The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies (LBI)  

Despite its enormous extent and significance, Neo-Latin literature, i.e. the Latin literature written from the Renaissance to the present day, is little studied and poorly represented in academic institutions. The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies (LBI) intends to make up for this shortcoming by its exclusive dedication to Neo-Latin literature (with a focus on the 16th to  the 18th centuries) and by a fresh approach: many studies have tended to look at Neo-Latin from the perspective of other disciplines such as classics, history, or the modern languages, which has cemented a misconception of the inferior nature and backward orientation of Neo-Latin literature. The LBI, by contrast, programmatically focuses on those aspects of Neo-Latin literature which can be understood as a dynamic element of early modern culture and which have made a significant contribution to the emergence of Europe as we know it today. 

The LBI is a project-based research institute funded for the period 2011–17. In 2018 it started its second period of funding which will run up to 2024. It pursues its research programme in three specific "programme lines", dedicated to key areas where Neo-Latin literature has particularly impacted on the formation of modern Europe: education, science and intellectual history. These three programme lines have grown out of the three programme lines of the Institute’s initial period 2011–2017: politics, history of mentalities and religion. In addition to our thematic programme lines, we are also dedicated to the production of basic tools such as databases, editions, and literary surveys.

Our partners are the University of Innsbruck, the University of Freiburg, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna and the Pontificio Comitato di Scienze Storiche in Rome. The LBI is based in Innsbruck and has an outpost in Freiburg.

 Learn more about the LBI here.


Recognition and Enrichment of Archival Documents (READ)

READ (Recognition and Enrichment of Archival Documents) is an e-Infrastructure project funded by the European Commission and combines research, services and network building. It is focused on making archival material more accessible through the development of cutting-edge technologies.  You can get an overview of all the tools and technologies we are developing in our Interfaces Map.

Research is carried out in Pattern Recognition, Document Image Analysis, Computer Vision, and Natural Language Processing. Leading research groups from these fields are taking part in the project and will set new standards in Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR), Key Word Spotting, Layout Analysis, Automatic Writer Identification and related fields.

Services are provided to the main target groups of the project:

  • Archives, libraries and content holders
  • Humanities scholars
  • Public users and volunteers (crowd-users)
  • Computer scientists

We are dedicated to meeting the needs of our target groups. A wide portfolio of services is therefore offered through the service platform Transkribus.

Network building will be encouraged at all levels:

  • Archives and libraries are invited to join the project with a Memorandum of Understanding which will enable them to take part in testing the technology and contributing to the improvement of our tools
  • Humanities scholars are able to use the Transkribus platform for their own purposes, e.g. preparing training data for the HTR engines so that they are attuned to the specific documents in a collection of interest, or organising collaborative projects for transcribing historical documents
  • Public users and volunteers will be supported with specific user interfaces
  • Computer scientists will receive test and reference data for their research projects

Handwritten historical documents can be difficult to understand due to complex variations in handwriting styles, languages, character sets, layout and legibility.  But advances in research are making it possible for computers to process handwritten material.  The development of HTR technology therefore has the potential to revolutionize access to historical collections held by archives all over the world.

Learn more about READ here.