By Sukanta Chaudhuri
This booklet records the production of the Bichitra on-line Tagore Variorum, a publicly obtainable database of Rabindranath Tagore's whole works in Bengali and English totaling a few 140,000 pages of fundamental fabric. Chapters hide cutting edge features of the positioning, all replicable in different tasks: a hyperbibliography; a seek engine and hyperconcordance operating around the database; and a different collation software evaluating version texts at 3 degrees. There also are chapters at the precise difficulties of processing manuscripts, and on making plans the web site. Early chapters take readers in the course of the historical past of the venture, an outline of Tagore’s works, and the Bengali writing method with the demanding situations of adapting it to digital shape.
The identify Bichitra, that means "various" in Bengali, alludes either to the nice number of Tagore’s works and to their a number of levels of composition. past their literary excellence, they're extraordinary for his or her sheer volume, the variety of version varieties of an outstanding many goods, and their afterlife in translation, usually the poet’s personal. Seldom if ever has an analogous author revised his fabric and recast it throughout genres on this kind of scale. Tagore gained the Nobel Prize in 1913.
By its value-added presentation of this diversity of fabric, Bichitra could be a version for destiny databases protecting an author’s entire works or different significant corpus of texts. It deals drastically increased entry to Tagore’s writings, and permits new forms of study together with computational textual content research. The “book of the web site” exhibits in technical and human phrases how researchers with pursuits in paintings, literature and expertise can collaborate on cultural informatics initiatives.
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Extra info for Bichitra: The Making of an Online Tagore Variorum
Elsewhere, he uses facing pages in the same way. Many other manuscripts consist of commercially sold exercise books or printed diaries (see Fig. 2). There is, of course, no question of dating the manuscript entries by the printed dates in a diary. We can only assume a terminus ab quo: they must be later than 1 January of the year in question, perhaps even a little earlier if the diary was bought in advance. Even this holds good only if the version in question is a ﬁrst draft. But the really crucial point relates to the distribution of items within the manuscript.
A problem was that, unlike the WBPLN site, Savifa stored each thick yearly volume in a single large PDF ﬁle. We could only download them early in the morning, when there was less demand on the Internet bandwidth. Having downloaded a ﬁle, we then had to sift through the whole issue to locate a particular item. We also visited CSSSC in person for material not yet placed on the web but available ofﬂine. We are especially grateful to them (in particular their archivist Abhijit Bhattacharya) for supplying us with a PDF ﬁle of a special issue of the journal Bharati edited by Tagore himself.
3 The Bengali Writing System: Fonts and OCR 19 Transcription and OCR When transcribing English texts, at least from printed copy, an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program vastly speeds up the process. Such a program scans and ‘reads’ the page character by character, and converts it into a text ﬁle in the desired format. This ﬁle can then be edited, searched or mined like any other text ﬁle. No OCR program is perfect: the best might achieve 98 % or 99 % reliability, which sounds good enough but would not produce an acceptably accurate text even for reading, let alone data mining or analytic processing.
Bichitra: The Making of an Online Tagore Variorum by Sukanta Chaudhuri