Last updated: Nov 11th, 2017



This project is a collaboration between Peter Andorfer and Ksenia Zaytseva of the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ACDH, Vienna) and Greta Franzini of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH, London). Peter and Ksenia develop the web application while Greta curates the data.


The Catalogue of Digital Editions began collecting digital editions in 2012. Development on the web application began in the summer of 2016 and kick-started the collaboration. The project will continue for as long as the team's means allow.


This project receives no funding. Peter Andorfer and Ksenia Zaytseva are supported as ACDH staff, and Greta Franzini's contribution is entirely voluntary.

Components and repositories

The Catalogue of Digital Editions Web Application is made-up of two interacting components, each stored in its own GitHub repository: 1) the data, and 2) the web application to display the data to the user. The two components are connected via a custom script that regularly fetches the latest updates from the data repository and delivers them to the web application.

Data component

The digital editions present in the Catalogue come from numerous sources and their selection follows basic criteria: the electronic texts can be ongoing or complete projects, born-digital editions as well as electronic reproductions of print volumes. They're gathered from aggregators (e.g. Projects using the TEI or DH Commons - Projects), conferences presentations, publications, social media posts, word of mouth, and the web.

The data is collected across two .csv (Comma Separated Value) files: the "master" digEds_cat.csv file contains the digital editions, while the institutions_places_enriched.csv file contains geographical information associated with the institutions contained in the master file, including their respective DNB and GeoNames IDs. This second file allows us to place digital editions on a map and to add them to the Linked Open Data (LOD) cloud.
The data's GitHub repository is:

Web application component

The application is a Django web framework designed to be simple and pragmatic.
Some fields in the Catalogue's data file contain decimal numbers as values to measure the degree of compliance of a project to a particular feature: 0 stands for 'no compliance', 0.5 for 'somewhat/partially compliant', 1 for 'fully compliant'. Numbers make it easier to run calculations and statistical analyses over the data-set. When fetching data updates, the web application transforms these values into human-readable information: 0 becomes 'no', 0.5 becomes 'partial/somewhat' and 1 becomes 'yes'.
The web application's default view of the Catalogue data is a searchable table, but it also provides bar and pie charts to better visualise statistical information.
The web application's GitHub repository is:


Users might have noticed from the Catalogue that projects from Asian and African countries are underrepresented if not completely absent. The only reason for this large gap in the data is the language barrier. A Japanese project and website can only be correctly catalogued by someone who can read Japanese. Browser plugins to automatically translate webpages exist but we hesitate to use them as any machine-translation errors would go unnoticed and possibly lead to incorrect cataloguing. This is where user contributions become necessary to help provide a global, rather than a Western-centric, picture of digital edition initiatives.

How to contribute to the Catalogue

If you wish to contribute a digital edition to the Catalogue or correct an existing entry, you can do so in one of three ways:

  • If you're familiar with GitHub, you can fork the data repository, edit the .csv file and create a pull request.
  • If you're not familiar with GitHub, you can create a GitHub issue with as much information about the edition as possible (see 'Data fields' here). The more information you provide, the sooner the edition will appear in the Catalogue.
  • If you'd rather not use GitHub at all, you can fill-in a Google Form at this address: Your entry will be moderated and promptly added to the Catalogue.

The project you contribute will be exposed to over 300 libraries in Germany thanks to the Catalogue's integration and syndication in the Datenbank-Infosystem (DBIS).

How to cite this project

There are two citations for this project. If you wish to cite the data only, please adapt the following according to your preferred referencing style:

Franzini, G. (2012-) Catalogue of Digital Editions. DOI

If you wish to cite the web application as a whole, please adapt the following:

Franzini, G., Andorfer, P., Zaytseva, K. (2016-) Catalogue of Digital Editions: The Web Application. Web. <>

Web analytics

We monitor visits to the Catalogue with the Matomo Open Analytics platform (formerly Piwik). This allows us to improve the resource and, to some extent, understand user behaviour on the site.


As per the Imprint page of this website, the data and code constituting this project are published under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike International 4.0 License (CC-BY-SA 4.0). This means that you are free to reuse all contents as long as you make your copies or adaptations available under the same or a similar license.

Relevant reading

  • Franzini, G., Mahony, S., and Terras, M. (2016), 'A Catalogue of Digital Editions', In: Pierazzo, E. and Driscoll, M. J. (eds) Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories and Practices. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. [describes an early version of the Catalogue of Digital Editions]
  • Krippendorf, K. (2004) Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology. 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Warwick, C., Galina, I., Terras, M., Huntington, P., Pappa, N. (2008) 'The master builders: LAIRAH research on good practice in the construction of digital humanities projects', Literary and Linguistic Computing, 23(3), pp. 383-396. DOI: 10.1093/llc/fqn017

Relevant resources


This project wouldn't have unfolded were it not for the continuous support and encouragement of Professor Melissa Terras and Simon Mahony.

Browsing the data

This web application provides different ways of browsing the digital editions in the Catalogue, either as a table or as map and chart visualisations.

Table view

The menu tab Browse the Catalogue lists digital editions in table form and allows users to search for a particular project using one or multiple filters. A bottom pagination indicates the number of data pages present in the Catalogue at any one time (25 digital editions per page), giving users the option to jump between pages. Clicking on a digital edition opens up its corresponding data sheet (Figure 2). Users can also move between projects from the individual data sheets by using the blue back/forward arrows at the top of the screen (Figure 3). A black, round information icon below the project title provides a collapsable column with definitions of each catalogued feature (Figure 4). A red banner is used to inform users of expired project URLs (Figure 5); the banner disappears upon the addition of a working or updated URL.

From the Browse the Catalogue page, users can download all digital editions in the Catalogue at any one time as:

  • .csv;
  • rdf/xml, which maps the data against the FOAF, GeoNames, Data Catalog and Dublin Core Metadata Vocabularies;
  • n3.

In addition, the menu tab Get the Data gives the user the option of downloading the data as a BibTeX file, which can be imported into bibliographic managers such as Zotero for citation purposes. The project's API is also available under Get the Data.


Figure 1. Pagination at the bottom of the main Browse the Catalogue view allows users to jump between data pages in the Catalogue.

Data sheet

Figure 2. Example data sheet of a digital edition.


Figure 3. Blue back/forward arrows placed at each side of the project title allow users to move between digital editions.

Information button

Figure 4. The black circular information icon below the project title reveals a collapsable column (second column in this image) with definitions of each catalogued feature.

Red banner

Figure 5. A red banner notifies the user of an expired project URL.


Figure 6. The bulk-download button on the Browse the Catalogue page allows users to download the most recent data in the Catalogue as .csv, rdf/xml and n3 files.

Chart and map view

The menu tab Analyze the data provides chart and map visualisations of the data contained in the Catalogue.

The map locates institutions involved in the creation of digital editions present in the Catalogue (Figure 7). The user can either click on a location marker or search for an institution using the search button placed above the map. Clicking on a location marker opens up a pop-up window with the name of the institution and its projects; here, clicking on a project leads the user to the corresponding project data-sheet.

The menu option Select charts provides a list of catalogued features to visualise as bar, line or pie charts. Hovering over a particular pie slice or bar reveals the exact project count. All charts can be downloaded as PNG, JPEG, PDF and SVG files.

Attention! 'Select charts' was implemented in September 2017 as a replacement of the previous Bar charts and Pie charts menu items.

Figure 7. A map of the world locates institutions involved in the creation of the digital editions present in the Catalogue. Click on a marker reveals a pop-up with the institution name and its projects.

Other menu pages

The Login menu item is for the project team's use only. All other pages should be self-explanatory.