The Swiss Law Sources Foundation has decided to commission the digitization of the published volumes of the collection, and to create the infrastructure required for future digital editions.
The ultimate aim is to make the entire collection of Swiss law sources freely accessible over the Internet.
The retrodigitization is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Friedrich-Emil-Welti-Fonds, Bern.
First of all, all books are scanned and will soon be made available on the Internet. For some more recent volumes, digital printing data is available, which will be converted and formatted.
The sources were composed in various historical forms of different languages (German, French, Italian, Rhaeto-Romanic and Latin). Furthermore, no standardized spelling existed at the time the sources were written. These properties make an automatic conversion of the scanned books by OCR a very challenging task.
The crucial element that enables the use of the collection are the extensive indices and glossaries. In the first phase of the project, we will therefore only process the indices with OCR (and subsequent manual correction). A complete electronic index of all volumes, for example, opens up completely new possibilities for research and offers a considerable added value for all users of the collection. Indices and glossaries also constitute important groundwork for future digital edition and allow for links to other projects.
In the long term, the full texts may also to be made available, which would enable completely new ways of accessing and using the sources.