Concluding conference of the HIMANIS project on 27 October 2017

To celebrate the achievements and the end of the HIMANIS project, the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (IRHT) is organizng a conference on Friday, 27 October 2017, to present, explain and discuss the impact of handwriting recognition technologies for medieval studies and heritage institutions.

The European project HIMANIS (HIstorical MANuscript Indexing for user-controlled search), led by the IRHT, brought together several research teams in engineering sciences, both private (A2iA, France), and public (PRHLT-UPVLC, Spain and Alice-Groningen Univ., The Netherlands), with the support of the National Archives and the National Library of France.

The main result of this project is that it is now possible to carry out keyword searches in the corpus of registers of the French royal chancery of the 14th and 15th centuries. For the moment there are 167 volumes of the National Archives series, JJ 7 – JJ 209 and 20 volumes of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The interface (still preliminary) can be accessed at the following address: It is a test interface, which will evolve in the coming months, with additional manuscripts and new functionalities, notably to
navigate between the results, to display the regests and editions. HIMANIS also aims at computer-assisted analysis of the different hands involved in each volume, to study the functioning of the royal chancellery and the progressive construction of the centralized state of the French monarchy.

Entry is free but registration is required: Registration form.


40 Avenue d’Iéna
75016 Paris


14h – François Bougard (Director of IRHT) and Emmanuel Rousseau (Director of collections, National Archives), Welcome and introduction.

14h30 – Jean-François Moufflet (Heritage Curator in the Department of the Middle Ages and the Ancien Régime, National Archives), Le projet HIMANIS ou la mise à l’index des registres.

15h – Dominique Stutzmann (researcher, IRHT), Automatic indexing for research in medieval history.

15h30 –  Christopher Kermorvant (A2iA/Teklia), Artificial paleography : training computer to read medieval manuscripts.

4 pm – Break
16:15 – Enrique Vidal (Universitat Politècnica de València), Text indexing and user-controlled search.

16h45 – Lambert Schomaker (University Groningen) and Sukalpa Chanda (University Groningen), Writer identification.

17h15-18h – Roundtable with researchers and representatives of end users, with Sébastien Barret (head of the Diplomatic Section, IRHT), Paul Bertrand (professor of medieval history and digital humanities at the Catholic University of Louvain), Charlotte Denoël (curator of libraries, head of the department of medieval manuscripts, Bibliothèque Nationale de France) and Judicael Petrowiste (lecturer in medieval history (University of Paris 7 – Paris Diderot, to be confirmed).

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