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Textus is an open-source platform for presenting and working with cultural and historical texts.

As of March 2013 Textus is undergoing a substantial refactor into smaller components. Please see the website for details.

Textus represents the evolution of more than 6 years of software development, building as it does on the OpenShakspeare platform (which powered from 2005 until 2011) and the OpenCorrespondence system (which powered since 2009).


The Textus Platform is now being refactored composed of 4 separate components:

  • Textus Formatter - this tool converts standard text formats to the Textus format
  • Textus Viewer - this is a pure Javascript + HTML app that displays a text in Textus Format
  • Textus Wordpress - a plugin that uses the other Textus tools to turn Wordpress into a platform for hosting, presenting and collaborating on cultural texts
  • Textus API - create an API for texts in Textus format

Note these components are under active development as of December 2013.

Quick getting started guide

This is the version on

  • Install Node.js and NPM (Node Package Manager) and ElasticSearch
  • Configure and run an ElasticSearch server, making note of the connection protocol, port and host.
  • In a shell:
    • git clone git://
    • cd textus
    • npm install
    • node src/server.js --help
  • Call node src/server.js with appropriate options (see the message returned from the help option)
  • Point your web browser at localhost on whatever port you've configured for Textus (defaults to 8080 if not specified).

Copyright and License

Copyright 2011-2013 Open Knowledge Foundation

Licensed under the MIT License:

A copy of the license can be found in the LICENSE file


A toolbox and web application for working with and presenting textual material from Shakespeare to Schopenhauer, and letters to literature.




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