The August 2010 issue of the Journal of Victorian Culture has a digital forum in which the quantitative research of digital resources is discussed. There are three contributions which document both the production of such resources and their uses. Richard Deswarte focuses on the holdings of the History Data Service, which preserves and disseminates a collection of almost 700 mainly quantitative datasets, and considers what makes a useful quantitative data source. He discusses, among others, two particular population sites – Histpop – The Online Historical Population Reports Website and the Contemporary and Historical Census Collections (CHCC).
Finally Michaela Mahlberg offers an introduction to corpus linguistics, exploring what corpus approaches can offer existing research methodologies in literary studies. Methods of gathering corpora through text searches of the internet are discussed, as are the special considerations when searching in nineteenth-century texts.
Digital Research and Editing Environments offer humanities researchers the opportunity greatly to extend the range of methodologies open to them through the use of advanced online text analysis tools. However, their adoption remains highly localised and unevenly distributed because of, among other things, lack of awareness, the inappropriate configuration of editing tools, lack of institutional support, and the instability and unfamiliarity of interfaces.
This workshop will look at the current state of the field from three viewpoints: • the researcher, open to learning new skills but wary of the transience, inflexibility and insecurity of some services; • the editor, looking to broaden the reach of his or her published output, but requiring complex and sometimes bespoke workflows • the technologist, eager to understand researchers’ needs but unsure how these will develop and change over time
For those attending the workshop, issues arising from the speakers’ presentations will be discussed in an ‘Ideas Café’, which will be followed by an open discussion session. While this workshop will be particularly useful for practitioners currently working on or with Digital Research and Editing Environments, the IHR actively invites contributions from researchers and scholars who may have further observations, experience of, or different insights into the adoption of these new tools and technologies. Parts of the workshop will be live streamed through the IHR’s History SPOT service, with an option to contribute in real time, allowing interested parties who cannot attend to ask questions during the open discussion. A link to this video will be posted once it becomes available.
This workshop will be held on 7 July 2011 and run from 12.30 – 4.30pm.
Porta Historica is a European network of research institutes which, in one way or another, are responsible for producing editions of historical texts. It currently has five members, the École Nationale des Chartes, the Institute of Netherlands History, the Commission Royale d’Histoire/Koninklijke Commissie voor Geschiedenis, the Institut für Mittelalterforschung and the Institute of Historical Research. Increasingly, editions are being published in digital form, and the concept of an edition in this context is evolving. In order to help historians formulate their approaches to the production of digital editions, and to assist them in evaluating those which are already available online, Porta Historica has produced a set of guidelines for editors and digital resource creators. These are available on the Porta Historica website, http://www.portahistorica.eu/editions, in four languages – English, French, Spanish and German.
The IHR’s Director, Professor Miles Taylor, can be heard on this morning’s (18 December) Today Programme discussing the new History of Parliament volumes on the House of Commons between 1820 and 1832. He and the HoP’s Philip Salmon were both asked as to whether any parallels could be drawn between the problems of this period and the expenses-related travails of today’s Parliament. Click here and scroll down to 8.53 to listen to the interview.