This is the original (1995!) technical information for both using hyptertext for language and text study, and putting it on the web. You may also review a general theory overview prepared for a non-specialist grant committee. The best learning comes by experiment, and asking around- try

In general, it is easy enough to represent languages using non-Roman characters in a word processor. Plenty of fonts exist for most computers which include actual scripts of nearly every studied language. The trick is to use them on the internet which, largely, is devoted to standard Roman alphabet characters. Special web-browsers can be found, e-mail packages, and so forth. As yet, there is no standard for multiple scripts on the net. Accordingly, HTML can only be used on one-s own system, or done in a roundabout way for the net. Fortunately, this is due to change soon, at least for Mac users.

Electronic Texts & Citation Rules

As you might expect, the protocol folks haven't left cyberia un-fenced with CITATION PROTOCOL. Soon this site will be in order in this respect, but find out how much there is in "e-protocol" with the following links:

MLA/E-text #1
MLA/E-text #2

Electronic Texts

  • Van Nooten/Holland's RigVeda: A Metrically Restored Text is a prime example of the quality and power of a well-crafted e-text. Converting it can be tricky, so I've included notes on this as well. I highly recommend this edition for any serious e-scholarship.

  • Truly a resource site among sites, for EVERYTHING Asian, South Asian, East Asian, and Southeast Asian, try Bob Hueckstedt's page at U. of Manitoba. This is a Must Bookmark.

  • One the largest collections of e-texts is the Jaguar site. They use a phonetic kind of transcription (ITRANS) of South Asian texts which uses capitalization for long vowels and similar conventions. These texts can be converted for Ghostscript and then inserted as a graphic into a text. If you do this though, hypertext linking is another matter. So, for easy study usage--word search, quick scanning and reading (text-only files are quicker than picture/images), these "ITRANS" versions are very handy, and work on IBM or MAC. The converted image/Postscript file can later be used for research extracts as a graphic, or using a screen-saver like PICTify.

  • The concepts and issues, as well as tools and solutions, for using Sanskrit epic texts in e-form are well-addressed by John Smith of Cambridge.

    can be found--with a surprisingly limited number of exceptions--via the Oxford Text Archive. They will also assist in searches.

  • One of the new developments in Indological resources is the Dharam Hinduja Indic Research Center at Columbia University. This is a consortium of scholars working on various Indic subjects--both textual and interpretive beginning with the Rig Veda and continuing through modern times.

  • Indology has a great selection of texts as well as the source page for all other text databases extraordinaire, including the e-Rig Veda useful for text-only word-searching (easiest to load, use, post, for any platform) in this site.

  • Often a trick to actually access, but a source of many resources and probably the most thoroughly comprehensive longterm e-text endeavor, is the Frankfurt TITUS project.

  • Another collection of Indological texts is available from Bombay.

  • General resources for a variety of languages can be found in the pioneer site from the University in Eugene, Oregon's "Yamada Language Center."

  • In addition, there are many online library resources from the CIC of the The Big Ten Universities. Journals and a demo of the Virtual Electronic Library are worth seeing and offer great general-interest academic cut-n-pastes & links.

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Bibliographic Resources

  • Professor Michael Witzel of Harvard's homepage contains links to various Bibliographic sources, including previews of upcoming Harvard Oriental Series Publications, and an online shareware edition of Aufrecht's RV, c/o Van Nooten & Holland.

  • Truly a resource site among sites, for EVERYTHING Asian, South Asian, East Asian, and Southeast Asian, try Bob Hueckstedt's page at U. of Manitoba. This is a Must Bookmark.

  • Looking for like-minded researchers, publishers, grant team-mates?

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Fonts, HTML & Coding Issues

There are plenty of fonts, now, for other tongues, but putting them on the net means they must be as graphics, or the reader must have special software (cf. below). Apple is changing this, as is Microsoft.


  • I tip hat to Dr. Madhav Deshpande for ManjushreeCSX. It affords accents on transliterated Sanskrit with diacritics, looks good on the Net, and is compatible with many software products as a CSX font.

  • A valuable article on IBM font products, with mixed reviews, is available in this Spring's Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies a useful academic resource in its own right.

  • There's a good variety, quite attractive and affordable, from Inpros, dealing with many languages.

  • Your one-stop Indology shop for texts, the first online manuscript (YogaSutras- click on Indology, once there, go to "Digital art . . ."), and all kinds of software is Dominik Wujastyk's Indology site.

  • Lots of folks tout them, and I've heard nothing bad about them, just haven't tried them yet. The Liberation Fonts people have, indeed, liberated many from the shackles of ASCII.


  • In the same vein as my Aufrecht pages check out the wonders of the Quran.

  • Once the texts are typed in, format them for the future, with the National Endowment for the Humanities, et al's standards for the Text Encoding Initiative.

  • Remember, HTML is a subset of the broader standard, SGML- Standard General Mark-up Language. Whether on a web, cd, or FTP, this is the rule set for assured value and compatibility of your work.

  • HTML seems it always has a new version, which supports the nifty doo-dads like style sheets, precise layout, and other whips and whistles.

  • Something a little more introductory is what you need? Try this glossary as a primer on HTML.
  • JUST SAMPLE the wealth of frontier folks (and there's infinitely more now than when I wrote this first back in '95). There are some exciting things happening and I encourage you to read this great foreign languages survey sampler link.

