OPERATIONAL PROGRAMM «INFORMATION SOCIETY»:
WEBSITE – DATA BASE – DIGITAL LIBRARY
I. THE WEBSITE OF THE MODERN GREEK PHILOSOPHY RESEARCH CENTRE: www.kenef.phil.uoi.gr
The project “Development and internet display of integrated primary collections of historical-philosophical content: Hellenomouseion” (budget: 300.000€) was implemented by the Modern Greek Philosophy Research centre from July 2004 to spring 2007 as part of Invitation 65 of Measure 1.3. “Documentation, exploitation and showcasing of Hellenic Culture” of Operational Programm «Information Society» [Action Line 1. Education, Culture. Action 1.4. and 2.5].
The ultimate beneficiary of the action (which was funded at 75% by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and 25% by the Ministry of Finances (through national resources) was the University of Ioannina, which safeguards its viability and provides the prerequisite technical support for the operation of the Centre’s webpage.
The complex and dynamic data- and meta-data base, along with the digital Library have been made possible through the implementation of the Project. The digitisation and documentation aspect of the project were executed in-house (were implemented in-house)and the appropriate rules of publication were enforced. More specifically:
The academic supervision for the implementation of the project (July 2004 - Spring 2007) was entrusted to Assoc. Professor of Philosophy of the Section of Philosophy (and Director of the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre) Konstantinos Th. Petsios, who also authored the particular historical-philosophical texts, created the work-biographical, literary and palaeographic documentation of the digitised material and suggested the method to be followed. Additional assistance in the historical-philosophical documentation was provided by Professor Panagiotis Noutsos, while the participation of other colleagues and specialised researchers is also envisioned.
The architecture for the design of the data and metadata base and the digital display format were designed by Assoc. Professor Konstantinos Th. Petsios. A total of 26 people participated in different times in the Program, following “invitations of interest”. Most of the participants were postgraduate students of the Section of Philosophy of the Ioannina University Department of Philosophy, Paedagogy and Psychology.
The Centre website provides access to approximately 35,500 work and biographical entries, which are complemented by a solid corpus of historical-philosophical, literary and palaeographical documentation, information about 12,500 authors and in excess of 150,000 digitised pages of old texts and articles (in .pdf form). A substantial and constantly expanding number of passages is supplemented by digitised documents (in .pdf format), which are available free of charge. The indication «digital format» (in bold) can be located at the bottom of every electronic form.
Old prints and articles that make up the digital library are easily accessible, due to appropriate treatment. Each text is supplemented by a detailed Table of Contents, which have been typed in order to facilitate study by researchers.
The constantly enriched body of data and meta-data has been entered into a composite dynamic base, which is particularly user-friendly to specialised researchers, students or informed members of the public, as its architectural foundations provide for the systematic incorporation of knowledge (rather than mere information) in an integrated whole, access to which is facilitated due to the multiple “search” options without limitations to the storing of content.
For a large number of documents, visitors can access Contents and Abstracts, most of which are written in English. In addition, Greek summaries are provided for texts written in other languages. These have been typed using the polytonic Palatino Linotype typeface (Unicode - UTF 8), in order to enable keyword-based searching.
Due to the nature of the evidence, the polytonic orthographical system (Palatino Linotype font) was used to store the texts in the database and for their internet display, a fact which severely challenged the Research Group, since it appears that such a venture had never been attempted in the past. Despite the added difficulties that the polytonic system entailed, it was felt that this form was necessary in order to best convey the historical nature of the linguistic representation of Modern Greek thought. Free access to the website content is facilitated by a multifaceted but also user-friendly «search» function, where the requested information may be entered in polytonic and monotonic orthographical system and of course in all European languages.
The constantly expanding data- and meta-data base mainly contains references to Modern Greek Philosophy, although an effort was made to showcase adjacent fields such as Sociology, Paedagogy, Psychology, Theology, Social Anthropology, History, Linguistics and the Natural Sciences. The versatile and graded “search” function (with “simple”, “advanced” and “expanded” options), as well as the guidance to specific thematic units, offers additional possibilities for accessing requested data.
IV. NAVIGATION – BROWSING INSTRUCTIONS
It is possible to search information in three levels:
A. Simple Search.
B. Advanced Search.
C. Expanded Search
A. Simple Search.
Type the surname of the person or their full name [Surname first, followed by a coma (,) a space and the given name]. It is also possible to search alternate name variants, e.g. Βούλγαρις Εὐγένιος//Βούλγαρις// Βούλγαρης // Voulgaris — Musschenbroek//Μουσχεμβροέκιος—Νοῦτσος// Noutsos—Πέτσιος //Petsios —Ψημμένος // Psimmmenos— Hegel// Χέγκελ — Gramsci//Γκράμσι.
When displaying results for person search, findings pertaining to each person’s writing activity are initially listed. These are chronologically ordered based on the most recent study. Texts edited by the same person or studies referring to him/her follow in the same display, but in a visually distinct subcategory. Findings in this subcategory are listed alphabetically.
