Quick palaeographer — a quick app for palaeography

As part of my research with the TST project, I need to study manuscripts in many different scripts from different periods. This can be especially difficult when trying to read annotations — the tiny, scribbled text on the margins of a manuscript. To help myself become familiar with how a particular scribe writes, I’ve created a quick tool for doing palaeography.


You can load an image of a manuscript, and then use SHIFT-click to draw boxes around akṣaras. Then, you can tag those akṣaras. They can have more than one tag; for example, in the demo above, I’ve tagged the ji akṣara as both “ji” and “i_diacritic”, so that it appears under both categories.

The manuscript in the demo is Sanscrit 611, a heavily-annotated Amarakośa in old Bengali script. The photo is courtesy of the BnF.

You can use the tool online at https://chchch.github.io/quick-palaeographer/, or you can download the source code at https://github.com/chchch/quick-palaeographer/. The GitHub source also includes an example of a labeled image. I hope you’ll find it useful!

Back to squinting at annotations…

3 thoughts on “Quick palaeographer — a quick app for palaeography

    1. Charles Post author

      At the moment, the annotations sidebar is in Sanskrit alphabetical order, but that can be changed!


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