A Whirlwind Summer

This summer has been something of a whirlwind, which hasn’t left much time for blogging. It began with a mad dash to re-write the Lexomics software, changing the language from PHP to Python. Whilst I struggled to pick up a new language (I had only skimmed a few Python tutorials), the amazing students at Wheaton were transforming the tool into something truly awesome. I struggled to keep up and add a few visualisations. The finished tool, called Lexos, is a complete text analysis work flow from pre-processing to statistical analysis to visualisation. I was really excited to see the finished tool (as much as any tool is “finished”), and I look forward to using it in my research.

Barely two weeks later, I departed for DH 2013 in Lincoln, NE, the beginning of a three-week trip. This was a really exciting opportunity to see what’s going on in the Digital Humanities world “up close” (and I had never been to Nebraska). The non-DH highlight was definitely the reception in the natural history museum.


DH 2013 Reception

The opening reception at DH 2013 took place in the Natural History Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. There were some strange guests.

The conference was a whirlwind (not because of the 100-degree heat), and I was particularly happy to spend time with Brian Croxall and Mia Ridge with whom I’d be working in a few weeks time on One Week | One Tool.… Read more…

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NEH Funds the Archive of Early Middle English

I’m excited to announce that I have received an NEH Scholarly Editions and Translations grant, which I will co-direct with Dorothy Kim from Vassar College. The grant will help create an Archive of Early Middle English (AEME). We’ll start with a full digital edition of Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc 108, with a complete set of images. Other manuscripts will follow, and by the end of the grant we expect to have a full set of metadata and editorial conventions for other to submit materials. AEME will be designed to be flexible. Not everybody can afford to photograph full manuscripts, so we’ll be working to accommodate images as they become available in the public domain (perhaps licence a few that are not). We’ll also take individual texts, in addition to whole manuscripts. And and all ye multilingual enthusiasts, we haven’t forgotten one of the most important developments in recent scholarship. Although we want Early Middle English (about 1066-1350) to be at the centre, we’ll take any materials in any language that is also found in manuscripts containing Early Middle English.

I will write much more once the project gets started. For now, you can learn a little more on the AEME web site.… Read more…

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Introducing Serendip-o-matic

Serendip-o-matic I’m proud to introduce the online search tool Serendip-o-matic. From July 28-August 3, I worked with a fabulous group digital humanists to produce this tool from scratch as part of the One Week | One Tool project.

Serendip-o-matic connects your sources to digital materials located in libraries, museums, and archives around the world. By first examining your research interests, and then identifying related content in locations such as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Europeana, Trove Australia, and Flickr Commons, Serendip-o-matic’s serendipity engine helps you discover photographs, documents, maps and other primary sources.

Whether you begin with text from an article, a Wikipedia page, or a full Zotero collection, Serendip-o-matic’s special algorithm extracts key terms and returns a surprising reflection of your interests. Because the tool is designed mostly for inspiration, search results aren’t meant to be exhaustive, but rather suggestive, pointing you to materials you might not have discovered. At the very least, the magical input-output process helps you step back and look at your work from a new perspective.

Action Shot from One Week | One Tool

The group brainstorming tool ideas. Photo by Mia Ridge.

At some point, I will blog about the experience, but that will have to wait a little because the project has coincided with activity related to the news that I have received an NEH award to create an Archive of Early Middle English.… Read more…

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