The KBSET Environment

Overview | KBSET/Letters | KBSET/NER | Availability | Literature and Presentations


KBSET (Knowledge-Based Support for Scholarly Editing and Text Processing) is an environment that provides support for scholarly editing in two flavors:

KBSET can process declarative application-specific markup that is expressed in LaTeX notation and incorporate large external fact bases that are typically provided in RDF. As an environment, KBSET includes specially developed LaTeX styles and a core system that is written in SWI-Prolog, which is used there in many roles, utilizing that it realizes the potential of Prolog as a unifying language.

KBSET addresses in particular the following desiderata:

  1. It should be possible for users to create, review, validate and maintain source documents of the edition project. Markup should be exposed to the user as far as it is relevant and interesting.
  2. It should be possible to generate high-quality print and hypertext presentations in a reproducible way, entirely based on openly published source documents and free software.
  3. Not just “final” presentations should be well-supported but also internal tools for developing the edition and intermediate presentations.
  4. It should be possible to couple object text with associated information in ways that are more flexible than in-place markup, for example to maintain text annotations separately from the commented text sources or incorporate automatically generated markup.
  5. It should be possible to incorporate advanced semantics related techniques that inherently deliver result that are fuzzy, imprecise, or incomplete. For example named entity recognition or statistics-based tools.
  6. Linking with external fact bases should be supported. These include results of other edition projects as well as large fact bases such as authority files like Gemeinsame Normdatei (GND), domain specific fact bases like GeoNames, or aggregated bases like YAGO and DBpedia.
  7. Data created more or less explicitly in an edition project should be made explicit and accessible as a result of the project. In a way that facilitates to associate with them machine processable semantics, that is, meanings based on some logic that is supported by tools from automated reasoning and knowledge processing.

The following paper describes the KBSET environment in more detail:

The following article (in German) includes a presentation of KBSET in the context of current practices and perspectives of the [Digital] Humanities. It shows that key figures of the Enlightenment like Sulzer and Lambert may be viewed as Digital Humanists par excellence.


Example: Sulzer/Veltheim – A Miniature Correspondence Edition

An edition of the four letters comprising the preserved correspondence between Johann Georg Sulzer (1720–1779) and Friedrich August von Veltheim (1709–1775) prepared by Jana Kittelmann. In German. This example is included in the KBSET distribution.




Example: A Draft Edition

A draft edition of Max Stirner: Geschichte der Reaction, Band 1, Berlin 1852. This example is included in the KBSET distribution.




The software components included in the KBSET distribution are released as free software under the GNU General Public License and the documentation under the GNU Free Documentation License. The distribution includes examples to demonstrate the functionality and application of KBSET. They are based on source texts that are either in the public domain or have been published for the first time by the authors of the example documents. All rights in the example documents that go beyond the source texts (i.e., in annotations, markup and other treatments) are retained by their authors.

Latest Version

Obtaining the KBSET Distribution by Cloning its Repository

$ git clone

Obtaining the KBSET Distribution as Archive

Literature and Presentations

Overview | KBSET/Letters | KBSET/NER | Availability | Literature and Presentations
Christoph Wernhard