Centre researchers present at ADHO Digital Humanities Conference

Centre researchers present at ADHO Digital Humanities Conference

Centre staff presented this month at Digital Humanities 2017, "the premiere annual conference of the international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO)".

The theme of DH2017, this year held at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, was 'Access/Accès'.

The ADHO is an umbrella organisation whose goals are to promote and support digital research and teaching across arts and humanities disciplines, drawing together humanists engaged in digital and computer-assisted research, teaching, creation, dissemination, and beyond.

Dr Diane Jakacki, Bucknell University, who recently presented the opening keynote at the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, which the Centre organised last month, was Programme Chair of the conference.

Papers presented during the week by Centre researchers include:

Building Worksets for Scholarship by Linking Complementary Corpora
Kevin Page (presenting) (Oxford e-Research Centre), Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller (Australian National University), Timothy Cole, J. Stephen Downie (both University of Illinois)
This paper demonstrated the general feasibility of cross-corpus worksets in bringing together HathiTrust content with specialised collections through a specific implementation for early English printed books linking the HathiTrust to Early English Books online. The HathiTrust Digital Library (HTDL comprises digitized representations of 15.1 million volumes. Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) generates highly accurate, fully-searchable texts from the first book printed in English in 1473 through to 1700).

Contextual Interpretation of Digital Music Notation
Kevin Page (presenting), David Lewis, David Weigl (Oxford e-Research Centre)
This paper discusses work from the Transforming Musicology and the Fusing Audio and Semantic Technologies projects, on Research Objects and scholarship in the digital age, considering the example of a digital companion presenting the contents of a Research Object studying the interpretation of leitmotif examples from Wagner's compositions, specifically the Ring cycle, as they are presented in numerous historical introductions, opera guides, leitmotivic threads etc. It also introduces the MELD framework (Music Encoding and Linked Data), which enables the interactive presentation of multimedia contents of the Research Object, such as images, text, audio, and MEI encoded music notation.

Digital Musicology: Through Research and Teaching
David Lewis (presenting), Kevin Page, David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre), Tim Crawford (Goldsmiths, University of London).
This paper gives an overview of the Transforming Musicology project, which began in 2013, with funding from the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council. It had three primary aims: to explore how technology could enhance, and perhaps 'transform', the practice and dissemination of conventional musicological research; to explore how large, new online sources of information, such as social media, might be exploited by digital musicology; and to look, in a modest way, at how digital approaches might be adopted in a sustainable way by the musicological community and beyond. The paper discusses how the project developed and its progress towards achieving these goals, and reflects on how an inclusive strategy for both research and teaching can be effective.

Numbers into Notes: Digital Prototyping as Close Reading of Ada Lovelace's Note A
David De Roure, Pip Willcox (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)
Ada Lovelace is widely held to be the first computer programmer, composing the first algorithm designed for execution by a general purpose computing machine. A phrase often quoted in the literature of computers and music offers an insight into her imaginative response to the hypothetical Analytical Engine: "Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent." The work described in this paper takes inspiration both from Ada Lovelace's ideas and from contemporary composer Emily Howard's creative response to them.

@ingoboernerAll the Things You Are: Accessing An Enriched Musicological Prosopography Through JazzCats
Alfie Abdul-Rahman (Oxford e-Research Centre), Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller (pictured), Daniel Bangert (UNSW Australia)
JazzCats is a prototype project which uses Linked Open Data (LOD) to support musicological, historical, and prosopographical analyses. It has increased access to (and the openness of) data published online through a twofold process: firstly, information hitherto unavailable to users has been shared and incorporated into the project, and secondly, data previously locked in non-Open types (e.g. PDF) has been published in a machine-readable format, increasing discoverability in the context of the wider Web. Connections between datasets that could only be identified through a human user engaging separately with each existing project have now been made explicit, and the
resulting aggregated data is queryable from a single user-interface (UI).

Quill: Reconstructing the Secretary's Desk for the Records of the 1787 Convention
Alfie Abdul-Rahman (Oxford e-Research Centre), Nicholas Cole, Grace Mallon, Kate Howarth (all University of Oxford)
Building on code written for collaborative document editing, the authors have built a sophisticated, web-accessible platform for the study of negotiated texts. They kept the underlying datamodel as simple and generic as it could be while modelling the various procedures suggested by a range of Parliamentary Procedure handbooks. They considered the needs of several distinct classes of users — those doing the work of data-capture, those reviewing that work, those wishing to comment on the detail of the text, producing secondary materials for a variety of audiences, and those wishing to navigate through the material for a variety of purposes.

Reading Ancient Scripts: Investigating the Human Visual System for Artificial Intelligence in Palaeography
Ségolène Tarte (University of Oxford) and Rachel Mairs (University of Reading)
The paper presents some findings and observations made in the process of designing experiments to investigate some of the mechanisms underlying handwriting recognition in a palaeographical context. To explore in depth how humans handle the variability of the shapes of signs in a given script, the experiments aim to bridge between traditional ethnographic methodologies, geared towards the gathering of qualitative data, and cognitive sciences methodologies, geared towards the gathering of quantitative data.

Giles Bergel of Oxford's Department of Engineering Science, which the Centre joined recently, also presented a paper relating to the Special Interest Group AudioVisual material in Digital Humanities (AVinDH SIG), entitled Match, compare, classify, annotate: computer vision tools for the modern humanist.

AVinDH SIG organised its third workshop at the conference on the theme of 'Computer Vision in Digital Humanities'. The workshop focused on how computer vision can be applied within the realm of Audiovisual Materials in Digital Humanities. During the workshop, attendees both presented (ongoing) work on applying computer vision and experimented with computer vision in their own work in a hands-on session.

James Cummings, a Director of the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School along with David De Roure and Pip Willcox and convenor of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) workshop strand, gave a paper entitled A World of Difference: Myths and misconceptions about the TEI. James recently left the University of Oxford for a post at Newcastle University. The paper details and exposes common misconceptions about the TEI, concentrating on the more technical myths in a hope to increase knowledge about the TEI while dispelling some misconceptions along the way.