IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 410: Middle High German Conceptual Database (MHDBDB)

Monday 14 July 2003, 19.30-20.30

Organisers:Klaus M. Schmidt, Mittelhochdeutsche Begriffsdatenbank (MHDBDB) / Department of German, Russian & East Asian Languages, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Margarete Springeth, Mittelhochdeutsche Begriffsdatenbank, Universität Salzburg
Moderator/Chair:Margarete Springeth, Mittelhochdeutsche Begriffsdatenbank, Universität Salzburg
Abstract

The Middle High German Conceptual Database (MHDBDB) is a unique database retrieval system that allows users to query medieval German literature from an exceptional variety of different approaches. It is based on the world’s largest text archive compared to any older literary period of any culture. The system was developed on the basis of the Middle High German Conceptual Dictionary project by Klaus M. Schmidt at Bowling Green State University, Ohio over a period of thirty years. In 1992 the project merged with ‘Names in Medieval German Literature’, a project generated by Horst P. Pütz over a similarly long period of time at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany. This merger resulted in MHDBDB, the most complex and user-friendly information system for medieval German literature. Currently, over 120 medieval texts can be queried from all possible linguistic and semantic viewpoints. The most unique feature is the possibility of searching along a conceptual system that allows to retrieve word material in context covering conceptual categories such as WEAPONS, LOVE, LAW, WEATHER from either the entire text base, individual texts, texts grouped according to authors or specific genres or text groups created by the user. Searching for conceptual categories in combination with other conceptual categories and/or specific words opens an entirely new field of automatic retrieval of motifs across the entirety of the text archive for medieval German literature.
Since 2001 MHDBDB has moved to a new home at the University of Salzburg, Austria, where Margarete Springeth is in charge of operations and Ulrich Müller functions as coordinator. An agreement of close cooperation has been entered with the ‘Institute for Realia of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times (IMAREAL)’ at Krems, Austria with the aim of combining automatically searches for text and corresponding images and vice versa.