Posters 2014

About the poster session

There is a peer-reviewed poster session at the Monday evening drinks reception at 7pm at the Natural History Museum on Monday 14th July 2014.

Speakers and delegates were invited to display academic posters describing their Digital Humanities work or projects. No more posters are being accepted.

All delegates are encouraged to attend this opening reception in order to view the posters even if they did not submitting posters. There is no additional charge for this reception or participating in the poster session

Producing and printing your poster


If your poster is accepted you are responsible for producing and printing your own poster.

The recommended maximum size is A1 landscape (84.1 x 59.4 centimetres or 33.1 x 23.4 inches).

Poster boards and velcro will be provided

You should arrive at the Natural History Museum in good time (i.e. from 6.30 pm) to display your poster before the 7pm start.

Poster abstracts

James Cummings (IT Services, University of Oxford)

CatCor: Correspondence of Catherine the Great

The CatCor pilot project is producing a searchable online text collection of the letters of Catherine the Great. This poster examines the technical background to the project and specifically how the document analysis and subsequent creation of a TEI P5 customization that tightly controlled the more general TEI P5 Guidelines produced a number of significant benefits for the project. These mainly relate both to the ease of checking of the letters and also the subsequent development of a website extracting data from this text collection. This digital humanities project is used as a case study to demonstrate how, with only very minimal funding, a research project may be empowered to produce resources that are of clear and immediate benefit to socio-cultural historians and literary scholars interested in these materials.

The text of the letters used for the pilot project are encoded in TEI P5 XML and translations to English are provided to facilitate use by a wider range of researchers. This markup also allows the letters to be classified according to a controlled vocabulary of project-specific themes which are then exposed to users as facets in the web interface. The project supplements the letters with a new apparatus of editorial notes and metadata concerning every single person, place, event, and work mentioned in the correspondence. The ease of extraction and aggregation of these named entity instances is one example of the benefits of using a well-known open international standard and having undertaken the necessary document analysis to significantly constrain this schema. Once extracted the instances along with accompanying metadata are able to be displayed, browsed, and filtered with common technologies such as jQuery DataTables. Similarly the use of constraints in the TEI ODD Customization, and the development of straightforward mechanisms for simplifying proofing of common aspects of textual collections is documented in this poster.

Rebecca Dowson; Margaret Linley (Simon Fraser University)

Book Ecology and Migrating Collections: SFU Lake District Digital Humanities Project

Lake District writing is an established genre of historical and cultural significance and the region has long been the object of scholarly study, a source of inspiration to poets, novelists and painters, and a popular destination for tourists. Digital copies of these materials are now available only in piecemeal fashion, most do not reproduce the maps, many are not high quality book images, and some have poor legibility or are otherwise incomplete. These books cannot be accessed, searched, or analyzed across platforms and therefore are not recognized as a coherent archive.

The purpose of the SFU Lake District Collection Scholarly Digitization Project, directed by Dr. Margaret Linley of the SFU English department, is to create a digital archive of the outstanding rare book Lake District Collection held in SFU Bennett Library's Special Collections and create an online scholarly bibliography with the purpose of substantially expanding access to the Lake District Collection. Thus far the project has digitized and developed detailed descriptive and structural metadata a sample of core titles. This process of descriptive classification work involves detailed cataloguing and bibliographic descriptions of each book and its various sections (text as well as illustrations) as well as historical, cultural, and geographic classifications. This work constitutes the first step in storing, searching, and manipulating the Lake District rare book collection as quantitative and qualitative data.

Scholarly digitization of the archive supported by a complete and comprehensive scholarly annotated online bibliography is the necessary foundation to subsequent work, and could lead to, among other things, studies in dynamic bibliography, interactive sites of critical data, and cultural mapping, and contribute to research in fields as diverse as book history and bibliography, literary and cultural history, print culture and media studies, and the digital humanities.

