CAMENA - Latin Texts of Early Modern Europe

Corpus Automatum Multiplex Electorum Neolatinitatis Auctorum

TERMINI - Structured Vocabulary of Early Modern Knowledge

German Department of Heidelberg University Chair of German Literature (Modern Period)
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Kühlmann

in Cooperation with

the Information Technology Center and the Library of the University of Mannheim

Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Five Collections - TERMINI - Machine-readable Texts - Quoting and Copyright - Reference - Publications

Welcome to CAMENA - Latin Texts of Early Modern Europe. Our successive projects are dedicated to building a digital library of the humanistic Respublica Litterarum. We now offer five collections as well as a growing data base (EVRECA) that contains words and names (with additional morphological and lexical data) linked to general and special dictionaries or encyclopedias of our digital library. These projects have been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) from 1999 to the end of 2008. At present, the database project is integrated in the eAQUA enterprise funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF). A new collection (ITALI) is under way thanks to support by the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici. The copies we digitize are supplied by the Rare Book Division of the University of Mannheim Library. The Information Technology Center (Rechenzentrum) of the University of Mannheim administrates our web server.

At this time we offer five collections:

The collection of Neo-Latin poetry composed by German authors (POEMATA) presents more than 60.000 pages of early editions reproduced both as images and as machine-readable texts. From 1999 to 2002 this project was run by the University Library Mannheim. It was then continued by the German Department of Heidelberg University, Lehrstuhl Prof. Kühlmann, and completed in 2004.

From 2004 to 2008 this same institution built a collection of Latin historical and political writing mainly from early modern Germany (HISTORICA & POLITICA). It now contains some 60'000 printed pages. In this section the page images are accompanied either by full e-text or by a transcript of summary or index only.

Starting in 2001, we built a handy reference collection (THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS) of dictionaries and handbooks of the period 1500-1750 that serves as a reading environment for the other texts we offer. It now contains close on 100 works totaling more than 85'000 pages. Here too, page images are accompanied by machine-readable transcripts of the whole work or of its summaries and indexes only.

From 2006 through 2008 we built our fourth collection, CERA (= Corpus Epistolicum Recentioris Aevi). It is comprised of printed Latin letters written for the most part by German scholars. It now offers some 90 prints of the period 1530-1770 totaling about 55'000 pages.

Our fifth collection, ITALI - Renascentium Litterarum Libri Rariores, is being published in the course of 2009. It will offer at least seventy early printed editions (25'500 pages) of works written by Italian Renaissance humanists born before 1500. As in other Camena collections, tables of contents and indexes are transcribed, and every entry is linked to the page it refers to in order to facilitate access to specific content.


The TERMINI project (2004-2008) enlarged the THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS and collected keywords (names and common nouns alike) representing items treated in the reference works of the THESAURUS ERUDITIONIS. It also extracted additional orthographic, morphological and lexical data and stored them along with the lemma concerned. The database LEMMATA, begun in 2007, will be growing until 2011 (see EVRECA).

Machine-readable Texts:

Our typed texts are not meant for superseding the original printed texts, as these can easily be read off the monitor or off a computer printout. Primarily, the machine-readable texts serve as a resource facilitating detailed retrieval and the collection of onomastic and lexicological data. They may also be welcome as raw material that is to be corrected and annotated for use in teaching and research. High quality double-keying with corrections would reduce the amount of machine-readable texts we are able to offer and at the same time no doubt jeopardize the priority of the original edition. We ask for your perception of this policy, begging you to use our machine-readable texts with due caution and always to refer to the page images.

The machine-readable texts of the POEMATA collection were produced in three steps. First a single raw text was typed; it was then improved in a machine-aided process using the program Morpheus developed by the Perseus Project. Perseus kindly allowed us to use it and helped us in many ways. In addition, CAMENA developed a script geared to standardize the variant spellings frequent in early editions. In this way our users are spared the effort of searching more than one spelling of a word. The third step consisted in intellectual markup following the TEILite standard. We used some fifty tags to encode structural, editorial and semantic features. On this basis we generated tables of content and various indexes.

The rapid growth of our collections did not allow us to treat all of our texts in this manner. We now concentrate upon the intensive treatment of summaries and indexes and upon the registration of keywords as described above (see the preceding TERMINI paragraph).

Quoting and Copyright:

We recommend that in quoting texts reproduced in CAMENA you simply refer to the original edition, probably adding 'as digitized by the CAMENA Project, Heidelberg-Mannheim'.

Our machine-readable versions of the original are not to be quoted (see above).

Information added by the collaborators of CAMENA and TERMINI - introductions, annotations, indexes, biobibliographical notes and the like - may be used at choice. It aims at facilitating access to our texts and does not pretend to scholarly quality. We are not responsible for errors we might have incurred.

The machine-readable texts of CAMENA (and MATEO / Alte Drucke) may be used in compliance with the licence Creative Commons Attribution / Share Alike. A summary of this licence and a link to the Legal Code (the full licence) are available here.


Our digital editions are catalogued in Südwestdeutscher Verbundkatalog (SWB), Zentrales Verzeichnis Digitalisierter Drucke (zvdd) / Portal Digitalisierte Drucke (PDD) and An Analytic Bibliography Of On-Line Neo-Latin Texts.


  • Wolfgang Schibel: CAMENA - Neulateinische Dichtung im World Wide Web. In: Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 3 (2001), S. 211-219.
  • Wolfgang Schibel: Digitale Medien und editorische Strategien im Bereich der neulateinischen Literatur. In: Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 3 (2001), S. 249-258.
  • Heinz Kredel und Wolfgang Schibel: Vom Spezialbestand alter Drucke zum kommentierten Volltextcorpus im WWW: Das Projekt CAMENA (Neulateinische Dichtung Deutschlands). In: Standards und Methoden der Volltextdigitalisierung. Hgg. von Thomas Burch u.a.. - Trier 2003, S. 187-209 (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften und döeratur, Mainz; Geistes- und sozialwissenschaftliche Klasse; Einzelveröffentlichung; 9)
  • Rüdiger Niehl: Das Camena-Projekt. Neulateinische Dichtung aus dem deutschen Sprachraum im Internet. In: Daphnis 31 (2002), S. 713-724.
  • Rüdiger Niehl: CAMENA - Neulateinische Dichtung im Internet. Auf dem Weg vom Textcorpus zur Leseumgebung. Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 5 (2003), S. 302-314.
  • Wolfgang Schibel; Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox: Early Modern Culture in a Comprehensive Digital Library. In: D-Lib Magazine, March 2006:

Last modified November 26, 2013