Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Digital Papyrology Position at NYU

Monday, September 13th, 2010

New York University
Programmer/Analyst

New York University’s Division of the Libraries seeks a Programmer/Analyst to work on the “Papyrological Navigator” (http://papyri.info) and associated systems. Papyri.info is a web-based research portal that provides scholars worldwide with the ability to search, browse and collaboratively edit texts, transcriptions, images and metadata relating to ancient texts on papyri, pottery fragments and other material. The incumbent will work closely with the Project Coordinator and with scholars involved in the project at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Duke University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Heidelberg, as well as with NYU Digital Library Technology staff.

The incumbent’s initial responsibilities will include: close collaboration with project team members to enhance and extend a robust production environment at NYU for the ongoing ingest and processing of new and updated text transcriptions, metadata and digital images; performing both analysis and programming of any required changes or enhancements to current PN applications.

Candidates should have the following skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer or information science and 3 years of relevant experience or equivalent combination
  • Must include experience developing web applications using Java
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Java, Javascript, Tomcat, Saxon, Lucene, Apache, SQL, XML, XSLT
  • Experience with metadata standards (e.g. TEI, EpiDoc)
  • Experience working in Unix/Linux environments
  • Preferred: Experience with Apache Solr, RDF triple stores (e.g. Mulgara), Clojure
  • Preferred: Experience designing, building, and deploying distributed systems
  • Preferred: Experience working with non-Roman Unicode-based textual data (esp. Greek)
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills

Applicants should submit resume and cover letter, which reflects how applicant’s education and experience match the job requirements.

NYU offers a competitive salary and superior benefit package, which includes tuition benefits for self and eligible family members, generous vacation, medical, dental, and retirement plans. For more information about working at NYU visit our website at: www.nyucareers.com.

To apply:

To apply for this position online, visit
http://www.nyucareers.com/applicants/Central?quickFind=52507

NYU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Roman Republican Coins in the British Museum

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

New online catalogue of Roman coins at the British Museum.

A catalogue of the Roman Republican Coins in the British Museum, with descriptions and chronology based on M.H. Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage (1974) – this catalogue brings together over 12,000 coins. It aims to provide an introduction to the coinage, the history of the Museum collection and an aid to the identification of coin types.

Entries are generated directly from our collection database and might change as Museum curators discover more about the objects. This format aims to provide a ‘living’ catalogue so its contents can be adapted to reflect current research.

Blogging the digitization of St. Chad’s Gospel

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Christopher Blackwell is with a team now at Lichfield scanning St Chad’s Gospel, and a Wycliffe Bible too. He’s blogging the experience:

http://nobleswineherd.blogspot.com/2010/06/litchfield.html

And yes, the images will be released under a Creative Commons license.

An open translation of Plato’s Protagoras

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Posted on behalf of Dhananjay Jagannathan:

In response to a recent call from a philosopher for better translations of ancient works online for the sake of his students (http://blog.davidhildebrand.org/2010/06/what-to-do-about-old-translations.html), I decided to launch a digital humanities project which will, I hope, result in a high-quality, freely available translation of Plato’s Protagoras (probably under a Creative Commons license). The basic principle is this: every day for a few months, I will post roughly a page of the dialogue on a blog (http://openprotagoras.wordpress.com/), side by side in Greek, in my own translation, and in Jowett’s classic 1871 translation that appears commonly online. I’ve invited readers to comment and offer suggestions to improve the translation. My goal is to communicate Plato in English the way readers of his would have interpreted his Greek, aiming to capture his range of styles (colloquial conversation on the street, philosophical debate, rhetorical displays, poetic analysis, and so on) in a contemporary idiom. The nature of the project requires a wide readership for its success, so I hope you will pass this along.

Best wishes,
Dhananjay Jagannathan
Balliol College
University of Oxford

Are there other, similar initiatives underway? It seems timely.

2 Lectureships in Digital Humanities, KCL

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Closing date for applications: July 2, 2010.

The two lectureships will be joint appointments between the Department of Digital Humanities (formerly CCH) and the Centre for Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London. Demonstrated research interests across both areas are a requirement.

Further particulars and application information.

Job opportunity at the Petrie Museum, London

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Full details and application form at UCL HR

Research Associate – Networked 3D Design Application for Museums, – Ref:1141523

UCL Department / Division
Museums and Collections
Specific unit / Sub department
The Petrie Museum
Grade: 7
Hours: Full Time
Salary: (inclusive of London allowance) £31,778-£38,441 per annum

Duties and Responsibilities
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2 PhD Positions in Text Analysis and Speech Synthesis, Trinity College Dublin

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Posted on behalf of Carl Vogel at TCD – not a position in classics, but could be interesting for digital classicist types.

