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V. Bartalesi, C. Meghini, P. Andriani, M. Tavoni: “Towards a Semantic Network of Dante’s Works and Their Contextual Knowledge”, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/llc/fqv044, Oct. 2015

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We present the achievements of the ‘Towards a Digital Dante Encyclopaedia’ project, a 3-year Italian National Research Project that aims at building a digital library endowed with services supporting scholars in creating, evolving, and consulting a digital encyclopaedia of Dante Alighieri and his works. Our main goal is to represent and visualize the knowledge of the primary sources that Dante refers to in his works. Currently, this information is scattered in many books, making it difficult to systematically overview the culture of Dante in order to obtain a well-founded perception of how this culture was gradually constructed over time. We describe a semantic representation of the involved texts and knowledge based on the Semantic Web languages. The representation is freely available as an XML document, and it can be easily acquired, e.g. by other researchers in order to extend the representation with additional texts and knowledge. We also present a web application that allows users to extract and display these texts and knowledge in the form of charts and tables. In particular, the application supports the visualization of the data related to the primary sources according to different parameters (e.g. in chronological order, by author, by work). Furthermore, it allows exploring the dynamics of the multi-faceted culture of Dante in relation to the diverse and often conflicting stages of his biography.

Keywords: Ontology, Semantic Web, Linked Data