Using Linked Open Data to Explore Manuscript Collections: A Case Study from

One scholarly benefit of the emerging field of Digital Humanities is the possibility of applying information technologies developed for the world wide web to traditional research questions in the humanities. This paper explores the use of a Linked Open Data model (LOD) by The Syriac Reference Portal to build a manuscript union catalogue linking together various Syriac manuscript catalogues. LOD is a set of “best practices for publishing and connecting structured data on the Web.” is a collaborative online reference tool for Syriac studies. As a born digital reference work, relies on XML encoded data (describing manuscripts using the TEI guidelines) and a Linked Open Data framework in which conceptual entities (such as persons, places, manuscripts and texts) are linked together using URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) and RDF (Resource Description Framework). The advantages of the LOD data model for publishing information about manuscripts include robust ability to link manuscripts with named entities or concepts (such as authors, scribes, or locations) and the ability to explore these connections through a knowledge graph. This paper will demonstrate how has used all of these technologies in its effort to create a union catalogue for Syriac manuscripts. Note to Unit Program Chairs (Not for Publication in the Final Abstract): The presentation will include a demonstration of the relevant technologies based on the current state of our research. We are hesitant to include a link in the abstract that may be superseded by the date of the conference. For your reference at present, a working RDF demo can be found here: and a public archive of our Syriac manuscripts in TEI P-5 XML is published here: