Workshop invitation: Textual editing workshops for undergraduates and postgraduates

A collaboration between the Bodleian’s Department of Special Collections and Centre for Digital Scholarship, and Cultures of Knowledge, a project based at the Faculty of History

We are looking for enthusiastic undergraduates and postgraduates from any discipline to take part in workshops in textual editing culminating in the publication of a citable transcription.

 

Join the waiting list: see below for details

 

After two successful series, we are entering the third year of Bodleian Student Editions workshops, held in the Weston Library’s Centre for Digital Scholarship. There will be 6 standalone workshops taking place in the year 2018-19, two per term, on the following dates:

Michaelmas Term 2018

  • 10:00–16:30 Tuesday 5th week, 6 November
  • 10:00–16:30 Wednesday 8th week, 28 November

Hilary Term 2018

  • To be announced in Hilary
  • To be announced in Hilary

Trinity Term 2018

  • To be announced in Trinity
  • To be announced in Trinity

Textual editing is the process by which a manuscript reaches its audience in print or digital form. The texts we read in printed books are dependent on the choices of editors across the years, some obscured more than others. The past few years have seen an insurgence in interest in curated media, and the advent of new means of distribution has inspired increasingly charged debates about what is chosen to be edited, by whom and for whom.

These workshops give students the opportunity to examine these questions of research practice in a space designed around the sources at the heart of them. The Bodleian Libraries’ vast collections give students direct access to important ideas free from years of mediation, and to authorial processes in their entirety, while new digital tools allow greater space to showcase the lives of ordinary people who may not feature in traditional narrative history.

Our focus is on letters of the early modern period: a unique, obsolescent medium, by which the ideas which shaped our civilisation were communicated and developed. Participants will study previously unpublished manuscripts from Bodleian collections, working with Bodleian curators and staff of Cultures of Knowledge (http://www.culturesofknowledge.org), to produce a digital transcription, which will be published on the flagship resource site of Cultures of Knowledge, Early Modern Letters Online (http://emlo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk), as ‘Bodleian Student Editions’.

The sessions are standalone, but participants in previous workshops have gone on to further transcription work with Bodleian collections and with research projects around the country, as well as producing the first scholarship on some of the manuscripts by incorporating material in their own research (from undergraduate to doctorate level). The first-hand experience with primary sources, and citable transcription, extremely useful for those wishing to apply for postgraduate study in areas where this is valued: one participant successfully proceeded from a BA in Biological Sciences to an MA in Early Modern Literature on the basis of having attended.

The sessions provide a hands-on introduction to the following:

  1. Special Collections handling
  2. Palaeography and transcription
  3. Metadata curation, analysis, and input into Early Modern Letters Online
  4. Research and publication ethics
  5. Digital tools for scholarship and further training available

You can read about research conducted in previous workshops here. To hear about future textual editing workshops and other events as they are advertised, please join the digital scholarship mailing list.

Participation is open to students registered for any course at the University of Oxford. If you would like to participate or to join the waiting list, please contact Francesca Barr, Special Collections Administrator, francesca.barr@bodleian.ox.ac.uk and include:

  1. your ox.ac.uk email address
  2. your department
  3. your level and year of study
  4. particular access requirements
  5. particular dietary requirements

Please note that owing to the workshops being oversubscribed both years running, we can only confirm places on this term’s workshops. You may register your interest in subsequent workshops, and will be notified of the dates for each term before they are advertised more widely.

The Bodleian Libraries welcome thoughts and queries from students of all levels on ways in which the use of archival material can facilitate your research. For an idea of the range of collections in the Weston, visit the exhibition Sappho to Suffrage: Women Who Dared in the Treasury gallery in Blackwell Hall (http://treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk), which showcases some of the Bodleian’s most treasured items in celebration of 100 years of suffrage. Our current flagship exhibition, Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth is open in the ST Lee Gallery until 28 October; entry is free but timed, and tickets are available at the Information Desk in Blackwell Hall, or online for a £1 booking fee (https://tolkien.bodleian.ox.ac.uk).

Conference announcement—Digitizing the Stage 2019

What: Digitizing the Stage

When: 15–18 July 2019

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Registration: required—please see the conference website to sign up for notices

Together with the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Bodleian Libraries’ Centre for Digital Scholarship is delighted to announce that Digitizing the Stage will return next summer. The event will take place on 15–18 July 2019 at the Weston Library. There will be a small pre-conference workshop preceding the three-day, single-stream conference, which will have a renewed emphasis on performance. More information can be found on https://www.digitizingthestage.com.

