Tag Archives: Digital Humanities

Announcement: Winner of the Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities (GDDH) award 2016

The board of the Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities is pleased to announce the three best contributions of this year’s GDDH series. The winner will be handed a prize of €500 and candidates in the second and third positions will receive a notable mention.

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the seminar series of 2016 is:

Hazel Wilkinson
from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

“A database of printers’ ornaments”

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.17.46
Hazel Wilkinson presenting at GDDH16 on June 27th

The prize is awarded on the basis of an evaluation of both the paper and the quality of the presentation, for which this candidate received 85.73/100!

The winner is followed by yet another worthy candidate with a paper entitled “Inferring standard name form, gender and nobility from historical texts using stable model semantics”. The paper, written by Davor Lauc and Darko Vitek and presented by Davor Lauc from the University of Zagreb in Croatia, receives a notable mention for its high standard and well-presented research results. This candidate received a score of 79.84/100.

The second notable mention is awarded to the paper “Experiments of distributional semantics in stylometry” by Giulia Benotto from the Institute of Computer Linguistics (CNR) in Pisa, Italy. This paper and presentation follows with a total score of 75.68/100. This candidate was appreciated for the originality of the topic and the clear explanation of the methodology.

The slides and videos of these talks are available here.

Evaluation Method

Continue reading

ADHO Award 2016

Just like the happy ending of a fairy tale: the Franzini sisters win an ADHO Bursary Award of 2016 for research on the Grimm brothers!

Once upon a time there were two sisters, Greta and Emily. The sisters lived in an old building called Heyne Haus in the small German town of Göttingen. As Digital Humanities elves they busied themselves to find something that would keep them occupied indoors during the cold winter of 2015. And like the Grimm brothers who lived in that very same town two hundred years before them, they started, together with a group of loyal companions, collecting stories and motifs. Fairy tale motifs to be precise…

The Digital Breadcrumbs of Brothers Grimm project, which began in October 2015, is collecting and automatically detecting folktale motifs as text reuse units or minimal primitives. In fact, with this project Emily, Greta and their colleagues (constituting the early career research group eTRAP) are addressing two specific challenges of their field: text reuse detection at scale and cross-lingual text reuse detection. While they’ve already experimented and have shown good results for the former (download the DH 2016 slides and poster from their website here, the latter challenge is still ongoing as they’re in the process of manually collecting the necessary data in order to train TRACER, a text reuse detection engine comprising 700 different algorithms, and other software, to detect motifs across multiple languages. For this challenge, they’ve selected three Grimm fairy tales to work with: Snow White, Puss in Boots and The Fisherman and his Wife. To push their research forward, the sisters and their team find and read as many versions of these tales as they can (original versions, not translations, both predating and following the Grimm collection), collect motifs therein and add them to a matrix that maps languages against one another. In the second stage of the project this multilingual dataset will be used by the software tools to automatically find other matches at web scale. Furthermore, the dataset will be integrated with existing ontological resources and will lead to an exploration of folktale motifs as Linked Open Data. With the Digital Breadcrumbs of Brothers Grimm project, Emily, Greta and their team are not only able to advance research in automatic text reuse detection, but can also support folklorists and literary scholars in tackling the large amount of folkloristic materials now available online.

For their ideas and work the Franzini sisters have been awarded the ADHO Bursary Award of 2016. The award is given to promising young scholars of the Digital Humanities who make a new valuable contribution to the field. The ceremony took place during this year’s Digital Humanities Conference in Kraków. Greta has been exploring this area of study since 2009 when she began a Master’s in Digital Humanities at King’s College London (KCL). She is now at the end of a PhD in Digital Humanities at University College London (UCLDH), while working as a Research Associate in the Institute of Computer Science at Göttingen University. Emily was introduced later to the field, when she was hired as a Researcher at the Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities in Leipzig in 2013 and later began working as a Research Associate at the Institute of Computer Science in Göttingen.

Photo collage.

AIUCD 2016, Venice

Photo of a fingerprintWe’re very pleased to announce that eTRAP will be giving a text reuse tutorial at the annual conference of the Italian Association for Digital Humanities in Venice, Italy, this coming September! It’s the only tutorial of the conference and it will run on 6th and 7th September at the Ca’ Foscari University.

The tutorial builds on eTRAP’s research activities, most of which deploy Marco Büchler’s TRACER tool. TRACER is a suite of algorithms aimed at investigating text reuse in multifarious corpora, be those prose, poetry, in Italian or medieval German. TRACER provides researchers with statistical information about the texts under investigation and its integrated reuse visualiser, TRAViz, displays the reuses in a more readable format for further study.

