Class Notes (3): Digital Humanities for the study of ancient documents

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These are the class notes for the “Introduction to XML and editing ancient documents” seminar I am doing this summer semester at LMU, Munich.

This class will use the framework of the Digital Humanities list to look at how projects/institutions working on ancient documents tackled the use of digital technology. I will present different projects and digital tools that are related to ancient documents.

We will look at different aspects of each website together on the class. I will try to engage them in a discussion of the value and merit of each project/tool and how they could potentially be improved.  The participants will also be asked to suggest projects that we can look at together. 

So how did it go? We had a look at some of the websites that were suggested via Twitter last week (see links below). A couple of participants talked about how they used the different resources and we discussed how they would like to be able to use the resources. I demonstrated how the webservice feed at Vindolanda Tablets Online II works and how I used XML to make it work. We also had a good discussion about the future of research and online publishing and how best to consider the longevity of a resource.

Before we got to this part I demonstrated how I had used Wordle to create word clouds out of the participant’s answers to a questionnaire they filled out in the first weeks. I used to display each word cloud so that I could point out words that told me something about the class. I set the participants the task of trying to use their favourite resource to make a word cloud. As an example I have made a word cloud of the rss feed from VTO2. To make a word cloud go to Wordle’s create page and past the text or add a URL to the page you want to use. Once made you can change the look of the word cloud but you cannot go back and edit your input.

Word Cloud of VTO2

Once you have made the word clouds, print to pdf and we can have a look at them and what they tell us in class. If you need any help, send me an email or tweet.