Publishing Historical Texts on the Semantic Web - A Case Study
2009 IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing
Historical texts are an important component of cultural heritage, and are being digitized and published on the web in various portals for the researchers and the public. However, searching and linking them with related contents is challenging due to the non-structured text form, digitization errors, and the differences and variations between old and modern language, including historical names (e.g. places), used for querying. This paper addresses these issues by presenting an approach and a
... approach and a system for publishing old texts on the semantic web. As a case study, an existing historical newspaper archive on the web is considered. In our model, semantic metadata is added to the text using automated concept extraction methods. Search is implemented with semantic techniques, by creating a multi-faceted search interface for the text materials. Problems due to OCR errors and spelling variants are addressed with a fuzzy string matching algorithm trying to guess corresponding words in a lexicon, and giving suggestions for corrected word forms. References between texts in the library as well as links between the library and external knowledge sources are formed by using shared ontologies for semantic annotations. This article describes the main goals and challenges of the project, reports the current status and first results of the work, and outlines next steps on the way to creating a semantic archive of a large collection of historical newspapers. In the following, the underlying archive used in our study is first described.