So Many Possibilities!

I’m so excited for this class and to learn more about the tools out there and how we can use those tools to help disseminate information about the humanities to broader audiences. One thing that I’d really LOVE to learn about is creating interactive databases–specifically, taking a scanned manuscript page and making it searchable. Here are links to two databases which I often use as examples of what I’d like to be able to do as well”

The Aberdeen Bestiary

Epistolae: Medieval Women’s Letters

I’d like to be able to do similar projects–both for my students and also for to contribute to medieval studies. For example, one of the texts with which I frequently use is the late medieval Master of Game, a hunting treatise. I’d love to be able to create an edition of the Middle English text that was searchable. I have a scanned copy, but 1) how do I go about doing this in terms of the technology, and 2) what are the legal implications? That is, the scan is from another university library–do I need to contact them and get permission to transform the PDF into a hypertext document?

So many libraries are digitizing medieval manuscripts and making them widely available to the larger public–for example, the British Library has been digitizing tons of manuscripts, including some of the Lancelot-Grail. Is it possible, I wonder, to take pages from these repositories of digital manuscripts–for example, a screenshot from this page:


Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 8.48.16 PM

Then mark it up–either having translations of individual words pop up when the mouse is moved over the word (or open in another part of the page)–or make it searchable (i.e., if I’m looking for a certain word or phrase). Even cooler would be making pages of Middle English text available that my students can then attempt to transcribe (like this recent Early Modern English project).

Sarah, any suggestions for where I can find answers to some of my questions? And related: am I being too ambitious?

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