Utrecht University and Constantijn Huygens Institute (The Hague),
Large emblem corpora are being indexed, or fully digitized, and soon we may even have
an emblem portal which allows concurrent searches in all of the emblem collections.With
these objectives now in sight, we may allow ourselves some thoughts about the next steps
in digital emblem research.This paper discusses the kinds of tools that can enhance our
emblem sites' value for the scholarly visitor.These tools will enable us, e.g., to hyperlink not
just to emblems, but to emblem searches resulting in predefined result lay-outs, to dynami-
cally generated lists of related emblems, or to any other selection.To clarify these tasks, the
paper showcases the Public Indexing Feature (PIF) presently under construction at the
Emblem Project Utrecht website. EPU-PIF will allow scholars external to EPU to build
their own indexes to the EPU website, and to have these indexes used in selection and
display of the emblems on the EPU site.The paper suggests features like these may have
far-reaching consequences for scholarly research and communication.
indexing, emblems, RDF, digital tools.
I n t ro d u c t i o n
wenty-five years after the first symposia, emblem digitization is taking off. Large emblem
corpora are being indexed and fully digitized, and soon we may even have an emblem
portal that will allow concurrent searches across all of our collections.
No-one doubts the importance of being able to search in well-described and well-indexed
emblem databases.With these objectives in sight, we may allow ourselves some thoughts about
the things we will be able to do with these digitized collections.This paper discusses some pos-
sibilities for advanced use of our collections of emblems and, more specifically, the possibilities for
indexing our sites. Indexing is an activity very much at the heart of scholarly communication and
a good area for expansion of our sites' functionality.
At the Emblem Project Utrecht (EPU) we are working on an experimental Public Index Fea-
ture: a facility where scholars external to the project will be able to add indexes to the site based
on their personal research interests.Tools like these are an important next step for our collections,
and they will decisively influence the future of scholarly communication in emblem studies and
in the wider humanities.
" S c h o l a r l y p r i m i t i ve s "
In order to exploit fully the potential benefits of digitized material, we should have tools that
facilitate our use of those materials for the purposes that we as scholars use them for. It is impor-
tant to realize that searchability, often named as the big advantage of digitization, serves only one
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