UVA MDST 3703 Thematic Research Collections 2012-09-18


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  • Real GabinetePortugues De Leitura Rio De Janeiro
  • Borges’ Library of BabelThe search for the catalog …The library of nature …
  • Doesn’t this look like a library in a book?
  • E.g. http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/dossier_record?q=db:dossiers_franklin%20AND%20id_num:2455
  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/91/Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_Bocca_Baciata_1859.png/510px-Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_Bocca_Baciata_1859.png
  • UVA MDST 3703 Thematic Research Collections 2012-09-18

    1. 1. Thematic Research Collections Prof. Alvarado MDST 3703/7703 18 September 2012
    2. 2. [XKCD]
    3. 3. Business• Anyone having problems connecting to their home directory? – Come see me if so• Quiz 1 will be posted on Collab today
    4. 4. 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.”
    5. 5. 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.”
    6. 6. 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.”
    7. 7. 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
    8. 8. What mechanism do SGML andXML provide to define specific markup languages?
    9. 9. DTDs Document Type DefinitionsMore generally, these are called schema
    11. 11. DTDs can also be used to define genres, such as essays, poems, novelsThe distinction between document type and genre is fuzzy
    12. 12. 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.
    13. 13. Primary Sources
    14. 14. Essays and books are the staple secondary sources But these can become primary sources too …
    15. 15. Tertiary Sources
    16. 16. Is this a genre?
    17. 17. [The Rotunda]
    18. 18. [Library of Babel]
    19. 19. Is this a portable library or a book?[Talmud]
    20. 20. Are libraries and books distinct?
    21. 21. If not, are there schema for libraries?
    22. 22. What about this?• Trivium – Grammar – Rhetoric – Logic• Quadrivium – Arithmetic – Geometry – Music – Astronomy Does this not form the plan of a library?
    23. 23. [Berners-Lee’s diagram]
    24. 24. 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
    25. 25. 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
    26. 26. What is a thematic research collection? How is it different from a traditional library?
    27. 27. TRCs overcome the problem that libraries scatter content They consolidate content
    28. 28. 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
    29. 29. 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
    30. 30. 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).”
    31. 31. 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.”
    32. 32. Let’s look at some examples and see how they stack up
    33. 33. 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?
    34. 34. 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."
    35. 35. 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)
    36. 36. 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
    37. 37. How is it organized?
    38. 38. The Library Metaphor
    39. 39. How easy is it to find things?
    40. 40. Quick exercise: find out if theConfederate Army ever made it to Carlisle, PA
    41. 41. How connected are the parts?Does it achieve contextual mass?
    42. 42. Not very connectedItems have few connectors to other items(e.g. no links in the metadata)
    43. 43. What tools does it provide to researchers?
    44. 44. Tools• Search and browse• Timelines• Animations – http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/VoS/MAPDEMO/T heater/TheTheater.html• Resources for using the site
    45. 45. Does the site seek to build a community?
    46. 46. Not internally
    47. 47. The Rosetti Archive
    48. 48. 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
    49. 49. How is the collection organized?
    50. 50. The site is organized as a traditional database Search, List, Display
    51. 51. How easy is it to find things?
    52. 52. Getting to Bocca Baciata• Find the painting, Bocca Baciata• Search [image records]• What do you do when you get there?• How is the site structured?
    53. 53. Bocca Baciata 1859
    54. 54. Exercise: Find a painting of Bocca Baciata
    55. 55. Easy, if you know what you are looking for
    56. 56. How connected are the parts?Does it achieve contextual mass?
    57. 57. Some connectivity among parts, but not much.
    58. 58. What tools does it provide to researchers?
    59. 59. Does the site seek to build a community?
    60. 60. The Tibetan Himalayan Digital Archive
    61. 61. What’s in the site?• A vast collection of Tibetan documents• An interactive collection of maps• Videos and images
    62. 62. How is the collection organized?
    63. 63. Cross between a database and a library Hybrid
    64. 64. How easy is it to find things?
    65. 65. Exercise: Find the city of Lhasa
    66. 66. How connected are the parts?Does it achieve contextual mass?
    67. 67. The site is highly connectedIt can be confusing knowing where you are
    68. 68. What tools does it provide to researchers?
    69. 69. Tools• Interactive map• Place dictionary• Thesaurus• Etc.
    70. 70. Does the site seek to build a community?
    71. 71. Yes
    72. 72. Other IATH Examples• The Blake Project – http://www.blakearchive.org/blake/• The World of Dante – http://www.worldofdante.org/• The Chaco Archive – http://www.chacoarchive.org/cra/
    73. 73. Other Examples• Princeton Dante Project – http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/index.html• Perseus Project – http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/• A House Divided – http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/