BVH-Virtual Humanistic Libraries (Bibliothèques Virtuelles Humanistes)

Description: The BVH project started in 2003. It contains not only prints, but also archives and manuscripts. It is a virtual library of high-quality digitised documents, offering a selection of Renaissance books located in the libraries of the Région Centre, Paris, Poitiers, Lyons, Budapest, Cambridge, etc. Since 2006, it belongs to the Bibliothèque nationale de France network. Its catalog is harvested by the Gallica website and through Europeana. More than 1,200 books are digitized, (720 are online). These collaborations should carry out the digitisation of 2,000 books, with a selection of transcriptions of French and Latin texts (with TEI encoding of original spellings), parallel Renaissance translations and material for linguistic analysis (dictionaries). The Epistemon text-database contains (October 2012) 49 TEI-encoded files with quasi-diplomatic spelling, or slightly regularized. The main goals are text and image publishing, automatic extraction and indexing of graphic elements (initials, engravings, portraits, illustrations), and lemmatization of French Renaissance language corpora. Two main software programs are in use: AGORA (Analyseur Graphique pour OuvRages Anciens = Graphic analyser for rare books) and a specific OCR for Renaissance prints, RETRO (REconnaisance et TRanscription par Ordinateur = Computer transcription and recognition).

Implementation description: A manual for Renaissance encoding (TEI-Renaissance) is available and updated ( Text databases such as Epistemon ( are encoded according to this manual. In November 2012, the Epistemon corpus totalled 40 TEI encoded texts.


Marie-Luce Demonet
Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance 59 rue Néricault-Destouches BP 11328 37013 Tours Cedex France
Tel: 33 (0)2 47 36 77 80
Fax: 33 (0)2 47 36 77 62

Last recorded change to this page: 2008-02-27  •  For corrections or updates, contact