La Sfera Challenge


La Sfera Challenge


Welcome to La Sfera Challenge, a project that sponsors two-week competitions pitting international teams of scholars against each other in a race to transcribe multiple copies of one text, Goro Dati’s fifteenth-century geographic treatise, La Sfera. This challenge has had two iterations: the first took place between three teams from May 22-June 5, 2020 and the second will take place in late Summer 2020.

You can see how each challenge progressed on Twitter by following the hashtags #LaSferaChallenge and #LaSferaChallenge2.

So that others may benefit from the work done during these fun but fruitful competitions, the transcriptions, images, and other related scholarly products issuing from these challenges will soon be housed in a digital project hosted by Stanford University. Below are some possible projects team members hope to undertake as a result of their participation in the La Sfera challenges during Quarantine 2020. Please check back as these projects develop.

Support for the project comes from the IIIF Consortium, FromThePage, and Stanford Libraries.


Current Transcriptions


Current transcriptions and notes can be viewed alongside manuscript images .


Translations into English


A team of scholars is planning to translate this short text into English for classroom use.


Mapping Locales


Several locales are listed in La Sfera, and a team of scholars is working to plot them on a modern map.


Tracing the Manuscript Tradition


Scholars hope to trace variations in the textual tradition of La Sfera texts.


Tracking the Illustration Program


The tradition of images found in the many extant versions of the work has yet to be addressed, and scholars hope to undertake a study of the versions in our corpus.

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