Presenting at Yale’s Digital Humanities Lab

VEP’s own Heather Froehlich recently presented at the Yale Digital Humanities Lab! Here is what Heather has to say about her presentations:

On the kind invitation of Cathy DeRose, an alumnus of Visualising English Print, I was a visitor at the Yale Digital Humanities Lab last week. While there I gave two presentations: one, a paper about some of my research involving EEBO-TCP and the other a 3 hour masterclass on ways of using and accessing EEBO-TCP phase I. It was a real pleasure to spend a few days with the very keen members of the digital humanities community at Yale.

In the workshop, we primarily discussed what makes EEBO-TCP’s many entrypoints different to the Early English Books Online images in addition to best practices for accessing and using EEBO-TCP. My main goal was to highlight the fact that sure, you can download all the texts yourself, clean them up yourself, and then start the research process… or you can take advantage of a lot of hard work that others have done and start conducting your research without the stress of doing it all yourself. First I introduced the difference between the TCP transcriptions and the Chadwyck-Healy images, familarising participants with the online repository of EEBO-TCP transcriptions and exploring their relationship to searchable features users are already used to interacting with on the Chadwyck Healy search interface.

We also discussed and practiced using several front ends, including the CQPweb interface for EEBO-TCP and the BYU corpora’s incomplete version to identify potential variant spellings, as well as the Early Print Ngram viewer for EEBO-TCP phase I to trace most frequently used variants and concepts. We also discussed the benefits of using historical data such as the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, all ways that I and other members of Visualising English Print have used in our research.

Finally, to tie it all together, I also presented several case studies based on work done by my colleagues at the University of Strathclyde. The Super Science Corpus, something Strathclyde RA Alan Hogarth has been working on for the better part of a year, represents the world of Early Modern Scientific writing included in the Phase I release of the EEBO-TCP texts. With his help I was able to give some preliminary results about the relationship between philosophy of science and other scientific writing between 1482-1710. We also discussed work by Shota Kikuchi, a visiting scholar from the University of Tokyo at Strathclyde, which seeks to improve part of speech tagging accuracy by further modernising archaic constructions after the initial VARD process outlined here. For example, by modernising tis to it is, a part of speech tagger’s accuracy improves enough to make syntactic analysis more viable. And, last but certainly not least, I spoke about some of undergraduate student Rebecca Russell’s work with Jonathan Hope in the interdisciplinary Textlab course on the language of Shakespeare’s plays showing the potential for students to use these kinds of resources in a pedagogical context.

View presentation slides for Heather’s talk, ‘Things You Can Do with EEBO-TCP Phase I,’ and a supplementary handout.

View Heather’s post about her time at the Yale Digital Humanities Lab.