“Letters 1916: Building and understanding a large corpus of correspondence”
Presentation by Richard Hadden (DiXiT-Fellow)
When and where
The talk will be held on July 5th 2016, 16:00 in the Seminar room of the CCeH (Universitätsstraße 22).
This presentation will look firstly at the work behind building the Letters of 1916 corpus, a collection of correspondence from 1915 and 1916, covering the period leading up to, and the aftermath of, the Easter Rising. As Ireland’s first “public digital humanities project”, the corpus is strongly reliant on crowd-sourced methodologies for sourcing, digitising and transcribing letters. This first section will discuss the tools and workflow employed, including automated processes for converting crowd-transcribed and marked-up text into full TEI documents.
The next section will showcase a number of letters from the corpus, highlighting above all the effects upon correspondence itself of the political situation in Ireland: the Rising is, after all, a revolution that began in a post office.
The final section looks more deeply at my own research into the corpus, asking what questions can be legitimately asked of such a large and disparate corpus over and above its obvious utility as a collection of individual texts. It will explore the many problems to be considered in the application of digital humanities
techniques such as topic modelling to a corpus of this nature.