La Argentina Manuscrita

Gimena del Rio Riande Cover image for La Argentina Manuscrita

About the project

This project was initially part of an initiative called Pelagios South/Pelagios al Sur that we started in 2017 with a small grant from the Pelagios Network. We examined a set of a 17th-18th century Argentinian chronicles and travelogues that provide the earliest written descriptions of the Rio de la Plata lands, and marked them up with Recogito, a semantic annotation tool. In the second stage of the project, we added a dataset of placenames from HGIS de las Indias (Werner Stangl) and a digital edition of Antonio de Alcedo’s Diccionario Histórico Geográfico de las Indias Occidentales created using FromthePage into Recogito. Finally, we reworked Recogito’s TEI mark-up and started creating a digital editions using open-source and minimal computing technologies. La Argentina Manuscrita is part of the collection of editions we are creating in this way.

What are the stakes?

We hope to build a library of Argentinian 17th-19th century travelogues and chronicles using (micro and macro) digital methods to investigate narratives of space and narrative-space that can be associated with different modes of reading.

What have you learned doing this project?

We have learned about the difficulties of finding good, open, reusable digitized texts in our libraries, compared to how many copies of these books have been digitized and are part of libraries outside our country. We have learned about the difficulties of working with long, complex texts when using minimal computing approaches. We have also learned a lot about Argentinian history and about our native peoples.


The project uses Recogito for semantic annotation, Ed/Jekyll for creating minimal digital editions, Bootstrap for layout and design, Voyant for analysis and GitHub for managing our files.


The project team is Gimena del Rio (CONICET, HD CAICYT Lab, Argentina), Romina De León (CONICET, HD CAICYT Lab, Argentina), Nidia Hernández (CONICET, HD CAICYT Lab, Argentina), María Juliana Gandini (CONICET, Argentina), Gabriel Calarco (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Gabriela Striker (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Virginia Herrera (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Marisol Fila (University of Michigan, USA, Argentinian). The HD CAICYT Lab is the Laboratorio de Humanidades Digitales del Centro Argentino de Información Científica y Tecnológica, which is part of CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, an Argentine government agency that coordinates research done in universities).