Bronwen Hudson (University of Vermont)

In this project, which is an extension of my undergraduate honors thesis, I outline the scaffolding of a new Digital Humanities initiative, one more theoretical than many other digital undertakings. This project explores what we mean by complexity in poetry, and draws parallels between traditional understandings of individual English lyric poems and complex systems research. The underlying paradigms of complex systems (i.e. nonlinearity, emergence, self-similarity, chaotic behavior, etc.) are discussed in relation to the characteristics of successful lyric poetry (form, meter, diction, metaphor, intertextuality, etc.) through many examples of and quotations from the best-loved poems of the English language, from John Keats to Dylan Thomas to William Carlos Williams. The project demonstrates and concludes that some individual poems can be considered complex systems. Then, this project transcends the definitional boundaries it has established for itself as asks more meaningful questions: what parts of lyric poems should or could be quantified? How might measurement in poetry help one understand a poem more deeply? Can concepts from complexity theory enhance our understanding and appreciation of literature? How can we actively use digital media to do this? As the modern world barrels forward into the digital age, the Digital Humanities must maintain a human grasp on reality; poetic studies, in conjunction with complex systems theories, are a meaningful and intimate way to do this.

Clare Hutton (Loughborough University)

Collating Joyce's Ulysses in the Digital Environment

My poster will examine the ways in which collation and versioning software facilitates the study of the multiple extant versions of James Joyce's Ulysses. It will look at the ways in which this kind of study used to be undertaken, and at the pros and cons of textual study in the digital medium. My research is specifically concerned with (i) the critical significance of the unfinished serial version of Joyce's text, as published in the US periodical the Little Review between 1918 and 1920 and (ii) the broad patterns of revision which Joyce made to that text once he had secured agreement for the publication of Ulysses as a book in Paris in the Spring of 1921.

Alison Kay (Northumbria University)

I currently hold an IHR web archive researcher bursary to investigate the potential of the Dark Domain Archive by humanities researchers. My case study focuses on citizen-historians and their creation of made digital ‘shoebox' archives relating to family members who were prisoners of war during the Second World War, 1939-1945. It sits within a broader ‘proof of concept' project including the digitising of physical shoebox archives for which (in collaboration with a team at the University of Aberdeen) I have recently received seed funding from Semantic Media.

I seek to investigate how best to capture, curate, connect and digitally preserve the contents of ‘made digital' shoebox archives in accessible, sustainable online collections. Physical objects in a shoebox archive would include such items as photos, diaries and letters. Over the last decade citizen-historians (or citizen-archivists) have been busy using the web as a platform to preserve these objects and their associated memories online. These digital commemorations need preserving and analysing for their importance to our understanding of the impact of digital technologies on the practice of History and who participates in this. Even when captured within web archives they are still at risk if they remain unconnected and unanalysed through lack of curation. The physical objects on which the digital shoebox archives are based may then in turn be vulnerable once captured digitally because citizen-historians' confidence in the sustainability of current technology over-estimates the life-course of their new record.

My case study will explore how the web archives can be used by historians to interrogate privately-held archival material and will demonstrate a capture and usage model that can be reproduced for other time periods and themes.

Hestiasari Rante; Michael Lund; Heidi Schelhowe (University of Bremen / Electronics Engineering Polytechnic Institute of Surabaya)

A digital tool to support children understanding and designing the traditional batik patterns within a museum context

Batik is a method of drawing using canting and cap to create intricate designs on textiles, generally cotton, dyeing it whereas patterned areas are covered with wax so that they will not receive color. In a deeper meaning, batik is not only the pattern on clothes, but it is more about technique and process.

In Indonesia, the technique has been practiced since prehistoric times. Nowadays the technique has been improved but there are still constraints during the process and it consumes a lot of time. This phenomenon causes that young people and young children are not really keen on learning how to make batik using the traditional technique, even though they love to wear batik clothes. Some batik museums in Indonesia provide huge collections and conduct regular workshops on making batik. However, the lack of opportunity to teach and to transfer the skills of making batik is still a problem.

