The database of the Department of Digital Humanities of ELTE, based on the wikibase software, is a self-developed database for the organisation and publication of research materials on prosopography, bibliography and other historical topics. The ELTEdata database currently contains the collections of three research groups. The data are presented in the form of semantic propositions, i.e. each proposition can be represented by a pair of properties and values. ELTEdata is linked to the corresponding claims in Wikidata at both the semantic claims and the entity level. It is also possible to link to other databases, namespaces, or library catalogs via external identifiers.
Complex queries can be performed on the database using the SPARQL query language. In addition to filtering according to arbitrary parameters, data visualization is also possible: events in a life path can be mapped onto a timeline, while the geographical coordinates of municipalities and institution names can be used to map study locations, travels, and residences. It is also possible to query frequencies and other statistical data.
The ELITEdata sub-project focuses on the knowledge elite issues of elite research, which began in the mid-1980s. The elite research of the Research Group on Prosopography and Family History focuses on the careers of Hungarian university teachers during the civil era and between the two wars, and on the changes in the social status and life situation of individuals. The elite research provides insight into the processes in the society of the period under study, and the possibilities and realization of intergenerational and intra-generational mobility by examining the life paths of university teachers. As the data are structured, semi-automatic data loading is also possible when processing the prosopographies.
In the context of data visualizations, it is important to note that the mapping of results is not limited to the possibilities offered by SPARQL. Since the results of each query can be downloaded in different file formats, it is possible to import them into platforms such as the nodegoat platform or the network visualization and analysis software Gephi. In parallel to testing data visualization options, semi-automatic loading of large datasets from different namespaces and semantic processing of new research group material is being carried out.
One of the three sub-projects is based on the material of the Authors’ Lexicon of the Humanism in Central and Eastern Europe (HECE) research group, which examines literary works and the career patterns of their authors written in the Kingdom of Hungary between 1420 and 1620, with a particular emphasis on the development of networks of contacts. In addition to the prosopographic data, the bibliography also reflects the semantic nature of the database, with each item appearing as a separate entity. This allows the bibliographic data to be searchable using SPARQL; in this way, a query can be written, for example, to find out which item appears by which author, or which are the most cited sources in the literature.
The Knowledge Flood sub-project, which is investigating the paradigm shift in 18th-19th century science, is both a prosopography and a digital resource edition. Thanks to entity identification, the proper names of the digitized source texts can be linked to their ELTEdata records.