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Annotations became a major topic in the last years but the W3C came up with a first standard in 2017. The Annotation Sandbox tries to implement this standard, aims to test it against the various sources available in the project or as Open Data on the web, but also want to test the infrastructure at large on how to integrate a generic annotation tool.

Community Requirements

Annotations should be created in a standard web browser and stored with the help of the infrastructure. There are divers digital editions published or in preparation and a generic annotation tool might be useful for reporting errors or further annotation of the data.


There is a variety of open source annotation tools available on the web. We decided to use the AnnotatorJS and created an annotations store based on the DARIAH-DE authentification service.


Select a text passage with your mouse cursor. At the end there should be a small icon. Click on it to open a dialog box. You can enter a comment in a text field and add whitespace separated tags in the input field below.

Annotationen werden wie folgt erfasst. Man markiert Text auf der Webseite, kann anschließend auf ein am Ende der Markierung befindliches Icon klicken, wonach sich ein Textfeld öffnet. Möglich ist die Eingabe von "Kommentar" und "Tag", wobei beides Freitextfelder sind. Tags werden durch Leerzeichen getrennt.

Example 1: TextGrid Repository

The annotation tool is referenced from within the TextGrid Repository. This enables users to annotate every document from the Repository based on its data structure. Open a text document and click on "Annotate" in the sidebar.

Example 2: Epidat

A small snippet of HTML code is available for integrating this tool to external websites. It is used by "Epigraphische Datenbank »Epidat«". When integrated in an external website a small icon appears on the top right. Login from there and start to annotate.

Example 3: VIA

The proxy service VIA is used for annotating external websites even without there agreement. It serves the website with the injected HTML snippet what enables the annotation feature. Open a URL like and start to annotate. But keep in mind the dynamic content might harm

Data Annotation

It is a good practice not to annotate rendered websites, when the annotation itself is about some underlying data structure. To be able to annotate XML data, a transformation to HTML5 custom elements is added.


TEI Source
<div type="text" xml:id="tg105.2">
	<div type="h4">
		<head type="h4" xml:id="tg105.2.1">72. Das Erdloch bei Elvese.</head>
		<p xml:id="tg105.2.2">
Auf einer Wiese bei Elvese, […] gekommen sind.


Custom Elements
<tei-div type="text" xml:id="tg105.2">
	<tei-div type="h4">
		<tei-head type="h4" xml:id="tg105.2.1">72. Das Erdloch bei Elvese.</tei-head>
		<tei-p xml:id="tg105.2.2">
Auf einer Wiese bei Elvese, […] gekommen sind.




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