Toponomastic heritage of Primorska region
2018 - 2021
Historical topography of the territory of the Republic of Slovenia has been a desideratum of Slovenian historical science for almost a century. Identification (localization) of former place names – settlements, fallows, waters, objects, provinces, etc. – found in various written historical records of the past is of pivotal importance for historical research as well as many other scientific disciplines (geography, archaeology, ethnology, linguistics, etc.). After World War II much work has been done in this field; historical topographies of Carniola, Styria and Slovenian Carinthia, as well as Prekmurje were issued in print form, while the Littoral was to a large extent examined in manuscript. The knowledge of historical sources for the territory of Slovenia in domestic and foreign archives has drastically improved over the last decades, and publications of numerous new collections of sources only further expanded the scope of available and useful data.<br /> With a project, successfully concluded at the Milko Kos Historical Institute of ZRC SAZU (ZIMK) in 2015, a new series Slovene Historical Topography was established, which will in the long-term cover the entire state territory and expand the time frame until the 19th century. In the first phase the area of the historical province of Carniola (Kranjska) until 1500 was treated. The result is a revised, thoroughly expanded and actualized topography of Carniola which importantly updates and in many respects corrects the hitherto knowledge. It is accessible as an e-book and an interactive online presentation in connection with cartographic bases ( The online edition allows for up-to-date upgrading and corrections with new data, and thus can constantly gain in value. The series is conceived as a highly systematic, thorough, reliable and useful historical topography of Slovenia intended for the scientific public and lay users alike.<br /> The second phase of a long term plan is a historical topography of the Slovene Littoral (Primorska region), which is the idea of the proposed project. Primorska region is the only province that so far hasn’t received the treatment in a proper book form. Topographic material is preserved at Historical Institute Milko Kos in the form of indexing typewritten sheets with handwritten amendments and revisions. These will be scanned and graphic files will be processed by the program for optical character recognition. The resulting text will be prepared for the entry into an electronic relational database. In order to automate this process, an algorithm will be designed and appropriate software tools will be implemented. As an intermediate step the recording of data in a structured format in a text file will be carried out, which will allow for manual review and entry of content revisions. From the historical side of the project team a considerable amount of new topographical data has been (and will be) acquired from the primary sources: charters, land registers, notary books, town statutes and early cartographic material. The existing database will thus be thoroughly supplemented with this new material. A web service will then be developed, enabling access to the relational database from any application and an interactive web portal will be realized, providing an overview of content in connection with cartographic presentation and editing of content of the relational database.<br /> The short-term objective of the project is thus the expanding of the Slovenian Historical Topography with the inclusion of up-dated database for the Primorska region. The long-term objective for the future remains a reliable digital (interactive) historical topography of the entire territory of the present-day Slovenia, that will enrich the knowledge of our past and identity.
Our role
<i>Database schema</i>: With appropriate redesign of the database structure the historical toponyms, which appear in historical sources, will be as far as possible geo-referenced. <br> <i>Tools for entering data</i>: The existing text has be formatted in accordance with the agreed standards, which will enable the automatic transfer of data from text files into tables of a relational database, using parser, developed for this purpose. <br> <i>Web portal</i>: The portal will be centered around an interactive map with searching and filtering functionalities. The portal will also be equipped with a backend administrative layer through which, registered users will be able to add and/or edit data. <br> <i>Web services</i>: In order for the application to enable the functionality of the service for other projects, we will equip it with an API that will enable the acquisition of printouts in RDF and JSON formats. <br> <i>e-book production</i>: The dataset will be translated into the typesetting system which will in turn be used for the generation of an e-book.