About the project

The project Diccionario del Español Medieval electrónico (DEMel) aims to provide the public with a free, lemmatized and semantically pre-structured electronic data archive on Medieval Spanish. It was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) between November 2016 and October 2020 (project number: 282533776) and was led by Rafael Arnold (University of Rostock), Jutta Langenbacher-Liebgott (University of Paderborn), Robert Zepf (Rostock University Library; until 2019), and Karsten Labahn (Rostock University Library; since 2019). Caroline Müller, Martin Reiter, Anna-Susan Franke, Stefan Serafin, and Jan Reinhardt were the project coordinators, and Robert Stephan the software developer. Currently, the DFG-funded project continues at the University of Rostock under the direction of Rafael Arnold (Romance Studies), Ulrike Henny-Krahmer (Digital Humanities) and Karsten Labahn (University Library) with the coordinator Caroline Müller and the software developer Robert Stephan until April 2025.

Based on the digitized data archive of the renowned Diccionario del Español Medieval (DEM), the DEMel provides access to over 31,000 lemmas with about 650,000 attestations. They were extracted from more than 600 literary and non-literary works or collections of texts and documents from the 10th to the beginning of the 15th century by the DEM editors. During the project DEMel, the approximately 865,000 paper slips were scanned. 700,000 of them indicate Medieval Spanish word forms with the context of use, the source and the dating. After developing a database model, the data on these paper slips was recorded manually by student research assistants. Finally, a web-based user interface was implemented. The DEMel portal now enables the users to search the attestations by using a series of search and filter functions. The User manual offers step-by-step instructions for this purpose. The Recording principles present detailed information about the data recording process. The Digitized Archive makes it possible to browse through the scans of all paper slips, as they were arranged in the original DEM boxes. It thereby provides insight into about 160,000 paper slips that were not included in the database and that contain additional material such as onomastics, references to etymological studies and word material from vocabularies.

The DEM archive