This tutorial seeks to teach participants to independently understand, use and run TRACER. For the purpose of the tutorial and to ensure the smoothest possible outcome, participants will initially be working on data-sets provided by eTRAP. Depending on the overall progress, we may also allocate some time to investigating the participants’ own data-sets, provided these comply with the TRACER format1.

The workshop will be conducted in English. An Italian version of the tutorial flyer is available here. For more information about previous editions of this tutorial, visit our Events page.

Eligibility & Requirements

If you’re interested in exploring text reuse between two or multiple texts (in the same language) and would like to learn how to do it semi-automatically, then this tutorial is for you. In order to provide everyone with adequate (technical) assistance, the workshop can only accommodate 12 participants. To apply to the tutorial, please send your CV and a motivation letter to etrap-applications(at)gcdh(dot)de by July 31th, 2016. Those accepted will have to register for the AIUCD conference.

We look forward to seeing you in Venice!

1Should you be interested in investigating your own texts, please send us an email to the address above so that we can send you the requirements.

Article: Visual Text Analysis in Digital Humanities

Greta’s latest article “Visual Text Analysis in Digital Humanities“, co-authored with Stefan Jänicke, Muhammad Faisal Cheema and Gerik Scheuermann, has just been published by the Computer Graphics Forum! Here is the abstract:

In 2005, Franco Moretti introduced Distant Reading to analyze entire literary text collections. This was a rather revolutionary idea compared to the traditional Close Reading, which focuses on the thorough interpretation of an individual work. Both reading techniques are the prior means of Visual Text Analysis. We present an overview of the research conducted since 2005 on supporting text analysis tasks with close and distant reading visualizations in the digital humanities. Therefore, we classify the observed papers according to a taxonomy of text analysis tasks, categorize applied close and distant reading techniques to support the investigation of these tasks and illustrate approaches that combine both reading techniques in order to provide a multi-faceted view of the textual data. In addition, we take a look at the used text sources and at the typical data transformation steps required for the proposed visualizations. Finally, we summarize collaboration experiences when developing visualizations for close and distant reading, and we give an outlook on future challenges in that research area.

Feedback welcome!

DH2016, Kraków

Photo of fingerprinteTRAP will be attending the annual Digital Humanities Conference in Kraków, Poland, with three contributions:

  • A joint panel with colleagues from Finland and Estonia on digital folkloristics (15th July);
  • A poster on research progress concerning our Digital Breadcrumbs of Brothers Grimm project (13th July);
  • A full-day text reuse tutorial aimed at teaching participants how to run our TRACER tool (11th July).

We’re very happy that all three proposals were accepted at the conference as each approaches our research from a different angle: during the panel, we will discuss our work in relation to other initiatives in digital folkloristics; the poster will provide a snapshot of the project as a whole; and the tutorial will give an insight into part of our research methodology, which employs a powerful text reuse engine called TRACER.

We look forward to sharing our progress in Kraków and to seeing you, hopefully!


Call for Papers: 2016 Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities


The Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities has established a forum for the discussion of digital methods applied to all areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences, including Classics, Philosophy, History, Literature, Law, Languages, Archaeology and more. The initiative is organized by the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) with the involvement of DARIAH.EU.

The dialogs will take place every Monday from April 11th until early July 2016 in the form of 90-minute seminars. Presentations will be 45 minutes long and delivered in English, followed by 45 minutes of discussion and student participation. Seminar content should be of interest to humanists, digital humanists, librarians and computer scientists. Furthermore, we proudly announce that Prof. Dr. Stefan Gradmann (KU Leuven) will be giving the opening keynote on April 11th.

We invite submissions of abstracts describing research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the humanities, both in the past and present. We also encourage contributions describing ‘work-in-progress’. Themes may include – but are not limited to –  text mining, machine learning, network analysis, time series, sentiment analysis, agent-based modelling, lexical and conceptual resources for DH, or efficient visualization of big and humanities-relevant data.

Continue reading

DH Estonia 2015: attend the eTRAP Workshop!

We will be giving a workshop on Text Reuse at the
Translingual and Transcultural Digital Humanities Conference. Estonia, 19-21 October 2015!!
Day of workshop: Wednesday 21 October 2015

Find the full announcement below:

eTRAP (Electronic Text Reuse Acquisition Project) is an Early Career Research Group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Göttingen. The research group, which started on 1st March 2015, was awarded €1.6 million and runs for four years. As the name suggests, this interdisciplinary team studies the linguistic and literary phenomenon that is text reuse with a particular focus on historical languages. More specifically, we look at how ancient authors copied, alluded to, paraphrased and translated each other as they spread their knowledge in writing. This early career research group seeks to provide a basic understanding of the (historical) text reuse methodology (it being distinct from plagiarism), and so to study what defines text reuse, why some people reuse information, how text is reused and how this practice has changed over history.

Continue reading