The inaugural conference in 2017 gathered scholars, librarians, theatre professionals, and others in a convivial and productive series of talks and demonstrations highlighting digital explorations of the early modern theatre archive. The success of the event was due in no small part to the energy, creativity, and thoughtfulness of the participants, for which we remain profoundly appreciative. Thank you for your interest and participation.

If you would like to stay informed about conference developments, including the upcoming call for proposals, please email the Folger Shakespeare Library via digitalconf@folger.edu to be added to the 2019 mailing list.

A global collection of astrolabes in linked open data

I previously wrote about how easy it is to describe a GLAM collection item in Wikidata: it’s quicker than writing a blog post in WordPress and the resulting data are endlessly reusable. This time I’ll go into more detail about using Wikidata’s interface to describe items from museum collections, and announcing a new tool to browse the aggregated collection.

The Museum of the History of Science recently shared catalogue data about its outstanding collection of 165 astrolabes on Wikidata. Although Wikidata already had the power to describe astrolabes, very few had been entered, so this donation is a huge leap forward. If nothing comes to mind when I say “astrolabes”, here’s an image gallery generated by a query on Wikidata.

I’m going to take a random entry from David A. King’s “A Catalogue of Medieval
Astronomical Instruments” and describe it in Wikidata. Having checked that it isn’t already there, I click “Create new item” on the left hand side of any Wikidata page. At first I’ll be asked for a name and one-line description in my chosen language.

Continue reading

Translating a blog post into structured data

Timur Beg Gurkhani (1336-1405) plays a small role in our story. Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons

Recently my Bodleian colleague Alasdair Watson posted an announcement about an illuminated manuscript that is newly available online. To get the most long-term value out of the announcement, I decided to express it as Linked Open Data by representing its content in Wikidata. This blog post goes through that process. Continue reading

Workshop—Digital Delius: Editing, Interpretation, and Cataloguing

We regret that this workshop has been cancelled. Please contact the organizers (see below) to find out more about their work on Digital Delius.

This workshop is open to anyone conducting or interested in pursuing research in music and musicology, who would like to learn more about using digital techniques. Undergraduates and postgraduates are most welcome.

Book a place by emailing Joanna Bullivant: please see below for details.

 

What: Digital Delius: Editing, Interpretation, and Cataloguing—workshop

When: 10:00–17:00, Thursday 11 October 2018

Where: Centre for Digital Scholarship, Weston Library (map)

Open to all

Free

Registration is required: please email Joanna Bullivant (joanna.bullivant@music.ox.ac.uk) by 1 October 2018 with your name, email address, and access and dietary requirements.

How might digital technologies enrich your musicological research in editing, interpretation, and cataloguing, and help you to present your work to others?

We hear increasingly about the importance and possibilities of digital methodologies, but it is not always easy to know how to go about using digital techniques in tandem with more traditional research, or what the benefits of these techniques might be. This workshop uses the ongoing project ‘Digital Delius’ as a case study, showing how a variety of digital techniques and software are being used to cast light on such critical areas of Delius research as sources and variants, editing, interpretation, and cataloguing. The aim is to introduce work in progress and provide a series of guided practical exercises to help participants to gain awareness of skills and methods that can be applied in their own research.

Convenors

Joanna Bullivant is a musicologist, currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford. She has created the forthcoming digital catalogue of Delius’s works, and is part of the team creating an interactive digital exhibition on Delius for the British Library as part of their new Discovering Music web space.

David Lewis is a researcher based at the Oxford e-Research Centre and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He has recently worked on projects at Goldsmiths, University of London, Universität des Saarlandes and Universiteit Utrecht. He has worked on online resources for instrumental music (Electronic Corpus of Lute Music), music theory (Johannes Tinctoris: Complete Theoretical Works and Thesaurus Musicarum Italicarum) and work catalogues (Delius Catalogue of Works). His current research explores uses of Linked Data to support and extend the exploration and sharing of musical information and research.

REGISTRATION

To register, please email Joanna Bullivant (joanna.bullivant@music.ox.ac.uk) by 1 October 2018 with:

  • Your name
  • Current status/research interests (undergraduate, postgraduate etc)
  • Your email address
  • Access or dietary requirements

Research Uncovered—Romantic poetry and technical breakthrough: the Charles Harpur Critical Archive

Book a place!

Paul Eggert
What: Romantic poetry and technical breakthrough: the Charles Harpur Critical Archive

Who: Paul Eggert

When: 13:00—14:00, Wednesday 7 March 2018

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: open to all

Admission: free

Registration: required

This talk will show a new technical solution to an abiding problem – presenting a large body of literary works in multiple versions. It has been trialled in The Charles Harpur Critical Archive, due to be published in June.

Harpur’s work in New South Wales in the mid-19th century makes a perfect case study of the technology. His verses made 900 appearances in the press, but publishing opportunities for him other than in newspapers were almost non-existent. A digital solution addresses the textual problems that defeated the attempts to capture the full range of his poetic achievement in book form.

