Background

Menota is a network of leading Nordic archives, libraries and research departments working with medieval texts and manuscript facsimiles. The aim of Menota is to preserve and publish medieval texts in digital form and to adapt and develop encoding standards necessary for this work. The archive will contain texts in the Nordic languages as well as in Latin. There are now 15 members of Menota (see bottom of the page) and new members are welcome to join the network.


News (in Norwegian)


Text archive

Menota can now offer 38 Medieval Nordic texts (more than 1.6 million words), several of which are fully lemmatised. The majority of the texts are Old Icelandic or Old Norwegian, but there are also some Old Swedish texts. Old Danish texts as well as Latin ones (from the Nordic countries) are most welcome. A catalogue with full search facilities was opened on 29 June 2007.

The texts have been encoded on one or more levels. The most widely used level is the diplomatic level (as seen in many Arnamagnæan editions), while some texts have also been encoded on a facsimile level (i.e. in a very close transcription) and some on a normalised level (as in the Íslenzk fornrit series). These levels are specified under Facs, Dipl and Norm in the catalogue. By clicking the file name in the second column of the catalogue, you will be able to read the text on one or more levels, depending on how many levels have been encoded.

Menota catalogue. The archive has been built in the Corpuscle application at Uni Research Computing in Bergen.

See our Helpdesk for an overview of the catalogue and the display of texts in the archive. It also informs about morphological and syntactic queries that can be made in some of the texts (via PROIEL or INESS).


Translations

Menota now publishes translations of Medieval Nordic texts. At first, two texts are offered, Jóns saga helga and Niðrstigningar saga, but we soon hope to welcome more translations in the archive.
The translations will be published in open CC licenses. For the time being, they will be published in PDF.
Translations (catalogue set up 1 October 2016).


Encoding guidelines

An editorial board appointed by the Menota council has published a handbook for the encoding of texts in the archive, The Menota handbook. Version 1.0 of this handbook was published on 20 May 2003 and it is compatible with TEI P4.

Version 2.0 of the handbook was published on 16 May 2008 and is compatible with TEI P5 (release 1 November 2007). This is a major revision and we recommend that users migrate to this version. However, all versions will be kept accessible on this site:

The Menota handbook (all versions)


Menotec project

Menotec was an infrastructure project funded by the Norwegian Research Council (2010–2012) with the aim of transcribing and annotating a corpus of Old Norwegian texts. The transcribed texts have been (and will be) published in the Medieval Nordic Text Archive, while the annotated texts have been added to the treebank of the PROIEL project, as well as being made accessible through the INESS portal. More.


Lexicographical resources

Several dictionaries of Medieval Nordic languages are accessible on the web. They are presently in different formats and the interfaces are not uniform, but they do represent an extremely useful resource:

Söderwall’s and Schlyter’s dictionaries (Swedish) – full search capabilities in Fornsvensk lexikalisk databas
Kalkar’s dictionary (Danish) – scanned images of the printed dictionary (launched in 2000)
Kalkar’s dictionary (Danish) – full search capabilities (launched in 2017)

A project headed by Hans Fix, University of Greifswald, has made Walter Baetke’s Wörterbuch zur altnordischen Prosaliteratur accessible in an updated version for free usage. The dictionary can be downloaded as a PDF file (75 MB). A fast connection is thus essential.

Walter Baetke’s dictionary digital (link to registration page)

Ongoing dictionary projects:

Gammeldansk ordbog (Danish) – presentation of the dictionary project
Gammeldansk ordbog (Danish) – beta version of the dictionary with search capabilities


Digital archives and libraries

A number of archives, libraries and museums have started making their holdings of Medieval Nordic texts or manuscripts available via the web:


Projects

Some projects associated with Menota:

Medieval Unicode Font Initiative (2001) - character encoding and fonts for medieval writings
Vadstena-prosjektet (2003-2007) - a project funded by the Swedish National Bank

Foundation

Menota was established on 10 September 2001 at a meeting in Oslo between major Nordic institutions.


Statutes

The Menota statutes were passed at the council meeting in Reykjavík on 6 September 2003.


Council

The council is an advisory body in which each participating institution is represented by one member. Different departments or sections at the same university are recognised as individual institutions. In addition to the permanent members, other representatives may join the meeting at the discretion of the board.

Notice of meeting

Minutes


Board

The council appoints a board for a period of three years. The board for the present period (2013-2015) is:

Board members

Deputies

Christian-Emil Ore, Norway
Guðvarður Már Gunnlaugsson, Iceland
To be announced, Denmark
Sara Risberg, Sweden


Handbook board

As stated in the left column, version 2.0 is the latest version of the Menota handbook. Version 3.0 is now in preparation with Odd Einar Haugen as general editor. Ths version will also contain contributions from Haraldur Bernharðsson, Marco Bianchi, Karl G. Johansson, Alex Speed Kjeldsen, Robert K. Paulsen, Friederike Richter, Beeke Stegmann and Tarrin Wills. This version is scheduled for publication in 2017 or early 2018.

There are minutes from several of the meetings by the contributors to the handbook.

Minutes


Depositor license

Menota now welcomes texts from other institutions or individual researchers, but cannot presently offer assistance in converting texts to XML. Please contact one of the board members (see above) if you would like to deposit a text in the archive. We encourage potential depositors to read the encoding guidelines in the Menota handbook and validate the text against the Menota DTD contained in the handbook. Sample XML files are available for inspection and comparison. The Menota depositor license, which is based on a corresponding document used by the Oxford Text Archive, has parallel Norwegian and English text. Please note that the depositor keeps all his or her intellectual rights to the text after depositing it in the archive. The same text may be withdrawn at any time and also published in other archives and other formats at the depositor’s will (cf. section 3.4 in the license):

Depositor license - v. 1.2 (8 September 2003)
Depositor license - v. 1.3 (1 September 2015)


Cooperating institutions

Denmark: Nordisk Forskningsinstitut ved KUA (herunder Den Arnamagæanske Samling og Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog ) | Det Kongelige Bibliotek | Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab | Institut for nordiske studier og sprogvidenskab ved KUA || Iceland: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum || Norway: Riksarkivet | Institutt for nordiske og lingvistiske studier ved UiO (herunder Eining for digital dokumentasjon ved UiO ) | Institutt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studier ved UiB | Universitetsbiblioteket i Bergen | Nasjonalbiblioteket || Sweden: Språkbanken, Göteborgs universitet | Svenskt Diplomatarium, Riksarkivet | Det svenska fornskriftsällskapet | Handskriftsenheten, Kungliga Biblioteket, Stockholm | Institutionen för svenska språket, Linnéuniversitetet | Institutionen för nordiska språk, Uppsala universitet


Opprettet 30.04.2007. Sist oppdatert 19.06.2017. Vevsjef.