[Humanist] 24.544 events: London Digital Humanities Group

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Dec 3 10:58:45 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 544.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 08:56:25 +0000
        From: Simon Dixon <s.dixon at QMUL.AC.UK>
        Subject: London Digital Humanities Group: Religious History and the Digita lHumanities - 7 December
        In-Reply-To: <AANLkTi=V5Ue45H=G-0CfKLdfV7yKOj1-rroLRPk4uG1q at mail.gmail.com>

The next meeting of the London Digital Humanities Group will take place at Dr Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0AR on Tuesday 7 December at 5pm. The meeting will showcase two innovative projects that are making use of digital humanities methodologies to make significant advances in the field of religious history. The speakers, all from Queen Mary, University of London, will be Caroline Bowden, Katharine Keats-Rohan, and James Kelly (Who Were the Nuns?), and Rosemary Dixon and Kyle Roberts (Dissenting Academies Libraries and their Readers, 1720-1860).

Religious History and the Digital Humanities: Innovative Approaches

Developing identities: new ways of using databases for studying early modern women religious
Caroline Bowden, Katherine Keats-Rohan, and James Kelly

>From a starting point of listing the members of the English convents in exile 1600-1800 (in itself a challenging task for some communities) we have come a long way in attempting to answer the question ‘Who were the Nuns’? Underpinning the project analysis is a quantitative database keeping track of membership details and family and other related material. We are combining this with qualitative data analysis software in order to draw on the riches of surviving sources in order to develop our knowledge of the qualities of these English nuns. Other elements of the project involve the use of software building family trees which demonstrate the interconnected nature of family alliances supporting the convents. The software has been chosen or developed to make best use of the sources and resources while presenting results in a straightforward and accessible way to answer the question: who were the nuns?

The dissenting academy libraries and their readers project: new technology and old books
Rosemary Dixon and Kyle Roberts

The Dissenting Academy Libraries and their Readers project is reconstructing the libraries of the principal Baptist, Congregational, and Presbyterian dissenting academies of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and examining the way that their collections were used by students. A key outcome of the project will be the online publication of the Virtual Dissenting Academy Libraries System. This innovative database uses the functionality of professional library software to reconstruct the holdings and borrowing patterns of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century libraries. Users will be able to search for particular authors or titles, examine the borrowing profiles of individual students, and virtually browse the shelves of the libraries as they existed at particular historical moments. The database will allow us to construct a more accurate picture of the education of students at dissenting academies, as well as being a crucial research tool for scholars concerned with the history of libraries and collecting, the role of books in religious culture and education, and the history of reading and reception. In this paper Rosemary Dixon and Kyle Roberts will discuss the creation of this exciting new digital resource, focusing on the ways they have used the techniques of modern library and information science to present data about historic libraries and their collections. They will describe the source material, explain the rationale and architecture of the Virtual Libraries System, and outline some of the research questions it will enable us to answer.

Dr Williams's Library is located in Gordon Square a short walk from UCL and the British Library. For directions see http://www.dwlib.co.uk/dwlib/visiting.html. All are welcome to attend. To confirm attendance or for further information please contact s.dixon at qmul.ac.uk<mailto:s.dixon at qmul.ac.uk>
The London Digital Humanities Group is supported by Queen Mary, University of London.

Dr Simon Dixon
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dissenting Academies Project
Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies
Department of English and Drama
Queen Mary, University of London

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