Paul Eggert is the Martin J Svaglic Endowed Professor of Textual Studies at Loyola University Chicago, and former president of the Society for Textual Scholarship.

This public lecture is co-hosted by the Bodleian Libraries’ Centre for the Study of the Book and Centre for Digital Scholarship.

Some ways Wikidata can improve search and discovery

I have written in the past about how Wikidata enables entity-based browsing, but search is still necessary and it is worth considering how a semantic web database can be useful to a search engine index.

This post is about three ways Wikidata could help search and discovery applications, without replacing them: 1) providing more or less specific terms (hypernyms and hyponyms), 2) providing synonyms for a search term, 3) structuring a thesaurus of topics to provide meaningful connections. I end with the real-world example of Quora.com who are using Wikidata to manage a huge user-generated topic list.

Hypernyms and hyponyms

Continue reading

A Reconciliation Recipe for Wikidata

We have a list of names of things, plus some idea of what type of things they are, and we want to integrate them into a database. I have been working on place names in Chinese, but it could just as well have been a list of author names in Arabic. This post reports on a procedure to get Wikidata identifiers — and thereby lots of other useful information — about the things in the list.

To recap a couple of problems with names covered in a previous post:

  • Things share names. As covered previously, “cancer” names a disease, a constellation, an academic journal, a taxonomic term for crab, an astrological sign and a death metal band.
  • Things have multiple names. One place is known to English speakers as “Beijing”, “Peking” or as “Peiping”. Similarly, there are multiple names for that place even within a single variant of Chinese.

There are some problems specific to historic names for places in China: Continue reading

Digital Approaches to the History of Science—workshop 2

You are warmly invited to join us at the second day-long workshop on Digital Approaches to the History of Science. These workshops are supported and co-organized by the Reading Euclid project, the Newton Project, the Royal Society, and the Centre for Digital Scholarship.

Book a place!

Digital Approaches to the History of Science

—Life out of a coffin—

When: 9:30—17:00,  Friday 23 March 2018

Where: Faculty of History, University of Oxford, 41–47 George Street OX1 2BE (map)

Access: all are welcome—see below for information on travel bursaries

Admission: free, refreshments and lunch included

Registration is required

Our second one-day workshop will showcase and explore some current work at the intersection of digital scholarship and the history of science. Visualizing networks of correspondence, mapping intellectual geographies, mining textual corpora: many modes of digital scholarship have special relevance to the problems and methods of the history of science, and the last few years have seen the launch of a number of new platforms and projects in this area.

With contributions from projects around the UK and from elsewhere in Europe, these two workshops will be an opportunity to share ideas, to reflect on what is being achieved and to consider what might be done next.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Richard Dunn: the Board of Longitude Project
  • Christy Henshaw: the Wellcome Collection
  • Miranda Lewis, Howard Hotson, Arno Bosse: Cultures of Knowledge
  • Robert McNamee: Electronic Enlightenment Project
  • Grant Miller: Zooniverse Project Builder
  • Yelda Nasifoglu: Hooke’s Books
  • Tobias Schweizer, Sepideh Alassi: Bernoulli-Euler Online (BEOL)
  • Sally Shuttleworth: Diseases of Modern Life or Constructing Scientific Communities

We have taken inspiration from William Stukely’s isolation and seek to converse, as it were, out of a coffin:

in my situation at Stamford there was not one person, clergy or lay, that had any taste or love of learning or ingenuity, so that I was as much dead in converse as in a coffin

Travel bursaries

We are delighted to be able to offer travel bursaries to enable students and early career researchers (up to 3 years beyond the award of most recent degree) to attend. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please contact co-organizer Yelda Nasifoglu on yelda.nasifoglu@history.ox.ac.uk, providing:

  • Your name
  • Your institution
  • Your level of study/year of award of most recent degree
  • Travelling from
  • Estimate of travel cost

These workshops are organized by:

 

 

Quotation:

Lukis, ed. ‘Family Memoirs’, vol. I (1882), p.109, cited in Michael Reed, ‘The cultural role of small towns in England, 1600–1800’, in Peter Clark, Small Towns in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: CUP, 1882), p.147, via Google Books.

Images:

Tycho Brahe, Tabulae Rudolphinae (Ulm, 1627), frontispiece. Bodleian Library Savile Q 14. Edited in Photoshop by Yelda Nasifoglu.

René Descartes, Principia philosophiae (Amsterdam, 1644), ‘Cartesian network of vortices of celestial motion’, p. 110. Bodleian Library Savile T 22. Edited in Photoshop by Yelda Nasifoglu.