Business• Anyone having problems connecting to their home directory? – Come see me if so• Quiz 1 will be posted on Collab today
Comments• “It is much more than just the technology, it’s about the conscious decision made by real live humans who design the technology.”• “I think in order for digital representation to be able to achieve a maximum functionality there needs to be a move away from simply recreating a card catalog online with attachments to the documents.”• “… nothing can ever truly replace the experience of being in a physical library itself.”
Comments• “As complex as the hypertext may become, it must remain user friendly to be of any value.”• “… the first thing that sticks out is the diversity of structure of the collections.”• “… there [are] still some drawbacks to digital collections, for example, the lack of a great system for annotating documents.”
Comments• “There is something to be said for walking into a library and pouring over pages, without interruption from technology, for hours and having to forge the way for your own trail of connections from one document to the next, much like the work hyperlinks do for us.”
Review• So far, we have looked at two big ideas – The idea of hypertext, and its realization in HTML – The concept of text markup, and its realization in SGML, XML, TEI, and HTML• Remember: – TEI and HTML are specific markup languages – SGML and XML are specifications for defining markup languages – XML lets you create the languages on the fly
What mechanism do SGML andXML provide to define specific markup languages?
DTDs Document Type DefinitionsMore generally, these are called schema
<!DOCTYPE NEWSPAPER [<!ELEMENT NEWSPAPER (ARTICLE+)><!ELEMENT ARTICLE(HEADLINE,BYLINE,LEAD,BODY,NOTES)><!ELEMENT HEADLINE (#PCDATA)><!ELEMENT BYLINE (#PCDATA)><!ELEMENT LEAD (#PCDATA)><!ELEMENT BODY (#PCDATA)><!ELEMENT NOTES (#PCDATA)> [DTD]<!ATTLIST ARTICLE AUTHOR CDATA #REQUIRED><!ATTLIST ARTICLE EDITOR CDATA #IMPLIED><!ATTLIST ARTICLE DATE CDATA #IMPLIED><!ATTLIST ARTICLE EDITION CDATA #IMPLIED>]> For example, a DTD for a newspaper No need to remember the syntax for DTDs, just their purpose
DTDs can also be used to define genres, such as essays, poems, novelsThe distinction between document type and genre is fuzzy
Genres in the Humanities• Primary sources – Tax records, letters, diaries, paintings, oral history, manuscripts, first editions, etc.• Secondary sources – Essays and “monographs” (books)• Tertiary sources – Encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.
Hypertext blurs the distinctionbetween documents and libraries Instead, we have a docuverse (or a vast intertext)The library is one big documentEvery document is a little library
Overview• Today, we consider a set of projects that are built on this premise – Either as attempts to fulfill it or as reactions to it (because hypertext can be scary)• We look at specific examples of “digital collections”• Within the framework defined by Palmer and McGann – The TRC as an emerging genre of digital scholarship
What is a thematic research collection? How is it different from a traditional library?
TRCs overcome the problem that libraries scatter content They consolidate content
Features of the TRC• electronic• heterogeneous datatypes• extensive but thematically coherent• structured but open-ended• research oriented• authored or multi-authored• interdisciplinary• collections of digital primary resources
Critical Convergences and Effects• They coincide with the move away from theory and toward historicism• They produce a renewed focus on the materiality of text• They achieve “contextual mass”• They force collaboration and inter- disciplinarity• They become laboratories for research
McGann on Secondary Sources• “[W]hen scholarly journals publish their work online … in electronic form, they open their materials to integration within a scholarly network whose range and power outstrip current paper-based publication. Furthermore, electronic publishing permits scholars to present their work in far greater depth and diversity. Essays can present all their documentary evidence as part of their argument (in notes and appendices, or in electronic links to the original documents).”
Contextual MassInstead of building large collections, “digitalresearch libraries should be systematicallycollecting sources and developing tools thatwork together to provide a supportive contextfor the research process.”
Let’s look at some examples and see how they stack up
6 Questions1. What’s in the collection?2. How is the collection organized? Any guiding metaphors?3. How easy is it to find things?4. How effective is it achieving contextual mass? How connected are things?5. What tools does it provide for researchers?6. How much does it involve users in a community?
Backstory: IATH• Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities – http://www.iath.virginia.edu• Established in 1992• Funded by IBM• VOTS and RA two founding projects• VOTS was a demonstration project for IBM; pitched as "as a research library in a box, enabling students at places without a large archive to do the same kind of research as a professional historian."
VOTS IntroYea, though I walk through the valley of theshadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thyrod and thy staff they comfort me. (from Psalm 23)
What’s in the site?• Focused on primary source documents relating to the US Civil War – Thousands of primary source documents – Newpapers, letters, diaries, maps, images, go v docs – Augusta Co, VA and Frankln Co, PA – 1859 to 1870
What’s in site?• Focused on the works the Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882) – Paintings, poems, letters, etc.• Also some secondary source material – Art history and literary criticism