I am defending my dissertation this semester. When I have successfully completed this task, I will be required by the University of Maryland to submit a copy of it to be held in perpetuity by the university’s library system. In fact, just about anyone who has written a Ph.D. dissertation, a Master’s thesis, or even an undergraduate honors thesis at an institution of higher learning in the last century and a half has been required to do the same. . . . Continue Reading
The “editor-narrator” of an electronic text “must also become an editor-narrator-librarian of the fluid text ‘reading room’ wherein all full texts of all versions of a work are stored…Editors need to create a text lab [that]…would allow users to search texts, collate versions, assemble variants, craft concordances, and make editions.”
–John Bryant, The Fluid Text: A Theory of Revision and Editing for Book and Screen, 161
This spring, I am delighted to have the opportunity to explore the many roles of the editor-narrator-librarian in this visionary digital “reading room.” Under the guidance of MITH Associate Director Trevor Muñoz, University of Maryland Libraries’ Manager of Digital Stewardship Jennie Anne Levine Knies, Curator of Literary Manuscripts Emerita Beth Alvarez, and University of Texas at Austin iSchool Assistant Professor (and former MITH Program Associate) Tanya Clement, I am researching best practices and emerging trends in the creation of digital scholarly editions of manuscripts and the roles that the scholar and the host institution—the library, archive, or digital humanities center—play in the creation of such editions. . . . Continue Reading
The first thing you hear, or at least that you should hear, when you present an idea for a digital humanities project to someone already familiar with the field is this: “That’s great! [pause] What does your data set look like?” Actually, that’s the reaction you’ll get if whoever you’re talking to is taking you seriously, so the reaction is a mixed blessing. . . . Continue Reading
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks at the Foreign Literatures in America project, as we’ve really begun to set sail as concerns both the Russian literary reception archive and the Modern British literary archive. Though the projects are large, and seem to increase further and further with excitement as we delve further into them, we have also found that many of our energies have been devoted to getting many small and technical details precisely in order. . . . Continue Reading
I ended my last blog entry with the suggestion that one possible virtue of virtuality might be that a digital archive inverts the book’s relationship between word and image (in the case of Black Gotham, portraits of people as well as depictions of places—maps, streets, buildings, etc.). “In my book,” I wrote, “word was the primary vehicle for telling my story and image functioned as supporting illustration; in the digital archive, image is the primary vehicle and word supporting document.”
I’m well aware, however, that much like a printed book a digital archive must create and sustain a narrative arc—consisting not only of a beginning, middle, and end, but also of a certain narrative tension that impels the viewer forward to look, search, discover. . . . Continue Reading
Over the weekend, Matt Kirschenbaum and I traveled to UNC Chapel Hill in order to meet with the BitCurator Development Advisory Group (DAG). By design, our meeting with the DAG coincided with Curate Gear, a UNC Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Sciences sponsored conference designed to bring together scholars, software developers, and archivists to discuss tools and on-going research focused on the unique challenges of digital curation. . . . Continue Reading
I began my career as a graduate student in literature knowing that, with how literary studies stand now, I would have to choose for my focus between my two great fascinations: 19th-century Russian and 20th-century American literature. The former seemed pre-destined to remain a hobby or a neglected interest. But thanks to the inventiveness of Foreign Literatures in America as well as to the slippery categories of “foreign,” “literatures,” and “America(n)” that the project seeks to explore, I have found an exciting professional opportunity to open up scholarly avenues between these two disciplinary fields. . . . Continue Reading
For those who might have missed it during the vacation, The New York Times ran a long article about Matt Kirschenbaum’s research for his upcoming book, “Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing,” set to be published by Harvard University Press in 2013. Congratulations Matt!
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Only spammers seem to be noticing this blog, but for web-trolling software that might be interested in digital humanities and philology I thought I might add that I have updated the sample output from Collatex.
collatex-table-apparatus.html shows output from user-specified witnesses in the form of (1) an alignment table based on user-specified order, (2) an extracted text of a base text (taking the first specified witness is the base text), (3) generating an apparatus. . . . Continue Reading
On Monday, November 28th and Tuesday, November 29th, Dave Lester (Creative Lead for MITH) and I (Web Developer for MITH) attended the Institute fuer Dokumentologie and Editorik (I-D-E) workshop for Tools for Digital Scholarly Editions held at the University of Cologne, Germany. Alexander Czmiel from the University of Berlin and fellow for the I-D-E had invited Dave Lester and then me to the conference to give a report on the Text and Image Linking Environment (TILE) project. . . . Continue Reading