Second beta of the Digital Vercelli Book available

I am glad to announce that a second beta version of the Digital Vercelli Book is now available for everybody to browse and study! The new URL is, visit this page to start with The Dream of the Rood:

There are several news coming with this beta:

  • all of the manuscript images are now online ready to be browsed! both in single and double page format;
  • four more texts were added to the edition: Homilies I, II and III, and the Soul and Body poem;
  • there now is a search engine, complete with a virtual keyboard for special Old English characters, that can both highlight text while you type and show all results for the search string;

  • both the image frame (“MS Desc” button) and the text frame (“Info” button) now offer information about the VB manuscript and the currently showed text, respectively;

  • the User Interface is now localized and you can switch between Italian, English, French and (soon) German versions (“Settings” in the main toolbar);
  • many bugs were fixed and many small improvements, such as the buttons to change text size, were added thanks to EVT version 1.0.

Unfortunately there are many texts that, while already transcribed and encoded in full, have to be updated to make them compatible with EVT: this is a slow process (remember that this is basically a one-man project when it comes to editing and encoding), but expect more texts to be added until all of the manuscript images will have the corresponding diplomatic/interpretative edition text.

Speaking of future additions, EVT 1.0 allows for an interesting new feature, “named entities” support: this has been used in the Codice Pelavicino Digitale to make quickly available (as text highlighting in the current page, or browsable lists) person and place names, but the same method could be used for other encoded features, such as descriptive compounds and/or kenningar in the poetic texts.

Also note that the Visionary Cross Project has published a preliminary version of the Ruthwell Cross 3D model and edition: expect a convergence between the two projects at some point, so that you will be able to both browse a critical edition of The Dream of the Rood, which will include the RC runic text, and the full 3D model of the RC cross to see the runes in their original context.

As usual, I have to thank all the people who worked hard towards this release: the EVT development team (Chiara Di Pietro in particular), my friend and colleague Raffaele Cioffi for his suggestions and testing, the Archivio Capitolare for their continuing support of this project, the University of Pisa and the Laboratorio di Cultura Digitale for hosting the current beta versions.

For any suggestions, corrections and/or bug report please write a mail to, many thanks in advance!


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