[Apologies for multiple postings; please circulate as appropriate.]

2 Phd Positions involving speech and text analysis are open within TCD.

http://www.tcd.ie/Graduate_Studies/InnovationBursaries/

The bursaries include payment of fees, some research costs, and a stipend of 16K per annum. The funding covers four years of study within a structured PhD program.  This funding is equivalent to that provided by IRCSET awards.

Position 1: Speaking the 1641 Depositions

This innovative project under the theme of “Digital Humanities and Sustainable Records” will attract candidates who are interested in independent and advanced research linking speech synthesis and important historical documents. It will involve application of advanced linguistic and statistical methods, using the latest tools and technologies, for the analysis and rendering into speech of large bodies of annotated historical text. The project will last for four years and research costs, a stipend, and coverage of fees, etc., will be offered. Successful applicants will have a background in either history or computing. They will have keen analytical skills and will join a small team of researchers with similar interests in the way
people speak and present information. They will be especially interested in expressing personality through speech synthesis, and in attempting to render historical texts in order to express character through the synthesised voices.

Further details:
http://www.tcd.ie/Graduate_Studies/InnovationBursaries/
Apply for course:  www.pac.ie/tcd (code — TRB01)

Position 2: Technology for harmonising interpersonal communication

We explore how contemporary modes of interaction, typically at a distance via electronic devices, can be supplemented to support the sorts of information flow and inference that evolution has endowed humans sensitivity to in face-to-face communications. The research entails that various prototype applications be constructed, deployed and analyzed. A successful candidate will have demonstrable expertise in computer programming, preferably with experience of end-user application delivery. The candidate will be engaged in the delivery of software alongside performance of quantitative and qualitative analysis of linguistic data. The background research topic is in discerning sentiment and other non-propositional content of textual communications (such as text messages) and projecting the same through appropriate vocal synthesis. Prior expertise in text and dialogue analysis as well as speech synthesis will be an advantage. Candidates should be comfortable with computational theoretical frameworks for syntax and formal semantics, as well as statistically oriented approaches to language analysis.

Further details:
http://www.tcd.ie/Graduate_Studies/InnovationBursaries/
Apply for course: www.pac.ie/tcd (code — TRB08)

———————-

Closing date for applications:
Friday 9th April 2010

Applications should be made online through www.pac.ie/tcd

How to Cite e-Resources without Stable URLs

Friday, February 26th, 2010

It used to be said, especially by the Internet’s nay-sayers, that the insuperable barrier to publishing and citing online is that links are never stable. The number of pages that appear and disappear every day means that even a year-old list of sites is likely to contain significant link rot. There is a significant movement to promote both stable and cool URLs (see for example [van Kesteren 2004] and [Berners-Lee 1998]), and most of those of us who publish online take great pains to have URLs that are both predictable and will not need to change.

For example, we recently published The Inscritions of Roman Tripolitania, a digital edition based very closely on the 1952 printed volume by Reynolds and Ward-Perkins, at:

Because this is largely a reprint, there is obviously more work to be done, and we hope to add a new edition fairly soon (incorporating, for example, Arabic translation and new digital photographs). When we do so, the new site will be labeled “irt2011” or similar, all internal links will include this date, and the old site will not need to be removed or renamed. No links will be broken in this process.

Similarly, good electronic journals have URLs that reflect date and/or issue number in the directory structure:

Again we can see that they don’t need to change when new issues come along or the site is restructured. Additionally, you can guess from these URLs what the address of DM issue 5, or DHQ issue 4.2, would be. Additionally, I can remember (or guess) the URLs of individual papers within DM by their authors’ surnames. I strongly suspect that in a year and in ten years, these URLs will still work.

All of which makes is especially surprising that an institution like the Center for Hellenic Studies, which is in so many ways a field-leader and standard-setter in Digital Humanities matters, has a website whose URLs seem to be generated by a content management system. These URLs (including that of their flagship online journal Classics@, and of the magisterial Homer Multitext) are ungainly, arbitrary, and almost certainly not stable. Even worse, many individual pages within the site have URLs that contain a session-specific hash, and so cannot be cited at all:

One might argue that these pages should be cited as if they were paper publications, and readers are then left to their own devices to track them down, but surely that isn’t good enough? Are there any solutions to citing electronically, and linking to, a page whose URL is likely to be itinerant? A persistent redirect? A Zotero biblio URL that you can update if you notice it’s broken?

