Scholarship, Tools, Research Practices Sheila Anderson King’s College London Judaica Europeana Digital Humanities Workshop British Library, 31.10.2011 Humanities Research Practices • • • • Hermeneutic rather than experimental Narrative, textual, rhetorical Not seeking formal laws and explanations Recursive, not linear – a constantly questioning process • Deep reading / reasoning of sources • Individualistic, even when collaborating • Rooted in disciplinary understandings and approaches 2 Humanities ‘Data’ • • • • • • Sources rather than ‘data’ – the human record Texts of all kinds, images of all kinds Objects, artefacts Video, film, audio (speech, music) Publications, grey literature Complex, varied, multi-faceted – mix of digital and analogue • Highly distributed in multiple locations 3 Digital Humanities - evolution • Same practices, different environment • A gradual move into the digital • Responding to digital content and opportunity to do ‘stuff’ quicker • Understanding scholarly primitives – Unsworth: discovering, annotating, comparing, referring, sampling, illustrating, representing – DARIAH: discovering, collecting, comparing, delivering, collaborating 4 Digital Humanities - transformation • • • • • Changing practices; converging practices Dealing with scale Space, place and time Language and understanding Social media, social networking • But remember humanities research context – individualistic, complex, hermeneutic 5 Some examples • General purpose VRE: D4Science and gCube for the humanities, the gMan project, King’s College London • Spatial Humanities: GIS in Literary Studies, University of Lancashire, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis • Collaborative across disciplines and commercial : 1641 Depositions, University of Aberdeen, Trinity College Dublin, IBM 6 General Purpose VRE • Support research processes using digital content, tools and services • Support the whole of the research life-cycle • Provide access to collections, resources and tools • Researcher centred: allow for interpretation, recursive thinking and annotations • Mechanisms for managed collaboration and sharing 7 Diligent, D4Science and gCube • Funded by FP7 – aims to create e-Infrastructure Ecosystems • gCube: A Virtual Research Environment (VRE) Management Framework • A testbed e-Infrastructure built upon grid middleware. • Allows access to heterogeneous, distributed technologies, services and content and guarantees interoperability of these resources • Based on shared local computation, storage and generic service and from EGI 8 Use Case for Classics • HGV, a database of metadata for Greek papyri • Project Volterra, a database of Roman legal texts • Inscriptions of Aphrodisias (InsAph), a corpus of about 2,000 ancient Greek inscriptions 9 Plus additional content • Supplemented with additional resources with stable URLs: • Pleiades catalogue of ancient place names • Lexicon of Greek Personal Names • American Numismatic Society’s coin collection • Each URL that resolves to a systematic representation of the corresponding resource. • Not imported: used as links from main datasets • Mirrors humanities scholar’s use of multiple sources 10 Researchers were able to: • Assemble virtual collections of documents (research objects) • Search across collections (text/date/...) • Add annotations to (parts of) objects • Add (annotated) links between objects • Search across annotations/links • Share material with selected colleagues 11 Some caveats • Can be difficult to import collections – requires a reasonably high level of expertise • Would probably require assistance for those not familiar with digital tools • Requires investment in training • Works best for a collaborative environment 12 Spatial Humanities 13 Technology and Tradition 14 Multiple Data Sources 15 Volunteer Information 16 17 18 The 1641 Depositions project aims to explore how a computer environment can be created in which scholars interested in historical and corpus linguistics can work collaboratively with historians and other specialists to interrogate a key historical source, the 1641 Depositions, in ways not currently possible, by exploiting effective language technology developed by IBM LanguageWare. images © James Cranford, The Teares of Ireland (London, 1642) 19 20 Tools developed by Humanities Researchers • Pliny: Pliny is a tool that works with annotations or notes that you gather as you are reading. It can be used with both digital (web sites, images and PDF files) and non-digital (books, printed journal articles) materials. The text of the annotation can be anything that you wish to record -indeed, whatever strikes you about the material you are reading is fair game. http://pliny.cch.kcl.ac.uk/index.html • JUXTA: Juxta is an open-source cross-platform tool for comparing and collating multiple witnesses to a single textual work http://www.juxtasoftware.org/about.html • The Versioning Machine: a framework and an interface for displaying multiple versions of text encoded according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines. – http://v-machine.org/index.php Sites with info on tools • TAPoR: is a gateway to tools for sophisticated analysis and retrieval, along with representative texts for experimentation. http://portal.tapor.ca/portal/portal • Digital Research Tools (DiRT): collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars conduct research more efficiently or creatively. https://digitalresearchtools.pbworks.com/w/page/178 01672/FrontPage • Arts-humanities.net: arts-humanities.net aims to support and advance the use and understanding of digital tools and methods for research and teaching in the arts and humanities http://arts-humanities.net/ Large support infrastructures • DARIAH: aims to enhance and support digitally-enabled research across the humanities and arts. DARIAH is working with communities of practice to: – Explore and apply ICT-based methods and tools to enable new research questions to be asked and old questions to be posed in new ways – Improve research opportunities and outcomes through linking distributed digital source materials of many kinds – Exchange knowledge, expertise, methodologies and practices across domains and disciplines – http://www.dariah.eu/ • CLARIN: is a large-scale pan-European collaborative effort to create, coordinate and make language resources and technology available and readily usable. CLARIN offers scholars the tools to allow computer-aided language processing, addressing one or more of the multiple roles language plays (i.e. carrier of cultural content and knowledge, instrument of communication, component of identity and object of study) in the Humanities and Social Sciences. http://www.clarin.eu/internal • European Holocaust Archives Project: EHRI http://www.ehri-project.eu/ Thank you!