Scalable Reading

dedicated to DATA: digitally assisted text analysis

...the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb
Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views
At Ev’ning from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,
Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.
(Paradise Lost, 1. 286-91)

Monthly archive January, 2011

August Boeckh, the knowing of the known, and information retrieval

The other day I was rereading Jerry McGann’s 2009 TLS essay on “Our textual history”, and I was struck by a phrase that I had missed on the first reading and had never encountered before: August Böckh’s definition of philology as “die Erkenntnis des Erkannten” or “the (further) knowing of the (already) known.” A little...

Getting undergraduates and amateurs into the business of re-editing our cultural heritage for a digital world

The Chicago section of today’s New York Times has an article with the title “Volunteers at Planetarium Excel where machines lag.” The gist of the article is in these paragraphs: The Adler has become a leader in “citizen science,” a growing trend in astronomy research. As the lead institution of the Citizen Science Alliance, which...

The length of plays in the EMD corpus

Polonius thought that the Player’s speech was too long. Dr. Johnson said that nobody would wish Paradise Lost any longer. One might say the same of Meistersinger or Götterdämmerung. On the other hand, Robert Schumann defended Schubert’s ‘heavenly lengths’ against detractors. Size is a pretty primitive criterion, but it enters powerfully into our tacit or...