The aim of the joint project “eCodicology”, promoted by the BMBF, is the development, the testing, and the optimisation of new algorithms to automatically detect the macro- and microstructural elements of manuscript pages and embed them into the images’ metadata. These structural elements include data such as page size, print space, margin, paratext, information on type and position of graphic elements as well as the image-to-text ratio. The gathered data are statistically and qualitatively evaluated and enable the answering of questions concerning writer’s corpora, scriptoria, references to manuscripts, proveniences, the connections of dislocated manuscripts etc.
From 2013 to 2016, the research project used the metadata and scans of about 500 medieval codices which had been compiled and standardized according to the TEI by the virtual scriptorium project St Matthias (Virtuelles Skriptorium St. Matthias). Based on these data, a scheme of metadata was designed which collects the external descriptive elements of a codex as automatically as possible and at the same time documents them in detail for every page of a manuscript. Parallel to this, the newly extracted data is stored as XML tags with the relevant metadata so that they can be used flexibly for statistical analyses and data visualization. Due to the integration of both computational and philological approaches, the project aims at substantially contributing to the methodological development of eHumanities.