logo Tradamus is a free digital Critical Digital Edition creation web application. Whether you have straight transcriptions of your text or full TEI encoded documents you can bring them together in Tradamus to build a Critical Edition using the methodology that you want. From the Apparatus Criticus to the final publication you decide!

Annotate witnesses, Collate your witnesses by leveraging our sectioning approach to allow you to clearly and easily manage and work with the specific elements of your text, witness images, add commentary and editorial materials, tag, style and publish. Use the application in a way that works for you; import XML, TXT, and JSONs formats. Bring your Export your content in JSON, and JSON-LD at multiple points. Use our templates for your publication or take your publication content to deploy in whatever way you want.

Tradamus allows for collaboration as well as multiple levels of users to contribute to your Critical Edition in a way that works for you. We have built in a blind review option to facilitate peer review.

The Tradamus Approach


There are four core elements to building a critical edition in Tradamus.

  1. Create an Project - The Project will hold all your transcriptions, images, annotations. Think of it as a container for all of your work.
  2. Import your Materials. Everything that you bring into your Project are your materials. This could be your transcriptions, manuscript images, commentaries, bibliographies and anything else you want to include in you publications.
  3. Organize you Materials. there are two steps to organizing your materials. Firstly break your materials into manageable and logical segments. This is your opportunity to bring your Materials together and organize them to allow you to work with them. It also brings together the transcriptions in manageable and coherent divisions to collate them. For example you could create an segment for each of the ‘chapter ones’ in your witnesses. You bring those segments together into an outline which you then collate. Other content you have imported like an commentary which you can bring in as a single document also be divided into sensible and logical segments. This kinds of segments are put into outlines which are then ready to be arranged in its appropriate section when you are ready to prepare to publish. Thus you can deal with your materials in a content focused way.
  4. Prepare your Outlines for publication. Once you have collated The witness Outlines, you arrange the Outlines in Sections which are then put in the desired order for publication. Thus you put your commentary outline for chapter one with the collated text of chapter one and add any desired indexes, bibliographies or other relevant content. These Sections can then be ordered as needed. This ordered set of Sections can then be published.

This approach allows you to publish your critical edition, not only in a variety of formats but you can also return to your materials and re-imagine your work in a different way. Your first publication may take a diplomatic approach, your next might be mouvaunce in its approach. In each case you would leverage all the materials you have already done in Tradamus so you would not be starting from scratch but at the point of scholarly divergence. You can edit and rework any existing publication to enhance or enrich the work and all changes are saved so that the reader can reference those changes as well as the presented publication.

Project flow with collation

PROJECT-FLOW Project flow without collation


For more information and to create an account go to

We will be publishing a series of entries on this blog in the coming weeks on how to use Tradamus.

The next blog entry will be on Materials, followed by a series on Structuring.

Published on April 15, 2016 by Patrick Cuba