Digital Humanities Quarterly, Winter 2009: v3 n1, A special issue in honor of Ross Scaife
Editors: Gregory Crane and Melissa Terras
Acknowledgements and Dedications
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; Brent Seales, University of Kentucky; Melissa Terras, University College LondonThis collection of essays represent a wide range of perspectives on the work being done in digital classics. It honors the life of Allen Ross Scaife, who was instrumental in advancing digital scholarship in the field of classics.
Ross Scaife (1960-2008)
Dot Porter, Digital Humanities Observatory
Cyberinfrastructure for Classical Philology
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; Brent Seales, University of Kentucky; Melissa Terras, University College LondonNo humanists have moved more aggressively in the digital world than students of the Greco-Roman world but the first generation of digital classics has seen relatively superficial methods to address the problems of print culture. We are now beginning to see new intellectual practices for which new terms, eWissenschaft and eClassics, and a new cyberinfrastructure are emerging.
Technology, Collaboration, and Undergraduate Research
Christopher Blackwell, Furman University; Thomas R. Martin, College of the Holy CrossIn this article, two professors of Classics present their experiences in incorporating into their professional activity a model of undergraduate research that reflects Ross Scaife’s ideals of collaborative, open scholarship, informed by traditional values, and taking advantage of advances in digital humanities
Tachypaedia Byzantina: The Suda On Line as Collaborative Encyclopedia
Anne Mahoney, Tufts UniversityThe Suda On Line (SOL) is a collaborative translation of a Byzantine Greek encyclopedia. It makes this difficult but useful text available to non-specialists and, with annotations and search facilities, makes the Suda easier to use than it is in print. As a collaboration, SOL demonstrates open peer review and the feasibility of a large, but closely focused, humanities project.
Exploring Historical RDF with Heml
Bruce Robertson, Mount Allison UniversityThe Web, though full of historical information, lacks a means of organizing that information, searching on it or visualizing it. The Historical Event Markup and Linking Project (Heml) was begun six years ago to explore how disparate historical materials on the Internet can be navigated and visualized, and for the past four years has used an XML data format defined in W3C Schemas. This format aims for conforming data that can be quickly parsed but provide a variety of facets on which to search for historical materials. While the project's graphical visualizations are in some respects successful, they have revealed some deficiencies in the underlying data format: it ought to provide for nested events, it ought to represent relations of causality between events and it ought to express the varieties of scholarly opinion about the attributes of events. By encoding the Heml data in the Resource Description Framework (RDF) it is possible to undertake these improvements. Moreover, an RDF-encoded Heml process provides easier access to CIDOC-CRM data into Heml events. Finally, a historical RDF language would simplify the discovery of references to historical events in digitized texts, thereby automating a growing network of historical information on the Web.
Digitizing Latin Incunabula: Challenges, Methods, and Possibilities
Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox, University of Missouri-Kansas CityIncunabula, or books printed before 1500, are extremely difficult and expensive to convert to digital form. The primary challenges arise from the use of non-standard typographical glyphs based on medieval handwriting to abbreviate words. Further difficulties are also posed by the practice of inconsistently marking word breaks at the end of lines and reducing or even eliminating spacing between some words. As such, these documents form a distinct genre of electronic document that poses unique challenges for conversion to digital form. From 2005-2007, the Preservation and Access Research and Development Program at the National Endowment for the Humanities funded a study to explore methods for digitizing these difficult texts. This paper describes some of the results of that project.The work described in this paper was completed by the Approaching the Problems of Digitizing Latin Incunables project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access. The material in this paper is drawn from the project application, internal technical reports, grant project reports and the project description included in . A version of this paper will also be published as part of the project web site.
Citation in Classical Studies
Neel Smith, College of the Holy CrossCitation practice reflects a model of a scholarly domain. This paper first considers traditional citation practice in the humanities as a description of our subjects of study. It then describes work at the Center for Hellenic Studies on an architecture for digital scholarship that is explicitly based on this model, and proposes a machine-actionable but technologically independent notation for citing texts, the Canonical Text Services URN.
