Showcase Projects

For examples of what is possible using DM, you can explore these projects below. While the projects below concern medieval materials, Digital Mappa is an environment that can bring together and host any kind of digital image/text collection, be it ancient texts, medieval maps, images of 3D artifacts, transcripts of 19th-century poems, or 20th-century music scores.  These DM 1.0 projects showcase how varied the structure and presentation of materials can be in DM, depending on the editorial designs of the creators. Scroll down to the bottom to see even more projects in the pipeline.

NoteSome of these projects have also been designed as limit tests for the developing resource, and so push the boundaries of DM 1.0 performance by, for example, using larger than recommended images, or creating and linking many thousands of highlights and annotations on a single document, or across a set of documents. Because of this, some parts of these projects may load more slowly than will be usual for less complex or smaller scale DM projects.

Requirements to View: 

• recent desktop/laptop versions of Chrome or Firefox web browsers
• Internet connection
• disable touchscreens on touchscreen laptops (DM 2.0 will include touchscreen compatibility)

Please Note: DM 1.0 is very much a beta version – it’s a working draft of the basic features and functionality of the resource, and limited in some ways. It’s a stepping stone to the full version of DM that will be released next year as DM 2.0.

Click on the title of a project to open it.

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Virtual Mappa is the original research initiative that led to the development of the DM resource. VMP is a prototype project of open access scholarship in partnership with the British Library, focused on how medieval maps of the world and related geographic texts may be collected, annotated and networked. In its first completed phase, VMP is has virtually collected and fully annotated a cohort of eleven early English maps of the world, including the Anglo-Saxon Cotton Map and the massive Hereford Map. Significantly, by virtue of such editing within the DM environment, all of this content is now searchable across all maps. With the completion of this first phase, more maps will be gradually added, as new contributors edit maps (and receive publishing credits).  For an earlier summary of the scope of the project, see this British Library announcement. Virtual Mappa is hosted and published by the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies.

The premise of the Old English Poetry in Facsimile project is simple: over the past ten years, more and more digital facsimiles of Old English literature are now accessible to users, especially through the generous Creative Commons licensing of repositories such as the British Library and the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University. This project is using DM to take advantage of such accessibility, and gradually add available digital images of the earliest facsimile (manuscript or in some cases printed edition) for each surviving work of Old English poetry, linked to the freely available Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records edited text, and basic source information. For longer Old English poems already available in online facsimile editions (e.g. Beowulfor Elene), links to those editions are provided instead. In its first prototype phase, this project looks to add a facsimile or two a week, but will continue to expand as more digital facsimiles become available online. This resource is hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture.

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The Old English & Anglo-Latin Belltokens Project is a digital scholarly project unique in its bilingual design and content. At its center are two texts: a piece of Old English prose from the eleventh century, partly erased, of some forty-five lines, that itself is a direct translation of a late tenth-century Anglo-Latin version of the same content. These texts detail the allegorical significance of the ringing of church bells, and derive from redactions of the Liber Officialis, a massive ninth-century treatise by Amalarius of Metz which figurally treats a vast range of objects and rituals related to the celebration of Mass. The Belltokens Project offers students and scholars entry into the evolution of material in Anglo-Saxon England from a number of scholarly and pedagogical perspectives, and will be of use to those interested in learning about Old English, medieval Latin, manuscript and paleographical studies. In this edition, every single word of the Old English and Latin texts has been edited, and interlinked between its occurrence on the manuscript page, an edited transcription, a full glossary, and its linguistic analogue in the Latin or Old English witness, respectively. The edition also provides a rare window into the process of vernacular translation, where an Anglo-Saxon scribe had to translate a Latin text that they themselves understood to be corrupted. This project is hosted and published by the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies.


The Four Anglo-Carolingian Mini-Editions project presents digital images of three manuscript pages from the British Library’s Cotton Vespasian D. xv manuscript, annotating directly on their digital surfaces and linking their content to full transcriptions and editorial commentary. The project is a “deep dive” into these three pages; all textual content on these pages have been edited, with detailed attention given to three texts previously unrecognized in Anglo-Saxon England: an instructional text about the Pater Noster (The Lord’s Prayer), a Carolingian priest exam, the lyrics of a song about the Pater Noster, and then also a fragment of Pseudo-Alcuinian text. Additionally, the pages of two analogue Carolingian manuscripts closely related to the priest exam are included, and all of their contents are edited to a similar degree of detail. This project is hosted and published by the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies.

Other DM 1.0 Projects in the Pipeline:

George Moses Horton Project: an edition of the newly-discovered manuscript essay by the nineteenth-century enslaved African American poet George Moses Horton (Jonathan Senchyne, UW-Madison iSchool)

• Tams-Witmark Collection Showcase: a curated selection of musical theater promptbooks, part scores, stage manager guides, and libretti from UW’s Tams-Whitmark collection (Sarah Marty, Theatre Arts, UW-Whitewater)

• La Chronique Anonyme Universelle: an open access edition of the Chronique Anonyme Universelle, a fifty-foot long French universal history scroll that runs from creation to the mid-fifteenth century, with over 1500 genealogical entries, previously published as a DVD (Lisa Fagin Davis, Medieval Academy of America)

Franks Casket Digital Edition and Source Reader (Asa Mittman, Susan Kim and Martin Foys)

English Manor and Court Records: a digital edition of the 14th-century Wilburton Manorial Records held at UW Memorial Library’s Special Collections (Heather Wacha, UW-Madison iSchool)

Ezra Pound and the Music of Beowulf: a digital critical edition of an unpublished draft essay of modern poet Ezra Pound that blends poetics and medievalism, “The Music of Beowulf,” alongside related archival materials from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Maxwell Gray, UW-Madison English Department)

• The Digital Grave: a digital edition of “The Grave,” the last medieval poem in Old English to be written down (Leah Pope Parker, UW-Madison English Department)

•  Insular and Anglo-Saxon Illuminated Manuscripts: an Iconographic Database: a digital reboot of Thomas Ohlgren’s print publication: Insular and Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts: an iconographic catalogue (1986). Thomas Ohlgren’s given us his original word processing files, and we’re converting them into an interactive database (Asa Mittman, California State University, Chico)

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