Virtual museum guide

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research have developed a computer system to recognize images in a museum and enhance them with digital information, and have deployed such a system in Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum.  When visitors point a flat-screen computer’s digital camera at an image in the exhibition (for example, an image of the Roman Forum, the Temple of Saturn, or the Colosseum), the system overlays the scene with ancillary information, including a possible reconstruction of ruins.   Such a technology is called “augmented reality,” and it may become available to tourists via smart phones.

More spacial analysis…

Monday, January 4th, 2010

While on the subject of spacial analysis, I’m sure there are archaeologists and geographers here who would have useful suggestions for what we can do with the hi-res 3-D images of the Earth that the NASA SRTM project has made available. There’s a nice overview of the imagery and some of the uses to which it’s already been put in this post, “Reading the world in Braille” at Integrity-Logic (coincidence that it’s International Braille Day today?).

So we’ve discussed what to do with a million books; now what do we do with quadrillions of bytes of geodata? Answers on the back of a postcard (or in a comment) please.

Give a Humanist a Supercomputer…

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

The “Wired Campus” section of the Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting on the uses that humanities scholars have found for the U.S. Department of Energy’s High Performance Computing resources.  The short article reports on the efforts of several people who have made use of the resources, including Gregory Crane of the Perseus Project, David Bamman, a computational linguist who has been mining data from classical texts, and David Koller, a researcher with the Digital Sculpture Project, which has developed ways to coalesce numerous images of an object into a high-resolution 3D image.  The article reports that, according to Mr. Koller, intermediaries are needed who can help humanities and computer researchers communicate with each other.

PhD in Digital Humanities

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

The Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) at King’s College London offers a doctoral programme leading to the degree of PhD in Digital Humanities. Typically the degree involves a joint arrangement between CCH and another department in the School of Arts and Humanities at King’s, on occasion involving the School of Social Science and Public Policy. Some students are also jointly in the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication (LDC), which is our cross-disciplinary home for linguistics.

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Ruins of Pompeii now in Google Street View

Friday, December 4th, 2009

The title says it all.  Check it out here.

New Blog: “Fragmentary Texts”

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

An announcement posted on behalf of Monica Berti:

I write to signal a new blog called “Fragmentary Texts”:
http://www.fragmentarytexts.org/
“Fragmentary Texts” is a blog edited by Monica Berti and devoted to models and methodologies for collecting and representing Greek and Latin texts of classical antiquity that have been preserved in fragments. By “fragments” we mean both physical fragments – as, for example, fragments of architectural elements, scraps of papyri, or broken inscriptions – and indirect fragments, i.e. quotations by surviving authors, who quote, paraphrase, summarize or allude to authors and works that have not survived. This blog gives particular attention to the category of “indirect fragments”, discussing its meaning and the complexitiy of the reconstruction of the relationship between a textual fragment and its source of transmission. The main goal of this blog is to discuss models and tools for representing fragmentary texts in a digital library, building a collaborative environment for scholars and enthusiasts who are interested in the topic.

History in 3D

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Scientists in the European joint project 3D-COFORM are creating three-dimensional digital models of artifacts such as statues and vases.  Besides making for an exciting viewing experience, the 3D models constitute comprehensive documentation of objects that is useful to conservators.  The longer-term goal of correlating 3D data between different objects is still a long way off.  Read about it here.

Jobs in UCL Centre for Digital Humanities

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

UCL are pleased to announce vacancies for three posts in the new Centre for Digital Humanities. We are looking for a centre co-ordinator, teaching fellow, and postdoc researcher.

These are all part time but we are happy to consider applications to combine two of them into one full time post. Please see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/infostudies/kerstin-michaels/vacancies/ for details.

Please note that ideally we would like people to start in January, but are willing to be flexible for the right candidate/s if necessary. If you’d like any more information about any of these, please do contact m.terras@ucl.ac.uk.

Medieval Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Forwarded on behalf of Peter Stokes. Note that the following is for students who are registered for PhDs in the United Kingdom.

Medieval Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age: 17-22 May 2010

The Institute of English Studies (London) is pleased to announce the second year of this AHRC-funded course in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, the Warburg Institute, and King’s College London.