Digital Criticism: Editorial Standards for the Homer Multitext
Casey Dué, University of Houston, Texas; Mary Ebbott, College of the Holy CrossIn this article we argue for the necessity of a digital edition to most accurately represent the textual tradition of the Homeric epics and to better understand the oral performance tradition that created the poems. We demonstrate how such a digital criticism would differ from the traditional textual criticism as practiced for editions in print and suggest how a digital criticism might open new avenues for the interpretation of the poetry. In defining our needs and goals for a digital edition, we discuss what our project has in common with other digital editions of literary works, but how the oral, traditional nature of the poetry creates special requirements as well. In addition to elaborating the editorial approach for the project, we reaffirm the principles of collaboration, international standards, and open access that we have learned from Ross Scaife, the founder of the Stoa Consortium.
Epigraphy in 2017
Hugh Cayless, University of North Carolina; Charlotte Roueché, King's College London; Tom Elliott, New York University; Gabriel Bodard, King's College LondonEpigraphy as a discipline has evolved greatly over the centuries. Many epigraphists in the last 20 years have been investigating how to use digital technology to advance their research, but until the present decade, these undertakings were restrained by aspects of the technology. The late 1990s will be seen as a watershed moment in the transition from print-based to born-digital epigraphic publication. At present, the majority of new editions are still published solely in print, but by 2017 we believe this circumstance will change drastically. The history of epigraphy makes it quite clear that such transitions are natural to the discipline.
Digital Geography and Classics
Tom Elliott, New York University; Sean Gillies, New York UniversityThe authors open by imagining one possible use of digital geographic techniques in the context of humanities research in 2017. They then outline the background to this vision, from early engagements in web-based mapping for the Classics to recent, fast-paced developments in web-based, collaborative geography. The article concludes with a description of their own Pleiades Project (http://pleiades.stoa.org), which gives scholars, students and enthusiasts worldwide the opportunity to use, create and share historical geographic information about the Greek and Roman World in digital form.
What Your Teacher Told You is True: Latin Verbs Have Four Principal Parts
Raphael Finkel, University of Kentucky; Gregory Stump, University of KentuckyWe describe two different strategies for generating the morphology of Latin verbs. First, we hand-code default inheritance hierarchies in the KATR formalism, treating inﬂectional exponents as markings associated with the application of rules by which complex word forms are deduced from simpler roots or stems. The high degree of similarity among verbs of different conjugation classes allows us to formulate general rules; these general rules are, however, sometimes overridden by conjugation-speciﬁc rules. This approach allows linguists to gain an appreciation for the structure of verbs, gives teachers a foundation for organizing lessons in morphology, and provides students a technique for generating forms of any verb. Second, we start with a paradigm chart, then automatically remove common parts and redundant morphosyntactic property sets (columns), combine similar conjugations (rows), and generate the KATR theory that produces a complete table of forms for a set of lexemes. This second approach automatically determines principal parts (for Latin, we verify that there are four), groups inﬂection classes into super-classes, and builds full paradigm charts.
Computational Linguistics and Classical Lexicography
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; David Bamman, Tufts UniversityManual lexicography has produced extraordinary results for Greek and Latin, but it cannot in the immediate future provide for all texts the same level of coverage available for the most heavily studied materials. As we build a cyberinfrastructure for Classics in the future, we must explore the role that automatic methods can play within it. Using technologies inherited from the disciplines of computational linguistics and computer science, we can create a complement to these traditional reference works - a dynamic lexicon that presents statistical information about a word’s usage in context, including information about its sense distribution within various authors, genres and eras, and syntactic information as well.
Classics in the Million Book Library
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; Alison Babeu, Tufts University; David Bamman, Tufts University; Thomas Breuel, Technical University of Kaiserslautern; Lisa Cerrato, Tufts University; Daniel Deckers, Hamburg University; Anke Lüdeling, Humboldt-University, Berlin; David Mimno, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Rashmi Singhal, Tufts University; David A. Smith, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Amir Zeldes, Humboldt-University, BerlinIn October 2008, Google announced a settlement that will provide access to seven million scanned books while the number of books freely available under an open license from the Internet Archive exceeded one million. The collections and services that classicists have created over the past generation place them in a strategic position to exploit the potential of these collections. This paper concludes with research topics relevant to all humanists on converting page images to text, one language to another, and raw text into machine actionable data.
Conclusion: Cyberinfrastructure, the Scaife Digital Library and Classics in a Digital age
Christopher Blackwell, Furman University; Gregory Crane, Tufts University