Texas Digital Library Conference System, TCDL 2012

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The Susanna Rowson Digital Compendium: Rethinking Data in Humanities Research
Spencer D. C. Keralis

Building: AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
Room: Room 102
Date: 2012-05-25 08:00 AM – 08:30 AM
Last modified: 2012-04-25


The Susanna Rowson Digital Compendium is a new project at the University of North Texas Libraries that seeks to challenge the way digital humanities scholars think about data. Susanna Rowson's _Charlotte Temple_ was the best-selling novel in pre-_Uncle Tom's Cabin_ America. Rowson's work, since its recovery in the 1980s, has been of increasing scholarly interest to researchers and educators working in Early American and Atlantic World literature. In addition to providing authoritative, clean e-texts of Susanna Rowson's novels, plays, songs, and poems for text mining and teaching, the project will experiment with cloud-sourced methods of bibliographic research and database development.

We also seek to pioneer a reassessment of bibliography as a core humanities information set. It is precisely because bibliographies adhere to specified formats that the data they express can be used for GIS mapping, temporal animations, network visualization, and other heuristic exercises that have the potential to expand knowledge in literary history and criticism.

The goals of this presentation are to: 1) generate interest in the Compendium among the Texas Digital Libraries community, 2) to encourage discussion of data in the context of humanities research, and 3) to encourage Digital Librarians to think creatively about how their work can contribute to digital humanities research.

This project is a partnership between the UNT Libraries and scholars at UNT, NYU, LSU, and UT-Arlington.


susanna rowson; e-texts; text mining; humanities data; gis; bibliography