The course is open to arts and humanities doctoral students registered at UK institutions. It involves six days of intensive training on the alysis, description and editing of medieval manuscripts in the digital age to be held jointly in Cambridge and London. Participants will receive a solid theoretical foundation and hands-on experience in cataloguing and editing manuscripts for both print and digital formats.

The first half of the course involves morning classes and then visits to libraries in Cambridge and London in the afternoons. Participants will view original manuscripts and gain practical experience in applying the morning’s themes to concrete examples. In the second half we will address the cataloguing and description of manuscripts in a digital format with particular emphasis on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). These sessions will also combine theoretical principles and practical experience and include supervised work on computers.

The course is aimed principally at those writing dissertations which relate to medieval manuscripts, especially those on literature, art and history. There are no fees, but priority will be given to PhD students funded by the AHRC. Class sizes are limited to twenty and places are ‘first-come-first-served’ so early registration is strongly recommended.

For further details see http://ies.sas.ac.uk/study/mmsda/ or contact
Dr Peter Stokes at mmsda@sas.ac.uk.

Practical Epigraphy Workshop

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Forwarded for Charlotte Tupman.

Practical Epigraphy Workshop

22-24 June 2010, Great North Museum, Newcastle

A Practical Epigraphy Workshop is taking place for those who are interested in developing hands-on skills in working with epigraphic material. The workshop is aimed at graduate students, but other interested parties are welcome to apply, whether or not they have previous experience. With expert tuition, participants will learn the practical aspects of how to record and study inscriptions. The programme will include the making of squeezes; photographing and measuring inscribed stones; and the production of transcriptions, translations and commentaries. Participants may choose to work on Latin or Greek texts.

The course fee is £100 but we hope to be able to provide bursaries to participants to assist with the cost. Accommodation will be extra, but we are arranging B&B nearby for around £30-40.

Places on the workshop are limited and applications will be accepted until 31st March. For further details please contact Dr. Charlotte Tupman: charlotte.tupman@kcl.ac.uk.

The Practical Epigraphy Workshop is sponsored by The British Epigraphy Society, an independent ‘chapter’ of the Association Internationale d’Épigraphie Grecque et Latine:

http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/BES/

http://www2.bbaw.de/aiegl

Rome was built in a day…

Friday, September 18th, 2009

… with hundreds of thousands of digital photos.

University of Washington researchers have developed a computer system to combine tourist photos lifted from the Flickr.com photo-sharing site into a 3D digital model.  Using advanced techniques, they were able to ‘build’ a model of Rome from photos tagged with Rome or Roma in just 21 hours.

Read an article about it  here, and visit the project’s web page here.

UK team digs into data from scroll scans

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Here’s a recent article from the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader about the activities of the EDUCE project.  It sounds like they’re at an exciting and critical point.  According to lead researcher and computer science professor Brent Seales:

“We’re starting the serious work now,” Seales said. “In a few weeks, we should know whether we’ll be able to tease out some of the writing. Seeing the text is going to be the trick, but we have some tricks of our own that we think will help.”

The story links to an informative video on YouTube, entitled “Reading the Unreadable,” apparently published in January of this year.

CFP Handwriting Recognition and Collaborative Editing

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Call for Papers for two sessions at the Forty-Fifth International Congress on Medieval Studies, held annually at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. Although it is a medieval studies conference, it’s quite broad and includes sessions ranging from the Late Antique through the Renaissance. There is a lot of really fabulous work going on in the digital classics community on both of these topics and it would be wonderful to introduce that work to medievalists who aren’t already aware of it. (Kzoo, as the event is affectionately called, is also a lot of fun. You can’t bring together 3000 medievalists in one small town without a certain amount of merrymaking.)

The Digital Medievalist Community of Practice (http://www.digitalmedievalist.org/) is sponsoring two sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 7-10, 2009 (http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/). See below for session names and descriptions.

Please send inquiries and abstracts for 20-minute presentations to Peter Robinson at p.m.robinson@bham.ac.uk. Abstracts must be attached to a Participant Information Form, available in both MS Word and PDF formats from the Congress website: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF.

Proposals must be submitted by September 15, 2009.

Paper session: The state of the art in handwriting recognition and analysis for medieval documents

Much work has been done towards automated analysis of handwritten documents, with a focus on handwriting recognition, in the last years, and some of the developments seen in OCR and layout recognition systems may be applicable to medieval studies. Further, the increasing interest in sophisticated linkages of text and image might be enhanced by developments in handwriting recognition and analysis. We welcome papers which report on work done or ongoing in these areas, or which seek to establish methodologies.

