Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Online Manuscript Research

This from Dr Christopher Burlinson, Emmanuel College, Cambridge ...

I am writing to let you know about a one-day symposium on 'Online Manuscript Research: Resources and Challenges', to be organized by Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online, and held in the Faculty of English (9 West Road), Cambridge University, on 9 July 2007, from 10am to 5pm.

The past years have seen an increasing number of online manuscript resources, as well as new projects to create such resources (many of them funded by large bodies such as the AHRC). Some of these resources have taken the form of digital archives, while others have been more descriptive or bibliographical studies. There has, meanwhile, been great interest in how these electronic resources can be put to their best use, either in the classroom or in research, and how they should reflect the needs, interests and requirements of students and teachers, librarians, conservationists and ICT specialists.

This symposium, then, addresses the special questions, both specifically technical and research-based, posed by the creation of online resources in manuscript studies. It aims to promote good and consistent practice in these resources by allowing those working in ICT and manuscript studies to share information, develop new techniques and respond to new technologies, and to incorporate online manuscript resources into research and the classroom. The emphasis will be on round-table, workshop-style, collaborative discussion.

Subjects to be covered will include:

- Moving from the library to the digital archive: the capture, storage and preservation of manuscript images
- Manuscript conservation and online resources
- Managing workflow within an online manuscript project
- Constructing an online manuscript resource (file formats, databases, data and metadata, use of TEI, XML, etc.)
- Collection development (usability, viewing, user interfaces, submission, sustainability, etc.)
- Bringing together online manuscript resources (integration, conformability, etc.)
- The role of the bibliographer and palaeographer in constructing online manuscript resources
- Making best use of online manuscript resources: research and teaching
- Intellectual property, permissions, and data security

Participation in the symposium is free of charge, but places are limited, and those wishing to attend are asked to register in advance. Please write to Dr Christopher Burlinson (cmb29@cam.ac.uk) for details.

Please feel free to pass this announcement to other members of your institution who might be interested in attending.

Scriptorium is a 3-year, AHRC-funded project (2006-2009), based in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, to digitize manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books from the period c. 1450-1720. It will create a secure archive of high-resolution digital images of these manuscripts, and release them to the public, through its website, in lower-resolution format. Alongside these digital images, it will create and store metadata about the images in question, and develop a set of accompanying resources for researchers, teachers and students working in late-medieval and early modern manuscript studies.


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