(3 July 2015) ‘Enabling Complex Analysis of Large Scale Digital Collections’, a project funded by the Jisc Research Data Spring, empowers researchers to turn their research questions into computational queries and gathers social and technical requirements for infrastructures and services that allow computational exploration of big humanities data. Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Humanities at UCL and Principal Investigator for the project, blogged in May about initial work to align our data – ALTO XML for 60k+ 17th, 18, and 19th century books – with the performance characteristics of UCL’s High Performance Computing Facilities. We have been learning a huge amount about the complexities associated with redeploying architectures designed to work with scientific data (massive yet structured) to the processing of humanities data (not massive instead unstructured). As part of this learning, in June we ran two workshops to which we invited a small, hand-picked group of researchers (from doctoral candidates to mid-career scholars) with queries they wanted to ask of the data that couldn’t be satisfied by the sort of search and discovery orientated graphical user interfaces typically served up them.
The full illustrated story is on The British Library’s Digital Scholarship Blog.