Paper session: Collaborative tools and environments for medieval scholarship

Many groups around the world are working to develop a new generation of collaborative tools and research environments, with potential wide applicability to medieval studies. This leads to questions about the nature of collaboration itself, and about useful models of collaboration. Reports form the coal face on collaborations which have, or have not, worked are welcome, as are demonstrations of tools and ruminations on the many faces of collaboration.

Again, please send inquiries and abstracts for 20-minute presentations to Peter Robinson at p.m.robinson@bham.ac.uk. Abstracts must be attached to a Participant Information Form, available in both MS Word and PDF formats from the Congress website: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF.

Stanford’s Virtual Archives Open House

Friday, July 24th, 2009

This is copied from an announcement I received through the Exlibris listserv, and I thought readers of The Stoa would be interested as well. I’m not a big proponent of Second Life, but I do like seeing how people are coming up with interesting (and potentially useful) ways to use the technology. I feel the same way about Twitter, incidentally.

Colleagues,

Have you heard about virtual worlds? Ever wonder what how they might be used in the world of archives and special collections?

Come find out at Stanford University’s Special Collections and University Archives’ virtual “Open House” in the virtual world Second Life on Friday, July 31st from 9:00 to 11:00a.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during these hours for an overview of our new Virtual Archives which allows scholars to discover and use our primary resources in a virtual environment.

For the first time scholars and the casual passersby can walk Stanford’s closed stacks and browse some of our manuscript collections—a practice not offered in real life. Stanford’s Virtual Archive is a very small but growing subset of our deep storage facility replicated in Second Life. Patrons can open virtual Hollinger boxes and a sampling of scanned documents from the real life box will appear along with a link to that collection’s online finding aid. They can then post their reference questions on the bulletin board which sends email to our Special Collections staff. Stanford’s Virtual Archive provides access to patrons around the world without endangering the collection.

Second Life (SL) is a virtual world where more than 15 million users have created avatars–or online personas–enabling them to explore SL and interact with others from in real time. Reference in SL occurs through in-world text and voice chat as well as our reference bulletin board.

Please join us at our Open House to learn more at the following SLURL address (this is the Second Life location for the Stanford University Special Collections’ Virtual Archive): http://slurl.com/secondlife/Stanford%20University%20Libraries/85/224/33 This address launches the Second Life application from your web browser. For those not already in SL, joining is free at http://secondlife.com/ and we will be happy to help get you acclimated in-world. Look for Sicilia Tiratzo and my colleague in SL, Mollie Mavendorf. We will be on hand to demonstrate the archives site and answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you “in world” on July 31st.

Assisted Transcription Software

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Posted on behalf of Ben Gracy at the University of Denver: an article on an assisted transcription system that uses OCR. It sounds fascinating.

*edit: elsewhere in the article reference is made to “ancient documents and manuscripts”, which indicates that this system has been developed for handwritten materials in addition to printed… although the word “handwritten” itself doesn’t appear in the article.*

Traditional Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems give rise to transcription problems and provide results with many errors that need to be edited afterwards. State, however, is a transcription system that integrates a series of tools with which images can be processed in order to remove noise and clean up the original image, the page structure can be detected, the text can be recognised and mistakes can be quickly and easily edited with interactive tools such as an electronic pen applied directly on the text. Andrés Marzal, one of the researchers in the project, explains: “It is a practical solution to the problem of a supervised transcription, since it shortens the most time-consuming phase, that is, editing the automatic transcription so that it is true to the original”.

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=59622&CultureCode=en

Call for Book Proposals in Digital Classics

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Gorgias Press is expanding its interest in technology and classics and welcomes book proposals regarding digital classics research, for both monographs (including revised dissertations) and edited collections (based on conference sessions or otherwise). Proposals should be no more than 4 pages pdf and include contact details and a biography of the author(s), an overview of the topic and its importance, a brief description of all chapters, and a summation of how this text will relate to other texts in the field. This is an open call. Please send proposals to submissions@gorgiaspress.com.

Digital Classicist seminars update

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Note that we have had to make a change to the programme for the Digital Classicist ICS seminar series.

The correct details are on the Digital Classicist website.

July 24 Leif Isaksen (Southampton)
‘Linking Archaeological Data ‘

July 31 Elton Barker (Oxford) & Leif Isaksen (Southampton)
‘Herodotos Encoded Space-Text-Imaging Archive’

(ie these two papers have been swapped around)

Remenber also that all presentations are podcast along with slides via an RSS feed.