Type the item or items in which you are interested, separated by a blank space. Entries will also be displayed in the search findings not only if the search items are included in their titles or subtitles, but also if they are contained in the notes, abstracts and/or contents. The search is not case-sensitive (i.e. typing in minuscule letters will also locate items written in capitals and visa-versa).
The queried items (person, keyword) can be entered in either the polytonic or the monotonic orthographic systems. It should also be noted that searches in minuscule letters will also locate items written in capital form and visa-versa
In the Greek language, nouns (e.g. εὐδαιμονία, ἐλευθερία), adjectives (e.g. ἀγαθός, σεμνός) as well as names (e.g. Ἀνθρακίτης, Βούλγαρις, Ζερζούλης) can be conjugated, and may be found in the electronic register of titles and texts not only in the nominative case but also in other cases such as genitive, dative and accusative (e.g. εὐδαιμονίας, ἐλευθερίαν, ἀγαθοῦ, σεμνόν, Ἀνθρακίτην, Βουλγάρεως, Ζερζούλην). Consequently, a search will yield more comprehensive results if only the first, unchanging part of the word is entered (i.e. the suffix is omitted), as in εὐδαιμον, ἐλευθερ, ἀγαθ, σεμν, Ἀνθρακίτ, Βούλγαρ, Ζερζούλ. The same applies to person forms of verbs.
This function is also available in other search levels
B. Advanced Search.
This function allows users to:
a). have dedicated access to fields pertaining to the persons as writers, translators, editors, illustrators etc., as well as older and recent complex literature referring to their lives and works. It is possible to list findings alphabetically based on the initial of the writer’s surname or the book or article. Alternatively, results can be ordered chronologically.
b). find titles of all the journals, annals, conference proceedings and newspapers which have been entered in the data- and meta-data base, as well as particular articles which have been abstracted from the above.
c). search data which have been listed in the thinkers’ work-biographies. More specifically, by providing a keyword and selecting from the Biography – List of Works, or Philosophical Views menus, related entries are displayed, which pertain to the relevant documentation and contain the queried terms. In addition, if the terms «Ioannina» or «University of Ioannina» («Leipzig», «University of Leipzig» etc.) are entered in the «place of origin», «place of activity» and «foundation» fields, it is possible to display all personalities who come from Ioannina, those who were intellectually active in the said city or taught in the above university, as well as the other towns and academic foundations.
d). locate all articles in journals, annals, Conference Proceedings, Collaborative Volumes and newspapers which have been entered in the data- or meta-data base, by typing the queried term.
e). learn about the editions which were funded by particular Phanariotes during the Turkish Occupation, as well as the names of all people who subscribed to the various books.
f). study the contents, notes, abstracts and Comments of Monographs, Articles, Doctoral Dissertations and Collaborative Volumes.
C. Expanded Search
In the Expanded Search function, it is possible to make restricted queries using the 145 philosophical themes (e.g. Descartes – Cartesianism, Aesthetics, Bibliography (Collections), Cognitive Science, Modern Greek Aristotelianism, Modern Greek Enlightenment, Metaphycics, etc.), and the chronological ordering of writers and documents, so as to limit the range of findings. The document form can be specified further, through the available options. For example, users may focus their interest only on translations, book reviews and/or on studies relating to bibliography about Epiros.
V. PARTICULAR UNITS
Particular units sketch out the History of Modern Greek Philosophy in its diachronic dimension (from the mid-15th century to the present date) and present aspects of Modern Greek thinking supplemented with relevant literature. A decision was made to present the fundamental aspects of Modern Greek Philosophy and the most prominent Modern Greek philosophers in a timeline divided by centuries for reasons of method, because we believe the evolution of Modern Greek philosophical thought is best tracked thus. At the same time, the systematic exposition of the philosophical issues within this timeline enables the webpage visitors to formulate a lucid view about the intellectual activity of the era and about the work of the intellectuals who held pivotal roles in it. Every passage is signed by its author.
At this point one should also point out that the intellectual activity which transpired historically from the 13th century to the present date in Epiros (i.e. the local and societal context in which the University of Ioannina is located), constitutes a distinct entity within the Website of the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre. It is our belief that in this way a channel of communication is formed between the university and the township of Ioannina, a locality that during the period of the Turkish occupation witnessed the function of schools of high intellectual calibre, the teaching pf prominent scholarly personalities of Modern Hellenism [Vessarion Makres, Georgios Sougdoures, Michael Metros (Meletios Geographos), Evgenios Voulgares, Balanos Vassilopoulos, Athanasios Psalidas, etc.], the outstanding blossoming of philosophy and scientific thought and the growth of a fruitful discourse with the ideas of the Enlightenment and Modernism.
A significant requisite is addressed though the implemented project with research self-sufficiency and scientific autonomy, in that Modern Greek Philosophy is showcased and highlighted in its diachronic dimension both to the Greek and to the international community, thus validly revealing an aspect of the History of the Modern Greek intellect which had remained -to a great extent- obscure.
KONSTANTINOS TH. PETSIOS
OF ΗISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY