Building an Early Modern Lab: Collaborative Curation/Exploration of Early Modern Texts from the Text Creation Partnership Archives

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project will create a social and technical platform for the curation/exploration of Early Modern texts in the context of a regional initiative that clusters around Chicago. The Digital Curation Center defines digital curation as "maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle." The curation of digital textual data involves not only editorial tasks familiar from the print world but also the creation of machine-actionable metadata that support the linking of data across many texts. Exploration refers to forms of analysis and interpretation that range from plain old reading and its complex but largely informal procedures to machine-assisted "analytics" in which quantitative routines are applied to textual data and the results are often presented as visualizations. Clear boundaries between "reading" and "analytics" are not easily drawn: the con-ceptual roots of modern "analytics" are found in the indexes and tables of contents that early modern publishers designed as findings aids for readers. It is a cardinal assumption of this project that for many years to come "reading" will remain the first and most important way in which students of Early Modern culture encounter the texts that constitute the documentary infrastructure of their primary sources. Getting those primary sources into shipshape form for reading is therefore a first-order task for the digital curation of Early Modern texts. The project will put a special emphasis on engaging undergraduates with scholarly aptitude and interests in the various tasks of curation and exploration. Outreach from R1 institutions to liberal arts colleges will be an important part of it. Think of it as a neighbour of the Stanford Literary Lab, but with a focus on Early Modern texts and an emphasis on the iterative interdependence of data curation and data analysis. What you can do WITH data depends on what you or somebody else has done TO them.
Effective start/end date4/1/169/30/17


  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (11600668)


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