Technical details

The project’s basic framework is a relational database, which in turn is based on the open-source software “PostgreSQL” ( The database is combined with a web-based user interface. This runs on a dedicated Linux server maintained by the Information Technology Services (ARZ) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences ( All entries stored in the database are encoded in Unicode (UTF-8), which allows the storing and display of all needed characters. The web interface is delivered by an Apache webserver (; it has been self-designed and implemented using the programming language “Perl” ( To avoid any loss of data, the entire database is dumped daily and saved in a central backup system. The input and retrieval of data are facilitated by various web techniques on the client side (AJAX), including features such as drop-down boxes and auto-completion.

The database has two basic functions: it serves as an “editor” for structuring, storing and aligning the collected fragment information, and it enables the general public to access the entered information in the form of an “electronic edition”. In the editing function, fragments are (1) transliterated into a machine-readable code, (2) edited with all available additional information, (3) classified and (4) annotated. In the digital access function, information is retrieved through the option “Browse database”, which is embedded in the website interface. At the moment, general information about the project is available to the general public, but access to the fragments stored in the database and to the bibliography entries is restricted to registered users. These have various levels of privileges (read, write or full administrator access).

The digital edition of the fragments is currently based on HTML. The next major step in the database’s development will be to gradually make the entire digital corpus of fragments, including their philological analysis and bibliographical and prosopographical information, available in conformity with the TEI/XML encoding scheme (cf. “Text Encoding Initiative” and the “TEI P5 Guidelines” at This will focus on markups of categorical, prosopographical and intertextual information.

In compliance with the Open Access Policy endorsed by the FWF (cf., all entries are available to the broader academic community as well as to general readers. All data are available under a Creative Commons license.