Research Tools: Resources for Humanities Computing
There is a constant flow of new tools for digital scholarly work, from
software companies, research groups, open source consortiums, and individual
developers. Humanities computing relies on a wide variety of tools that
take advantage of innovative technologies in all the areas of humanities
research. IATH uses a combination of proprietary and open source tools,
some of which are designed and built by our Fellows and their project
staff. Some of these tools are described here, along with links to other tools
of particular interest to humanities computing.
Applied Research in Patacriticism
Jerome McGann: NINES
- Collex will allow users of
digital resources to assemble and share virtual "collections" and
to present annotated "exhibits" and re-arrangements of online materials.
These critical rearrangements can of course bring together materials that are
variously diverse — materially, formally, historically. First slated for
testing on the Rossetti Archive,
Collex rearrangements will be undertaken by the Archive's general editor and
by a few invited literary scholars and art historians, who will act as guest
critics and curators, offering radically different perspectives on Rossetti and
his circle, all based on the same corpus of digital files. Later, individual
users will be able to assemble and comment on Archive materials in private collection
spaces, choose whether to make those assemblages available to others, and then
build and share annotated exhibits based on their own virtual collections or
on existing, user-created work.
- IVANHOE began
in a critical exchange between myself (Jerome McGann) and Johanna Drucker
and our shared dissatisfaction with the limitations inherent in received
forms of interpretation and critical method. This is a playspace for collaborative
interpretational work. The playspace promotes such activity, on one hand,
and on the other provides different kinds of visualizations for studying
and reflecting on the activity. It consists of interventions, changes, additions,
and commentaries in the discourse field of an imaginative work. The emphasis
is on making explicit the assumptions about critical practice, textual interpretation,
and reading (in the most fundamental sense) that remain unacknowledged, or
at least irregularly explored, in a conventional approach to literary studies.
- Juxta is
a text comparison and collation tool for XML files and the image files
that stand behind the XML transcriptions. It allows a scholar to locate
for comparison equivalent textual passages, to display both the equivalent
image files as well as the transcriptions. It also allows comparisons between
comparable pictorial objects (e.g., versions of The
Blessed Damozel) or comparable textual and pictorial objects
(e.g, illustrations of passages in Bleak House). All such comparisons can
also be annotated. The tool will also collate equivalent textual strings
(both marked and unmarked) and output a schedule of the differences.
Technologies Used by the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library
David Germano: THDL Technologies
Digital libraries such as THDL are only possible through recent developments in computer technology.
These new technologies provide
the infrastructure and mechanisms necessary for an interactive repository of scholarly knowledge that has
no corresponding analog in traditional libraries of printed material. Not only do such technologies allow
for immediate interaction between the scholar and the collections of data, but they also permit collaboration
between scholars separated by vast distances. While the casual user interacts with THDL through the standard
HTML web-pages, the active collaborator who is creating resources within THDL will find it helpful to understand
the Library's architecture in order to make the best use of the available tools for building collections and
resources. The interested observer might also wish to know how a digital library actually works for their own
reasons. The technologies section of the THDL toolbox
provides such information.
- Augmenting Comprehension:
Digital Tools and the History of Ideas Dino Buzzetti, Giuliano Pancaldi & Harold Short, Eds., August 2004.
September 28-30, 2005
University of Virginia
Summit Objective: Digital tools and the underlying cyberinfrastructure
expand the opportunities for humanistic scholarship and education. They enable
new and innovative approaches to humanistic scholarship. They provide scholars
and students deeper and more sophisticated access to cultural materials, thus
changing how material can be taught and experienced. They facilitate new forms
of collaboration of all those who touch the digital representation of the human
For more information See
"Summit on Digital Tools for the Humanities".
Or download summit announcement [Word Doc] | [PDF]