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Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS)
Signum - Research Center on Humanities Computing

 Contact details
Contact personDr. Dianella Lombardini
Computer science expert 
StreetPiazza Cavalieri 8 
Address 56126 - PISA (Italy) 
Phone0039 050 509402 
Social Media0039 050 509404
 Organisation details
Employees (in Depart.)11-25 
Organisation TypeResearch Organisation 
 Research Focus

 Fields of activities:
» Languages and Linguistics
» Philosophy
» Visual arts
» Other humanities
» Archaeology
» Cultural studies
» Computer sciences
» Library and museum studies

 Brief description of your activity focus
Research and development of software libraries and applications for Humanities.

 Details about Expertise / Competences / Technologies
Signum research and development activities focus on software solutions – in particular search engines
and digital libraries - for storing, cataloguing, searching and mining collections of structured data
(relational archives and catalogues) and semi-structured data (XML documents).
In particular, Signum has developed TauRo - Text Retrieval System, a library available for free in
open source form under Creative Commons License for the search and consultation of XML documents
which is especially suitable for managing the complex XML structure, typical of literary sources, and for
running analytical searches within the text.
The search engine, entirely designed and implemented by Signum, is an XML full-text search engine built
to offer more powerful features than the existing XML-native search engines. It is a tool especially suited
for managing the complex XML structure typical of humanistic domain and for running analytic searches
within the text, through a flexible and modular architecture. Despite of existing tools, it can ensure both
higher recall and precision performing queries on literary sources, with high performance and with
minimum details provided: it can search for words, prefixes, suffixes, up to a single character, namely
full-text functionalities with searches by regular expressions, by differences, by proximity.
Thanks to TauRo, Signum has developed many digital libraries project concerning Renaissance history and
philosophy, art history treatises, epigraphical sources, historical dictionaries, and classical sources such
as BIVIO, a virtual online library of Humanistic and Renaissance texts in their most significant
translations in order to support historic, philosophical, historic/artistic and philological researches, or
Imago Historiae, a digital library of historical texts of the Italian Renaissance and Humanism, or
Text and Semantics a topic map based system for philosophical text analysis, or DaMA -
Dante Medieval Archive, a digital archive of vernacular and Latin sources of Dante, or La Bibbia nel
, a digital archive of the Bible in humanistic-renaissance era, made available both in image and in
searchable text format, or CSAI – Corpus of South Arabian Inscriptions, the digital edition of the
South Arabian epigraphic corpus.
 Research Activities

 Project participation
Project #1
Project TypeFP6
Project TitleMediterranean Network for Cataloguing and Web Fruition of Ancient Artworks and Inscriptions
Specific ThemeCooperation and technological exchange among European and southern Mediterranean countries
Project websitehttp://mencawar.humnet.unipi.it/
CoordinatorUniversity of Pisa
Project #2
Project TypeOther (International)
Project TitleCataloguing and Fruition of South Arabian Inscriptions through an Informatic Support
Specific ThemeExecutive Programme of Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Italy and Yemen 2006-2009
Project websitehttp://arabiantica.humnet.unipi.it/
CoordinatorUniversity of Pisa

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     Inserted / Updated
    2011-01-05 / 2014-12-15

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