Retro-digitizing the Latin-Bulgarian dictionary

Quo vadis Elina Boeva? As an experienced researcher and ELEXIS travel grant holder (call 2), she is aware of the importance of accessibility to rich, up-to-date and representative lexical resources. Now that her efforts are about to enter the home straight, ELEXIS provides the expertise needed to support her in creating a digitized Latin-Bulgarian dictionary:

How did you learn about the ELEXIS travel grants?

I learned about the ELEXIS travel grants from the ELEXIS website and was encouraged to apply by Dr. Toma Tasovac after several preliminary discussions of our common interest in Latin lexicography.

“Having linked my classical background with the latest trends in Digital Humanities,
I am now up for delving into the possibilities of TEI for publication of lexical resources.

What is your project about?

At the moment, the Latin-Bulgarian Dictionary (by Mihail Voynov, Alexandar Milev et al.) is used for teaching Latin on high-school and university level in all fields (Classics, Law, Medicine, Archaeology, Theology, etc.) in Bulgaria.
Its first edition was published in 1945. It went through several updates and expanded new editions, but the latest of them was published in 1999. Thus, an update is absolutely essential.
Moreover, the dictionary in its paper form is not easily accessible to students and scholars nowadays.

Within the framework of the CLaDA-BG National infrastructure, a project dealing with a digital edition of the Latin-Bulgarian dictionary currently in use will be launched to enhance options for further expansion and correction.

So far, I have scanned and OCR-ed the Dictionary as a part of my work for the Digitisation Centre and some partial attempts have been made for post-OCR processing.
The next step will be to apply my experience in TEI from the Telamon project and, together with a team of assistant researchers at the Department of Classics, work on the encoding and online publishing of the Dictionary. 

 

In my undergraduate years, I realized the importance of accessibility to rich, up-to-date and representative lexical resources.

What is your background that brought you up to this point?

I hold a BA and MA in Classics from the University of Sofia.
Currently, I am finishing my PhD in the field of Medieval Latin.
I’ve been working for several years now as a part-time assistant professor in Latin at the University of Sofia, as well as at the Medical Universities in Sofia and Varna.
Apart from that, I am an assistant researcher at the Digitization Centre of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Languages, University of Sofia, as well as for the Telamon Project for the digitization of Greek inscriptions from Bulgaria.
In the process of working with Greek epigraphic monuments, I got acquainted with the EpiDoc TEI schema, which provides great opportunities for the online edition of big textual corpora of specific linguistic and historical interest.
Thus, having linked my classical background with the latest trends in Digital Humanities, I am now up for delving into the possibilities of TEI for publication of lexical resources.

Where does your research visit lead you?

I applied for a stay in Serbia at the Belgrade Center for Digital Humanities (BCDH) after encouragement by Toma Tasovac, head of BCDH and an investigator in ELEXIS infrastructure.
I think that Toma Tasovac and the BCDH team provides the expertise that my department and I need to create a digital edition of the Latin-Bulgarian Dictionary.
They have great experience in
 retro-digitization of historical and dialectal dictionaries, which will prove extremely useful for our purposes.

“The BCDH-team provides the expertise that my department and I need to create a digital edition of the Latin-Bulgarian Dictionary.

Where does your interest in languages/lexicography come from and what keeps you motivated?

In my undergraduate years, I realized the importance of accessibility to rich, up-to-date and representative lexical resources.
As my interests became more focused on Medieval Latin, the limits of the existing Latin linguistic resources in Bulgarian became more and more evident. This also holds true for my job as an assistant lecturer in Medical Latin.
I am strongly convinced that an accessible and updated Bulgarian-Latin Dictionary is much-needed for further developments in teaching and researching in Bulgaria.

Profile: Elina Boeva
Travel Grant Call 2
Period of stay 24.6.2019 – 28.6.2019
Project title Encoding Latin-Bulgarian Dictionary
Home institution Sofia University
“St. Kliment Ohridski”
Bulgaria
Hosting institution Belgrade Center
for Digital Humanities 

(BCDH, Serbia)
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