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At this point, for HTML I strongly suggest one of two packages. For fonts, see above.

Snagging on-screen images--NOT THE WHOLE SCREEN!--for Windows, Do a search on "Screen Capture"

An impressive site for electronic text resouces--an essential component--and for fonts is the TITUS PROJECT at Frankfurt. At this link they offer "a tool for providing transcriptional fonts via the WWW only. Perhaps you can make use of it."

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An attempt at the [old] full story of this site is below--the related tools and notes of components are listed here:

  • To get images onscreen, nothing is better than the TOTALLY FREE PICTify. How to install and use it is EASY--click here. To find it an other doodads (Mac OS now has screencapture build in, do shift-apple-4 and a "Picture1" will appear on your hard drive for whatever area of the screen you draw a box around), click and do a search on "Screen Capture" here.

  • Need to fuss with IMAGE FORMAT, effects, or other tedium?

  • There is good stuff available free to developers. For this and a wealth of other goodies, try this link.

  • For ease of use, it's hard to beat the engine of this site- PageMill by Adobe. For a large site, organization is made an UTTER joy.

  • An impressive site for electronic text resouces--an essential component--and for fonts is the TITUS PROJECT at Frankfurt. At this link they offer "a tool for providing transcriptional fonts via the WWW only. Perhaps you can make use of it."

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Saga of this Site

Thanks to some valuable support (my brother-in-law for tracking down SiteMill, my Mother and Father for various support, my friends, University of Iowa Research Grant, Donations from Interzone, Inc., generous permissions from Barend Van Nooten, Gary Holland, Madhav Deshpande, and the Harvard Oriental Series, the encouragement of the University of Iowa President, Graduate Dean, and others, on this otherwise unprecedented dissertation path), I got a good leg-up on this project. Some scrounging on the net and on shareware CD's (usually available at university libraries and computing centers), some sweat, and coffee-numb persistence made this possible. I used a lot of shareware, and you can find it easy enough with a simple wordsearch, using the names below, those which are highlighted take you to a search engine.

[May, 1998-- now days, I do all coding by hand. This section describes how the first third of the site was built. All else uses BBEdit which is great.]

See the section above on Electronic Texts those are the canvass or raw materials. I used a simple e-Rig Veda (want one free? click here [go to online archive of e-texts once you do] to get the one I edited/used-- soon we'll have accent and diacritics, but then compatibility issues will become more complex--this one is fine for IBM or Mac, and check your browser's "preferences" to see where it puts it when you download) to read line-by-line in PageMill (before I got SiteMill), linking each word as I found it with page anchors. This means drag-n-drop creation of anchors, making note of them, and then linking the previous occasion of the given word to the newly found one (using those notes you carefully take--never think the #1 word-processor of all formats and ages should or can be replaced).

Each hymn with a key word was then "photographed" from Van Nooten/Holland's e-Rig Veda, transliterated with accent, Aufrecht version. I used a TOTALLY free (not even a request for registration) shareware gem called PICTify [do a search from where that link takes you on "PICTify"]. It resides in RAM on boot-up and enables sizing, specific naming, and placements of screen-captured images in two formats. Anything you get on your screen, you can put on the web as an image with this and Page/SiteMill. NETSCAPE FREEZE-UPS GOT YOU DOWN? Click on PICTify and get "Defrost" from the same place.

The screen-captured images then were converted into GIF HTML pages (one-by-one: I deeply urge the Standards folks to come up with a solution to the "non-roman-script-&-HTML-on-the-Web" issue!) so the accents and diacritics could be viewed. Ultimately, folks are working on this--well, at least on coding issues like ASCII, ISO 8859, and other things--check them out. Other coding/HTML strugglers are listed above.

If size and file type is an issue, I strongly recommend another vital tool, also shareware, called GraphicConverter [click that link and do a search on that name]. You name a format, it'll read and convert it. It also does nice size, color, hue, contrast, and even dithering and enhancements.

I also used the university's Information Arcade to scan in images. If their size wasn't right, I'd use GraphicConverter then PICTify to save--right off the GraphicConverter screen, the image once it was right--even a good file converter can't be flawless. Besides, the PICTify route trims unneeded memory bloating from an image. Page/SiteMill will then make a tidy GIF when you call it up into a page.

For non-standard fonts, I selected, manipulated (color, etc.), and arranged them with borders and such right in my wordprocessor (Corel's Wordperfect 3.5- AWESOME, simple, fast--makes MS Word 6.0 look like the memory-hungry kluge it is--and, it doesn't even have HTML for all that bulk--or fun things like voice-reading). Then good old PICTify made them ready for Page/SiteMill.

Critical crisis--you can do linkages with graphic images of text, but it must be image-mapped. PageSiteMill enables you to take an image (like the map page--here's what the "map" of the map looks like), create regions in it- then link those regions to almost anything.


DO NOT even begin doing this until you properly configure your image-mapping for your server. The web builder must set text for an IBM, Mac, or UNIX server, the location of the scripting instructions, and so forth. You must work this out with your server first--sadly, every server is different on this. Otherwise, you get all your painstaking work done, upload it, and get all these damn "Server Error" or "File not Found" faux pas in your site.

And, of course, I offer you my own best resource--my persistence and enjoyment of problem-solving--for your free use:

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