“The Witches in Early Modern England project, led by Kirsten C. Uszkalo, designs and deploys strategically intersecting, innovative, and experimental digital tools to allow for robust searching and pattern finding within the corpus of texts relating to early modern witchcraft. Beyond that, its open-ended platform encourages further expansion by users, to push the limits of how digital technologies can enhance and inspire the academic interrogation of existing corpora.”


“We are very excited to announce the official launch of Prism, a digital tool for generating crowd-sourced interpretations of texts. It is the practicum project 

of six humanities graduate students in the Praxis Program at the University of Virginia Scholars’ Lab.

Prism is an experiment in crowd-sourcing, which until now has only made
fact-checkers and copy editors of the ‘crowd’. One of the fundamental questions behind Prism is: what happens when the ‘crowd’ is asked to imagine and interpret, rather than merely transcribe?

Users interact subjectively with a text and contribute to a collective interpretive energy that has infinite possibilities beyond the highlighting exercise itself – in research, in the classroom, or in engaging and experimenting with larger data in the humanities (computational linguistics and text mining, for example). The goal of Prism is to produce aesthetic provocations, that is, visualizations that incite and encourage conversation.

Please feel free to comment and offer feedback on the Scholars’ Lab blog.

Prism is open source and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License: https://github.com/scholarslab/prism

Taken from Humanist Discussion Group 25.928: crowd-sourced interpretation.

Chapter Two (in which the intrepid heroine is left dangling from the precipice)

I had the great pleasure of meeting Andrew Green today, at a meeting in the National Library of Wales. Andrew is its Head Librarian, and therefore of huge importance within the Library’s structure. The intent of the meeting was to explain to Andrew where we were in terms of our progress thus far, and to give him some insight into what our projects entailed. 

Now, I’m generally quite the pessimist so I’m trying to hang on to the positives of the meeting (which were many, not least the opportunity to meet up with Lloyd Roderick, who’s working on an impressive project relating to the work of the artist Kyffin Williams, and Andrew Cusworth, who is developing something equally important with regard to mapping Welsh folk songs as a representation of cultural history – I forget sometimes, when reading in my corner of the library, how essential it is to engage with a group of your peers), but what struck me most forcibly during the meeting was the vast difference in styles between our respective academic departments, and how they feel their PhD students should approach their research. 

Essentially, the English Department has taken a fairly traditional approach to my work, and this has meant I have spent a large majority of my first year reading through journal articles and authors in the field of digital humanities. The onus has very much been on me finding my feet, which has been of enormous help, but on attending the meeting today I realised that I had not engaged in any original thinking of my own. I’ve been so busy trying to immerse myself in the history of the digital humanities that I’ve yet to consider what I’m intending to do with the project beyond the perimeters set for me way back in October. 

In terms of my research I suppose I am very much the traditionalist. Read around the field, see what the general trends are, decide which method of thinking most appeals to your own and see what develops from there. And that’s still fine, in terms of the theoretical approaches to my research, and most particularly in relation to the Chaucerian aspect of my writing, but I need now to reflect upon the more practical aspect of the project (a part I admit I knew would be more difficult for me). 

Luckily, next month I finally start my placement at the Library, which means I can begin to engage in a real way with the many issues I have read about so far. 


One of the books I digitized, optimized, and color-corrected in April is now live in the University of Florida Digital Collections. 

M. de Marillac Letterbook (1699-1702)- “The squadron the author was part of was almost totally destroyed 4 days after the date of the final letter by a British force under the command of Rooke and the Duke of Ormonde.” 

Notably, quality control removed the four or five blank leaves that I photographed at the end of the book (possibly neglected because of the aforementioned attack). Same book, previous post.

Curating Media and Design: Call for Papers: People and Computers – HCI 2012 (Sep, Birmingham, UK)


Technology is now common in all walks of life and HCI practitioners and researchers have more areas of impact than ever before. The theme of the conference is People and Computers, this to encapsulate and highlight the growing diversity of our field of HCI in one event.

The dates for…

Curating Media and Design: Call for Papers: People and Computers – HCI 2012 (Sep, Birmingham, UK)