Travels in Southeastern Europe


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This project is comprised of texts which were digitized in two groups. The first group contains four accounts of travel in southeastern Europe, each of which contains a significant portion devoted to Bosnia and Hercegovina. The texts were chosen because they were not copyright restricted, had coverage that fit the above profile, and duplicated holdings in University of Michigan Library's collection, which were either copies or microfilms. The four texts are: Bosnie et Herzegovin: Souvenirs de Voyage pendant l'Insurrection, by Charles Yriarte, published in Paris by E. Plon et Cie, 1876; Dalmatia: the Land Where East Meets West, by Maude M. Holbach, published in London and New York by John Lane, 1910; The Balkan Peninsula, by Emile de Laveleye, published in New York and London by G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1887; and Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey-in-Europe, by G. Muir Mackenzie and A.P. Irby, published in London by Daldy, Isbister & Co., 1877. These titles were scanned and saved as bitonal ITU Group 4 TIFF images and converted to text using Prime Recognition's Optical Character Recognition software. The OCR was proofed and the texts were SGML-encoded, based on guidelines established by the Text Encoding Initiative and put on line. The encoded texts are accompanied by complete sets of page images, including illustrations and photographs.

In 1998 Robert J. Donia provided funding for the conversion of the initial four titles, with the intention of using the processing statistics and cost analysis as the basis for planning a much larger project. There are approximately 200 titles that describe southeastern Europe, and in particular, Bosnia and Hercegovina, throughout history. Of these, University of Michigan Library houses 100, excluding the 4 texts mentioned above. These comprised the second, much larger group of materials also covering travel in Southeastern Europe.

Many of the titles are rare, and few have been given the attention they deserve as detailed descriptions, mainly by "outsiders", of people, places, and events in the past. In light of the large-scale destruction that occurred in Bosnia and Hercegovina during the attempted "ethnic cleansing" between 1992 and 1995, an electronic corpus of Bosnian travel accounts would preserve and widely disseminate the contents of those titles. In a sense it would revive much of the color and diversity of Bosnia's past that others attempted to destroy just recently.

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