Distant Reading of the Metadata of the Digitized Hungarian Charm Corpus

  • Emese Ilyefalvi Assistant professor at the Department of Folkloristics at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary and a research fellow at MTA–ELTE Lendület Historical Folkloristics Research Group
Keywords: digital database, digital textology, computational folkloristics, folklore database, distant reading, Hungarian verbal charms, visualisation of metadata, verbal charms


Based on Éva Pócs’ manual charm index an online database was created for Hungarian verbal charms within the East–West Research Group at the Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest), between 2013 and 2018. The main goal was to create a multidimensional digital database. Digital text preparation would open the gates to new interpretations and analyses, which would bring us closer to understanding the compound and complex phenomena of charms. In the Digital Database of Hungarian Verbal Charms users can search by various metadata, like date and place of collection/recording, name of collector/scribe, informant, type of source, function of the charm, rites/gestures, language of the text, keywords etc. This paper focuses on how different new arrangements and distant reading of the corpora can reshape our knowledge about the Hungarian verbal charms.