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Parallel vision

Parallel vision is a category of projects that pursue similar practical goals and overlap in functionality: presenting resources in a way which enables you to compare them more easily.

Whether you are a reader, student or scholar, many of you probably like to be able to compare and contrast things that are different yet related in a way that calls out for some kind of parallel presentation, typically side by side. Think of similar textual passages attested in different contexts. A text and a translation. A diplomatic edition of a manuscript and the relevant images of the digitised version. A form in which to manage your transcription and the original from which to create it. As a contributor to the site who often needs to go through a plethora of primary and secondary sources, I too find it incredibly helpful if I can check different sources and not have to get too distracted or disoriented by the transition of passing from one to the other.

To an extent, digital technology can help to unite and organise disparate resources visually on a single webpage. The use cases are obviously many, but perhaps some recurrent themes can be instilled from them. Those at least that I have been focusing on in my little corner of the world include:

  • Forms of interplay between the following resources: IIIF, TEI XML and our MySQL database, a large portion of which is populated through use of Semantic MediaWiki.
  • Viewing and editing
  • Displaying custom selections rather than the full content of the resource being used (TEI XML, IIIF)
  • Aligning two TEI XML documents and presenting them section by section
  • Synced navigation of IIIF and TEI XML
  • The ability for the user to resize window panes, and possibly other features relating to user interaction



Demonstrations of the CETEIcean extension

Mirador and a table of contents from CODECS

Warning: I'm considering revising the present approach of storing direct references to canvas IDs, in part because there may be more than one manifest to take into account. A central, intermediate JSON page which resolves the alignment of different identifiers could at once serve this use case as well as other parallel presentations. The examples above might break.

Mirador and TEI XML

  • Tuilsitir mo derca súain, edition with relevant page in the Book of Leinster.
  • Lebor na hUidre digitised ISOS and the diplomatic edition digitised by CELT, a more complex case with navigation bar on the left to let you leaf through the manuscript page by page. The navigation is built on the basis of a central JSON file to align references to pages in different resources. You can still browse through each window separately. It also lets you toggle the arrangement of window panes between top/bottom and left/right positions. Windows can be resized.

Mirador with multiple manifests

Mirador with a code editor for transcription

  • Breudwyt Ronabwy - using the Internet Archive copy of Melville Richard's edition. The IIIF service of the Internet Archive is known to be potentially slow, but it appears from recent conversations that the issue is being worked on. For security reasons, there is no button that lets you save changes.