TEXTUS: an open source platform for collaborating around collections of texts

Textus is an open source platform for working with collections of texts. It harnesses the power of semantic web technologies and delivers them in a simple and intuitive interface so that students, researchers and teachers can share and collaborate around collections of texts. TEXTUS is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The dream of a unified text is one in which you would be able to explore, seamlessly, online, every text ever written. With the click of a button I can go from Pynchon to Proust, from Musil to Machiavelli, from Homer to Hugo.

In this dream not only can you read, but you are able to contribute, to write upon these texts — to annotate, to anthologize, to interlink, to translate, to borrow — and to share what you do with others.

You can see what others have shared, what notes they have added, what selections they have made. You can see the interweaving of these texts created by borrowing, by inspiration, by reference, all made concrete by the insight and efforts of myself and others and their ability to layer their insights freely upon those original texts — just as those writers built upon the works that had gone before them.

And while each text still can stand still stand alone we have something new, a single unified corpus woven together out of this multitude of separate text.

A whole that is a concrete instantiation in an immaterial realm of the cultural achievement of mankind as expressed in the written word.

We have within our grasp, the realisation of the dream of a unified text. Combining text and technology we can create something truly extraordinary.

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