Toward an Ontopedia for Historical Hebrew Manuscripts

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Historical handwritten Hebrew manuscripts are one of the most unique and authentic evidences of the Jewish culture and thought that survived through the centuries. In order to enable a systematic research of the knowledge embedded in the manuscripts there is a need for a formal conceptual data model with high level of semantic granularity, an ontology. We propose to build a dynamic web-based framework that will allow scholars to create, enrich and consult an "ontopedia" (ontology-based encyclopedia) of Hebrew manuscripts. The framework is based on an ontology especially designed and implemented for this domain and goals. We view a manuscript as a "living entity" and propose to design a new ontological data model of the narrative for a manuscript, stages/milestones in its biography (creation, copying, acquisition). A sequence of events and places constitutes a timeline of history against which manuscripts, people and their relationships can be placed. A large-scale automated reasoning based on the ontology will also enable us to construct a semantically rich social network of people and manuscripts, and to compare the effect of time and place on the manuscripts’ qualitative characteristics and quantitative distribution.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
JournalJourna section - Digital Paleography and Book History
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


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