This poster shares the preliminary concept of a digital tool designed to support young children in learning to make batik patterns. The software would be a game-­‐based learning environment, which avoids the complex problems occurring during the long processes and tight sequences in producing batik pattern. In addition, the software should be enjoyable and offering numerous batik shapes and great variations of color and shade to be rich enough for continuous usage. In the end of this research, the software would be installed within the Museum Batik Pekalongan in Indonesia, as one of the research fields for the study.

Vincent Razanajao; Francisco Bosch-Puche; Elizabeth Fleming (Griffith Institute, University of Oxford)

The Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs, and Paintings, one of the longest-running and largest research projects in Egyptology, provides comprehensive published and unpublished information for ancient Egyptian inscribed monuments and artefacts. Currently an 8 volume series comprising more than 7000 printed pages, as well as hundreds of thousands of new references to be implemented, the TopBib is now moving to electronic provision and online presentation.

The poster will present the solutions chosen to manage the issues and challenges posed by this mainly text-based project, and will show how XML is useful both in digitizing the textual material itself – the 8 printed volumes – and in modelling its actual contents – a comprehensive description of the inscribed monuments and artefacts of ancient Egypt and Nubia. Exist-db has been chosen as the framework for this project which has enabled the building of a powerful web application. Use of JScript, JSON, and CSS, optimises XSLT and XQuery in order to transform and query the data stored in customized XML schema files.

Released in May 2014, version 1 of the Digital Topographical Bibliography is the first stage of an ambitious Digital Humanities project modelling and documenting an ancient civilisation. Aiming at re-establishing the Topographical Bibliography as the essential authoritative source for all the inscriptions and scenes in the Nile valley, future development will also engage with web semantics in order for the project to be a point of entry for other digital projects, such as textual thesauri, digital archives and museum catalogues.

Magdalena Turska et al. (IT Services, University of Oxford)

DiXiT is an international network of high-profile institutions from the public and the private sector that are actively involved in the creation and publication of digital scholarly editions.

DiXiT offers a coordinated training and research programme for early stage researchers and experienced researchers in the multi-disciplinary skills, technologies, theories, and methods of digital scholarly editing.

As a group of DiXiT fellows we would like to present current stage of the project and its participants and showcase plans for the next 3 years.

Sarah Wilkin and Ylva Berglund Prytz (IT Services, University of OXford)

The Oxford Community Collection Model is used to create digital collections by combining large-scale online crowd-sourcing with personal, individual interaction. The model allows contributors to choose the way they contribute to a collection, offering those who lack the resources, ability, or opportunity to use computers a chance to be part of a digital initiative, sharing their material with the world.

The model has been used for a number of initiatives, adapted to fill the needs of the communities involved. The main components are an online collection platform, an active outreach and dissemination strategy, and an interaction programme. The interaction can take various forms, from individual support of targeted contributors to large, high-profile public collection events where contributors are invited to bring their information and material to be added to the collection by project staff. Past and current projects using the model include:

See also:

Contact: RunCoCo, Academic IT, University of Oxford --

Pip Willcox (Curator of Digital Special Collections, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

The Bodleian First Folio project

In 2011 Emma Smith gave a lecture at the Bodleian Library about a First Folio of Shakespeare's plays (Arch. G c.7). This book arrived at the Bodleian in 1623, left (possibly in the 1660s), and was bought back through public subscription in 1906. Emma mentioned that, due to its fragile state, she had not been allowed to examine it. In the conversation that followed, we agreed that a project to conserve, digitize, and publish the First Folio would be useful to her and the wider academic community, and of interest to many people beyond academia: to theatre practitioners, schoolteachers, the general public...

Having gained the Bodleian's approval, Sprint for Shakespeare, a second public campaign to fund this copy of the First Folio, was born. Amongst the interest the project attracted was that of a donor who has generously funded a second phase of the project, to develop the web interface and publish a digital edition of its text.

