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Issues In the Digital Humanities La Trobe eCoffee Dr Craig Bellamy VeRSI, 5 November, 2010

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1 Issues In the Digital Humanities La Trobe eCoffee Dr Craig Bellamy VeRSI, 5 November, 2010


3 Key Issues What are the foundations of computing in the humanities? Text, Markup languages and the TEI Data reuse and analysis

4 Roberto Busa

5 Early developments (SGML, TEI, XML) Since 1949; Roberto Busa developed the first literary text encoding project (concordance of Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274), tension over standardisation TEI developed in 1987 in conjunction with the Association for Computing in the Humanities (ACH) Nearly every major text-based digital humanities project uses TEI

6 What is TEI? Before they can be studied with the aid of machines, texts must be encoded in a machine readable form. Methods for this transcription are called, generally, text encoding schemes; such schemes must provide mechanisms for representing the characters of a text and its logical and physical structure...ancillary information achieved by analysis or interpretation (may also be added)... Michael Sperberg-McQueen (1990)

7 History of TEI / markup (Machine readable texts: Creating, archiving, and sharing, textual data) GML (Generalised Mark-up Language) 1960s SGML (1986) HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) Berners-Lee, 1991 TEI (Text-Encoding Initiative) 1987; a tag schema for marking up humanities texts (ordered hierarchy text model) XML (re-worked in 1998 from SGML: a metalanguage for defining descriptive mark-up languages (in part by Michael Sperberg-McQueen)

8 Case Studies: Fine Roles Henry III HESTIA: Herodotus SETIS (Basic library TEI) Transcribe Bentham project (crowd- sourcing) People and Place (La Trobe)

9 Fine Rolls Henry III (1216-1272) Latin on parchment A fine was essentially a promise of money to the king in return for a concession or favour (key to understanding the Magna Carta and the development of the Parliamentary State) Complex associations of people encoded Facilitates scholarly analysis study10.html study10.html

10 HESTIA Books of Herodotus texts contained on the Perseus Project Used TEI encoded texts of Herodotus Histories (place and time) ndex.html ndex.html Herodotus time-map basic.html basic.html

11 SETIS 350 Australian texts (Text encoded...Federation, Classics of Taxation, Australia Studies collection) Rendered as print on demand,.pdf (library environment so delivery important) x.html x.html

12 Transcribe Bentham Founder of UCL (philosopher, social reformer) 150 manuscripts to transcribe Transcribing all the details (including deletions, marginalia etc.) http://www.transcribe- http://www.transcribe- (transcription desk) http://www.transcribe- rmhttp://www.transcribe- rm (guidelines)

13 Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

14 People and Place La Trobe Use of historical records in a database Encoding the semantic structures of a text Crowd sourcing transcription

15 Further Research/ training Digital Humanities projects, methods, tools TEI by example Digital Humanities Summer Institute (Canada)

16 Concluding comments Digitisation (Perseus, TLG, Old Bailey, Tasmanian convict records); the foundation scholarly infrastructure of the Digital Humanities Good stewardship in the digitisation of significant archives (heuristics) promotes new forms of scholarship so new research questions may be asked (or old ones in new ways!)

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