Plain text access to two centuries of medieval registers (French royal chancery)

Artificial Intelligence has unlocked the access to the text of medieval manuscripts! The partners of the European research project HIMANIS implemented, for the first time, the indexing and plain text querying of thousands of pages of medieval manuscripts. The large scale of the corpus and the possibility to search in plain text for handwritten sources are unheard of in medieval studies, so that the results present a major shift for historians. The challenge of multilingualism, script variation and abbreviations, which are crucial for HTR on medieval sources, has been successfully met.

Overview presentation: Dominique Stutzmann, Christopher Kermorvant, Enrique Vidal, Sukalpa Chanda, Sébastien Hamel, Joan Puigcerver Pérez , Lambert Schomaker, Alejandro H. Toselli, “Handwritten Text Recognition, Keyword Indexing, and Plain Text Search in Medieval Manuscripts”, Digital Humanities 2018 Puentes-Bridges: Book of Abstracts Libro de resúmenes (Mexico City, 26-29 June 2018), Mexico, 2018, p. 298-302, PDF en ligne [], HTML [], XML []

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Himanis users: an emerging community!

The HIMANIS web presence is complex: the present weblog , the beta version of the search engine provided by Univ. Politecnica Valencia, the twitter account (@Himanis6), the official website

Some statistics show that we are having an emerging, large community of users.  A growing number of people are reading this blog: ca. 12’500 unique visitors in 2017, with more than 34’000 pages visited; 7’400 and 30’000 pages visited for the first six months of 2018.

There are also 301 followers on Twitter, which is a good start.

On MONK, there is very intense use, with amazing statistics (more than 1 million actions, partly from bots).

Last but not least, on the public search engine, there have been:

  • more than 813’000 search actions: around 40’000 queries per month from Oct. 2017 to May 2018, jumping at 495’455 queries in June 2018 (hurray!)
  • more than 15’000 user feedback actions, from all over the world (see map below)
Georgraphic origin of the users who participate in crowdsourcing the corpus
Statistiques de consultation du blog Himanis en 2017
Statistiques de consultation du blog Himanis de janvier à juin 2018