The Aberdeen Burgh Records of 1398–1531 and the Semantic Web

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This paper provides an overview of two text analytic projects on the Aberdeen burgh records, which are legal records of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. These records contain detailed information about a range of activities in the city and their legal treatment. The projects cover the periods 1398–1511 (Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers project – LACR) and 1530–1531 (A Text Analytic Approach to Rural and Urban Legal Histories project – TAHL). The completed TAHL project annotated a selected corpus with rich semantic information for the purpose of facilitating historical research by querying and extracting data from across the corpus. The LACR project, which is ongoing, focuses on transcribing the first eight volumes of the Aberdeen burgh records (1398–1511) into the Text Encoding Initiative’s standard, thus making the text machinereadable. This project lays the foundation for further analysis and enrichment of the corpus.

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