish Emblem books translated into Spanish in the early modern period.
7
They are three large databases that store digitized pages as well as transcriptions, enriched with a
large amount of information coming from the analysis of the documents by experts in art histo-
ry and Hispanic and Latin philology.
The first two databases correspond to literature written in Spanish from the Spanish Golden
Age ("Siglo de Oro") and are already available through the Web;
8
the third one stores emblem
books that originally appeared in non-Spanish languages (Italian, Latin, and other European lan-
guages), and were translated into Spanish during that period.This last database is still under con-
struction and will be available soon.
Emblem literature was basically a moral literature, trying to promote moral and ethical norms
as well as ideas and concepts about morality in general. Emblem books were composed of indi-
vidual emblems, which are types of ideograms that expressed an abstract idea through a picture,
accompanied by a motto containing the moral principle.The idea was further explained by an
epigram or short poem and a commentary.
The Spanish Emblem Books database stores information for 27 emblem books, containing
more than 1,800 emblems.
9
These emblems lead to a thesaurus of about 15,000 authorities, 7,000
exemplas, 16,000 onomastics, and 10,000 sources for the images. Likewise, we present about 6,500
digitized pages.We do not yet have reliable data for the quantity of information available for the
last database,Translated Emblem Books, because it is still under construction.
Spanish early press documents come from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, and were the
precursors of current newspaper and other journalistic publications.They related events with the
goal of informing and entertaining the public. According to the subject of the story, there were
different types of reports: Festive events, such as monarchic or religious festivals; extraordinary
events like miracles and strange events, such as depicted in the current sensationalist press; and
bullfight events, predecessors of the sport press.
The Early Spanish Press database stores information about these reports, including catalogues
of reports, thesauri of epithets, illustrations, the different editions of a given report, and the libraries
where they can now be found.
10
The digitized pages of all available reports are also stored in the
database.The current content of the database includes information about more than 1,800 reports,
with nearly 2,000 illustrations, and a thesaurus of about 1,000 epithets used in them.There is also
information about the 22 libraries where the original reports can be found.
All the artifacts considered in these databases constitute a very rich and complex source of
information relating to the customs of those centuries in Europe, in general, and in Spain in par-
ticular, because they provide data about society, morality, customs, news, knowledge and social
conventions.They are most definitely very useful to a wide range of researchers from a variety of
disciplines (history of literature and art, anthropology, sociology, philology, journalism, etc.), so
their publication on the Web is not only a very interesting and useful challenge, but will also
enable further scholarship in a number of fields.
7
See Grupo de Investigación sobre
Literatura Emblemática, http://
rosalia.dc.fi.udc.es/Emblematica
and Relaciones de Sucesos, http://
rosalia.dc.fi.udc.es/SIELAE.
8
See footnotes 2 and 7.
9
See footnote 2.
10
See footnote 3.
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