Promoting Bellini's legacy and the Italian opera by scholarly digital editing his own correspondence
This contribution aims at illustrating the ongoing work towards the digital scholarly editing, long-term preservation, web publishing and computational exploiting of 41 letters, written by the renowned composer Vincenzo Bellini. The correspondence is kept at the Belliniano Civic Museum of Catania and is being encoded in XML according to the last TEI guidelines. The edition will be made accessible both via web - exploiting the Edition Visualization Technology (EVT) - as well as integrated into
... interactive and multimedia tour within the museum. The digital edition is based on the recently published transcriptions made by Seminara. The encoding scheme has been defined according to the edition requirements, the TEI best practices and the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) guidelines - where the musical context must be specified. Our initiative has some elements of innovation that distinguish it from similar projects, such as the Van Gogh letter project or the DALF project. For instance, we encode the circumstance that the letters themselves have also the purpose of acting as envelopes. In fact, they are folded on themselves and postmarks and wax seals are sometimes affixed on them. The edition takes care of handling the correspondence metadata by means of the correspDesc TEI tagset, thus providing the opportunity to exploit the correspSearch API. This approach has allowed us to enrich the encoding of the document both in its logical and physical structure and in indexing letters by sender, recipient, date, and places. The museum context and the educational purposes have even led us to the definitions of some lists of named entities. Within these resources we have adopted the Semantic Web and LOD paradigm by encoding external references to authoritative repositories such as RISM and DBpedia. Finally, we implemented some useful EVT extensions to automatically handle hotspots and to show critical notes that accompany the text.