The progressing digitalization does not stop at the humanities and thus becomes increasingly important for the work of historians. Digital methods in the field of Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) and computer-assisted Natural Language Processing (NLP) already offer a high potential for the analysis of historical sources. However, until now these applications have often only been available to those with extensive knowledge of information science. This problem is addressed by the international research project "The Flow: From Deep-Learning to Digital Analysis and their Role in The Humanities. Creating, Evaluating and Critiquing Workflows for Historical Corpora". The project aims to develop standardized digital workflows on the basis of existing technologies that make it easier for researchers to work digitally with historical sources.
The sub-project carried out at the FGHO Lübeck deals with the minutes of the Hanseatic Days - the so-called Hanserezessen. The extensive collection of recourses, which we have from 1358 to 1669, form one of the most important source corpora on the history and development of the Hanse. The aim of the project is to examine the Rezesse with the help of digital applications and thus present a long-term study of the development of the Hanse for the first time.
The use of digital tools will be essential for such an analysis. Applications such as Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods such as Named Entity Recognition (NER) can help here. As part of "The Flow", the FGHO is therefore working on the creation of suitable HTR models in order to be able to access the extensive source material of the Hanse.