[Humanist] 31.355 pubs: Manfred Thaller on the development of an applied science in the humanities

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Oct 11 08:05:08 CEST 2017

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 355.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 06:53:35 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: Manfred Thaller, "From History to Applied Science in the Humanities"

Historical Social Research Supplement 29 (2017)
Manfred Thaller: From History to Applied Computer Science in the 
Humanities. https://www.gesis.org/hsr/aktuelle-hefte/

Mainly as part of the methodological opening of traditional historical 
research in the seventies, computer applications within historical 
studies appeared as a new interdisciplinary direction. While originally 
there was a clear – and almost exclusive – focus on quantitative 
analysis, supported particularly energetically by the QUANTUM group at 
Cologne, there soon developed a broader field, embracing information 
technology in its hole width, beyond its usefulness as a tool for 
quanti-tative analysis.  Manfred Thaller was part of that development 
for twen-ty years at the Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte in 
Göttingen, where he worked on IT tools and methods targeted directly at 
historical stud-ies, before he was appointed to the first professorship 
for computer applications in the Humanities in Germany created outside 
of linguistics, at the University at Cologne.

This volume starts with an autobiographical essay describing his 
experience of this development of an interdisciplinary area, which left 
him with rather mixed memories: behind a sparkling front story of an 
en-folding field, he frequently had the feeling, that there was a 
tendency to ignore the huge epistemic potential of a serious attempt to 
apply computer science to the field of history in favor of glamorous but 
shallow short term goals. This volume presents thirteen independent 
papers, describing a number of the requirements for a more intensive 
form of interdisciplinary work between Computer Science and the 
Humanities. Besides general methodological considerations, they focus on 
the particularities of text and time as occurring in historical sources, 
trying to connect these various threads into a general model for the 
representation of historical information in information technology.

Manfred Thaller is professor emeritus for 
Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Informationsverarbeitung (applied 
computer science in the Humanities) at the University at Cologne.


HSR Supplement 29 contains the following articles by Manfred Thaller:

Between the Chairs. An Interdisciplinary Career. [2017]

Automation on Parnassus. CLIO -- A Databank Oriented System for 
Historians [1980].

Ungefähre Exaktheit. Theoretische Grundlagen und praktische 
Möglichkeiten einer Formulierung historischer Quellen als Produkte 
'unscharfer' Systeme [1984].

Vorüberlegungen für einen internationalen Workshop über die Schaffung, 
Verbindung und Nutzung großer interdisziplinärer Quellenban-ken in den 
historischen Wissenschaften [1986].

Entzauberungen: Die Entwicklung einer fachspezifischen historischen 
Datenverarbeitung in der Bundesrepublik [1990].

The Need for a Theory of Historical Computing [1991].

The Need for Standards: Data Modelling and Exchange [1991].

Von der Mißverständlichkeit des Selbstverständlichen. Beobachtungen zur 
Diskussion über die Nützlichkeit formaler Verfahren in der 
Geschichtswissenschaft [1992].

The Archive on Top of your Desk. An Introduction to Self-Documenting 
Image Files [1993].

Historical Information Science: Is there such a Thing? New Comments on 
an old Idea [1993].

Source Oriented Data Processing and Quantification: Distrustful Brothers 

From the Digitized to the Digital Library [2001].

Reproduktion, Erschließung, Edition, Interpretation: Ihre Beziehungen in 
einer digitalen Welt [2005].

The Cologne Information Model: Representing Information Persistently [2009].

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of
Digital Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western
Sydney University and North Carolina State University; Editor,
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20)

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