This work will provide a model for managing the challenges of creating digital archives of copyright protected work in an open, publicly transparent manner that fosters relationships of trust.
—Rosemary J. Coombe, Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture
We’re proud to announce that Facilitating Practices of Fair Dealing Online, co-directed by Rosemary Coombe and Christopher Innes at York University, has been awarded a CIRA Community Investment Program grant for 2016-17.
Agile Humanities Agency will build the project’s open-source Islandora platform of digital archiving, attribution, and licensing tools to manage and identify rights in digitized Canadian cultural resources. Uncertainties surrounding the copyright status of complex multimedia cultural forms often constrain online public access to cultural works with great educational and research value, restricting the development of Canadian culture online.
Interviews from the recent series by the Los Angeles Review of Books called The Digital in the Humanities have been filling up my news feeds of late, and they have re-kindled familiar conversations about the field. Although I left academia several years ago, I still believe strongly in the importance of the work being done by researchers, librarians and other scholars to integrate new technologies into our study of the cultural record. I even took the principles I learned in DH with me to start my own business, where I help companies with large repositories of data to streamline their workflows, and to create new products from their holdings. If I get to work with a university program, or a DH Center, then my work is even more fulfilling. But my days as a participant in the world of promotion and tenure are long gone.
Modernist Commons is an Islandora-based digital repository, editorial workbench, and critical-edition publication platform designed by Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC). It integrates a wide range of open-source systems and tools (Islandora, Tesseract OCR, CWRC Writer, Shared Canvas, Internet Archive Viewer, Open Seadragon Viewer, Calliope, and CollateX). With these tools, users can ingest images and generate transcriptions, as well as edit and mark up both transcriptions and images using a single graphical interface, which supports overlapping TEI-XML and RDF markup. Users can also perform algorithmically generated collations of transcriptions, which can be visualized in different ways using Calliope and CollateX. The Modernist Commons provides a critical-edition interface so that editors can assemble images, audio and video, critical apparatus, and variant visualizations in a configurable reading environment.
do not change IBM into International Busa Machines
– Thomas J. Watson, in conversation with Father Roberto Busa
Contrary to anachronistic origin stories of the digital humanities, Father Roberto Busa’s earliest experiments in humanities computing were conducted using analogue technologies and mechanical instruments. In the preface to his first machine-generated concordance, the Varia Speciminaof 1951, Busa foregrounds the analogue mechanics of its computation and production: “The concordance which I am presenting as an example is precisely an off-set reproduction of tabulated sheets turned out by the accounting machine.” Already a specialized type of counting, his concordances enlisted and evolved into instruments of accounting.
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