This poster tracks the work of the project, from Rare Books, through Conservation, the Imaging Studio, to website development and text editing ( It highlights the website designed to engage the public (, including a blog with many guest posts. It describes engagement with schoolteachers to make the online resource more useful for teaching, with academics, to ensure it meets their varied needs, and consultancy work with IT Services on the TEI-encoded digital text, and with the Oxford e-Research Centre to develop a friendly interface that marries the digital images to a TEI-encoded full text.

Nicola Wilson (University of Reading)

This poster introduces the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP), an international DH project aiming to create a “super collection” of publishing histories that can empirically model theories in book history and literary sociology about the cultural production of texts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With initial funding from the Canadian SSHRC (2013-15) we are at work on a pilot project focussing on Leonard and Virginia Woolf's publishing house, The Hogarth Press, which brings together archival material from the UK, Canada and the States in one interactive resource. MAPP aims to capture the synchronic and diachronic processes of textual production, dissemination, and reception, from the author's initial solicitation or submission to the publishing house, editorial and production processes, to dust jackets and book design, readership and reviews, as well as catalogued sales figures.

This poster will consider the structure of MAPP in the light of what Foucault described as ‘the system of discursivity'. Bearing in mind that the way an archive (or a modern digital humanities project) is structured not only determines what material is made available to the user but what questions that user may ask of the material itself, the poster considers questions of selection and selectivity as we go about building MAPP in its initial stages. The poster will draw on the work of an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme running at the University of Reading this summer which is focussed upon addressing these questions – questions relevant and applicable to all start-up DH projects.

Martin Wynne (IT Services, University of Oxford)

CLARIN is a European research infrastructure supporting the use of digital language resources and tools in research in the humanities and social sciences. Current activities to build the technical infrastructure and make more robust licensing and access agreements are taking place hand in hand with a series of initiatives to promote user engagement with CLARIN. This poster will highlight a number of showcases where language technologists are working in partnership with researchers to ask new questions and deliver outputs in new ways.

Mary Erica Zimmer (Boston University)

Browsing the Bookshops of Paul's Cross Churchyard

The project focuses upon mapped bookstalls in a delimited area of Paul's Cross Churchyard in London, prior to the Great Fire of 1666. Building upon Peter Blayney's The Bookshops in Paul's Cross Churchyard (1990), the project will render digitally maps already created, then use existing images to place the texts themselves within "shops or sheds" from which they were distributed wholesale. (On the phrase "shops or sheds," see Blayney, Bookshops, 11.) In doing so, this model will organize texts spatially and temporally while encouraging insights developing from Blayney's seminal research. The project will also bring forward connections among books, their makers, and their materials, building upon existing searches to enrich understanding of this early modern English textual environment. Creating this virtual marketplace of ideas, works, and contextual information will allow audiences to browse the shops from a first-person perspective, while harnessing the capabilities of what Martin Mueller has termed "scalable reading" to reveal patterns of wider interest. (For further explanation of this term, please see Martin Mueller's description at

Through a visual interface for which Blayney's maps will provide underlying structure, the project will enhance current pathways to and through early modern texts. Ultimately, data fields envisioned beyond existing interface options include searches by “physical format” and “printer/publisher,” with full text search capabilities also nuanced, as feasible, to show particular keywords' frequency, as well as clusters of terms in and among works.(As noted, capabilities in this area would depend upon the availability of searchable full-text files. Possible sources thereof include the pending release of Phase I Early English Books Online-Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) transcriptions, as well as other corpora.) To integrate the project with existing architectures will require sustained, thoughtful collaboration. Yet the project also holds potential to serve as a valuable reference, as well as a portal of access able to be extended in years to come.(Two further resources with which this project might link, for example, would be the University of Oxford's work to create a digital edition of the Stationer's Register as edited by Edward Arber and the Oxford Scholarly Editions online database, launched in September 2012.)