Historic and philologic auxiliary sciences and their modern technologic applications

This course is part of the programme
Digital Humanities, interdisciplinary programme

Objectives and competences

Students should learn about the practical meaning of auxiliary (also called "fundamental", ger. Grundwissenschaften) historical-philological sciences – especially ecdotics or textual criticism, codicology and paleography. The course presents an indispensable role of these sciences in the dating, reading and understanding of older primary sources of Slovenian literature. Students should be able to read and understand various types of manuscripts in Slovenian (17th and 18th century) and partly in German (Kurrentschrift).


For graduates of computer sciences is compulsory elective Humanities.


The lectures will be focused on practical work: the problem will spread out in the same order as it faces the researcher, when in front of an unknown or little studied primary source. First problem: which and what kind of work is in front of him, which issue it is, or what the transcript, or the original – autograph – he has in his hands. He must find out material and text data, according to which the work can be dated. He must be able to read the text itself and understand it. Finally, the researcher must adequately describe the source, transcribe it, add comments and publish a scholarly publication of the source. The course subject matter therefore comprises topics that deal with various ancillary sciences.
- Classical bibliography - the science of typography and description of printed works. A brief history of bibliography and printing with an emphasis on Slovenian materials. The distinction between editions and reprints; fingerprint of a book.
- Codicology - the science of codices, manuscript works. The material foundation of the manuscript as a source of data on its genesis. Elements for a description of a manuscript.
- Palaeography – the study of ancient writing systems. Developments of typography from the Middle Ages to modern times. Fonts, in which Slovenian literature and related materials are written.
- Manuscripts of the 17th and 18th centuries in the Slovenian language. Repositories, texts, genres. The possibility of new discoveries.
- Textual criticism – the science of researching and comparing multiple versions of a text, copied in manuscripts, and finding the most authentic versions; particularly important in ancient and medieval texts in classical languages and the languages of those European nations that have developed medieval literature in the vernacular.
- Ecdotics or technique of critical editing – the science of exploring all kinds of handwritten texts from the perspective of their analysis and scholarly editions.
- Traditional forms of scholarly and critical editions. Principles, methods, procedures.
- Electronic critical editions – transfer of the traditional text-critical edition into a new medium. Forms and procedures. Methodological similarities with traditional printed editions.
- Text tradition – mediation, tradition, handing over of texts – a continuous process. Preparation of a critical edition as a link between the old textual tradition and new traditions, which arises in the scientific edition: the commercial reprints, reprints for reading, etc.
The topics discussed at the lectures will be a foundation for practical work. Students will approach the subject matter through practice: while studying, describing and transcribing primary sources. Students will describe selected source, analyse it, transcribe it and prepare it for a commented scientific publication. They will use many traditional principles as well as more modern processes of electronic publishing of scientifically structured texts.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end, the students will master the following: to at least describe in outlines, date and, using various methods, transcribe the manuscript and prepare it for publication of a primary source.


Primarna literatura bodo izvirni, primarni viri sami. Te bo določil habilitirani predavatelj specifično glede na izbrane teme. Kot pregledne obravnave bodo predpisani uveljavljeni, večinoma tuji priročniki.
L. Burnard: Encoding Standards for the Electronic Edition. V: Znanstvene izdaje in elektronski medij (ur. M. Ogrin), ZRC SAZU 2005, str. 25–42.
V. Novak: Latinska paleografija. Beograd 1952 (1980, 1987, 1991)
M. Ogrin: Edicijska vprašanja ob elektronski izdaji Treh pridig o jeziku A. M. Slomška. V: Znanstvene izdaje in elektronski medij (ur. M. Ogrin), ZRC SAZU 2005, str. 71–82.
D. C. Greetham: Textual scholarship. Garland Publ., 1994.
Jakov Stipišić: Pomoćne povijesne znanosti u teoriji i praksi. Zagreb, 1972 (1975).


Written exam (50%), Oral examination (50%).

Lecturer's references

Matija Ogrin works on early modern Slovenian literature, focusing on the periods from Baroque to early Romanticism and on the literary circle of Anton Martin Slomšek.

Ogrin’s work is founded upon research of primary sources, notably manuscripts, and their traditional scholarly treatment: transcription, commentary and critical editing. He has studied methods of digital scholarly editing and coordinated several projects in the field (such as eZISS). Ogrin edited several critical editions, including the Škofja Loka Passion Play. He serves as the editor of the the collected works of Slovenian writers (Zbrana dela slovenskih pesnikov in pisateljev). Together with Tomaž Erjavec, ISJ, he was awarded the Google Digital Humanities Research Award (2010). In recent years, Ogrin has been continuing his research in early modern Slovenian manuscripts.

Selected publications:
• Ur.: Zbrana dela slovenskih pesnikov in pisateljev. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2011–.
• Ur. (z Aleksandrom Bjelčevičem in Urško Perenič): Rokopisi slovenskega slovstva od srednjega veka do moderne. Ljubljana: Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete, 2017.
• Ur.: Zbrana dela slovenskih pesnikov in pisateljev: 1946–2016: 70 let izhajanja. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2016.
• Ur. (z Erichom Prunčem): Kapelski pasijon: znanstvenokritična izdaja. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU; Celje: Celjska Mohorjeva družba, 2016.
• Ur.: Štrekelj, Karel: Zgodovina slovenskega slovstva. 2 zv. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2012–2014.
• Ur.: Romuald: Škofjeloški pasijon. Elektronska znanstvenokritična izdaja. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2009.
• Ur.: Cankar, Izidor: S poti. Elektronska znanstvenokritična izdaja. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2007.
• Literarno vrednotenje na Slovenskem: od 1918 do 1945. Ljubljana: LUD Literatura, 2003.
• Literarno vrednotenje na Slovenskem. Od Frana Levstika do Izidorja Cankarja. Ljubljana: Študentska založba, 2002.
• O vlogi rokopisov v dolgem prehodu iz rokopisne v tiskano knjigo v slovenski književnosti. Primerjalna književnost 40.1 (2017): 43–58.
• Bratovščinske iskre: duhovna besedila baročnih bratovščin na Slovenskem. Acta historiae artis Slovenica 21.2 (2016): 55–88.
• (Z Janom Jono Javorškom in Tomažem Erjavcem:) A Register of Early Modern Slovenian Manuscripts. Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative 4 (2014): 1–13.
• Anton Martin Slomšek in vprašanje enotnosti slovenskega kulturnega prostora. Slavistična revija 60.3 (2012): 457–468.