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VariaLog : How to Locate Words in a French Renaissance Virtual Library

Marie-Hélène Lay


The efficiency of search engines is based on the principle that the information sought can be retrieved by “looking for words” conveying the information. This amounts to taking for granted that words are always written in the same way. This view, which is well adapted to texts produced in contemporary periods of language history, is not suited to texts produced during the French Renaissance. The choices made at the Center for Renaissance Studies of the University of Tours, for the Virtual Humanistic Library Project are the subject of the present paper. After due consideration of the strategies based on text annotation, a new tool to extend queries is being put forward to be integrated to an XTF (eXtensible Text Framework) platform. Another purpose of the paper is to show the relevance of resorting to linguistic expertise in order to generate the forms to be sought in texts


French Renaissance, Search engine, Query expansion, Virtual library

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