Happy New Year

Published: Posted on
Happy New Year
Calligraphy: Christian Kusi-Obodum

Folks, it’s that time of year again: those glasses of sherry/brandy by the fire, just a few too many mince pies, the occasional chocolate wrapper still lurking on the floor… Yuletide festivities may be over and the Christmas hangover (in the financial sense, of course) might be setting in, but it’s the start of a new year. But won’t those blues take hold at the end of January when we’ve given up on each and every one of our New Year’s resolutions, with the bank balance still looking painfully anaemic? Bear with me as I try to see the glass as half full.

All cynicism aside, at the Estoria Project there is plenty to take stock of at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015. Our initiatives to bring in new transcribers continue to bear fruit, and we are progressing well with manuscripts T, Q and Ss. Our vision for the digital edition is growing ever-stronger, as we begin to adopt king Alfonso X’s more global vision of learning and its dissemination. Last November’s colloquium brought together many Hispanists from diverse backgrounds and countries, and all are eagerly awaiting the next annual conference later this year. As we continue the transcription of Alfonso’s chronicle, the manuscripts throw up something new and interesting to discuss and encode.

Perhaps we can take the new year not as a clichéd “new start” but instead as a continuation of the previous year’s work, as a constant forward motion in learning and understanding. Much of this year will include reviewing manuscripts already transcribed, notably E1 and E2. This certainly stands to show how far the project has come in our methodology and problem-solving skills for XML tagging. So if I must return to the “glass half full” analogy, I’m trying to keep in mind that as we progress into another year, team Estoria progresses with each day, as each new transcription is saved, and each section of text collated. The idea of forward motion in time was the mainstay of the medieval historian and chronicler – it should be fitting to keep this as our vision at the Estoria project at the start of 2015.

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