L-100. Digital Approaches to Bibliography & Book History

Benjamin F. Pauley Carl G. Stahmer

Course Length: 30 hours
Course Week: 9–14 July 2023
Format: in person, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA
Fee: $1,395

This course will explore the possibilities that digital tools and methods open for the pursuit of bibliographical and book-historical investigations, as well as the questions that those tools and methods bring with them. Beyond providing a practical introduction to digital bibliography, the class will also invite critical reflection on its affordances and limitations. A central concern of the course will be the consideration of the kinds of bibliographical and book historical problems that digital methods may be best positioned to address in the future.

This course is intended for humanities scholars as well as librarians and curators. It is addressed to researchers who wish to become intelligent users of digital tools and methods, librarians who aim to support and manage digital workflows, and archivists and developers who seek to create new kinds of resources.

The course will venture into technical areas, including extensive hands-on work with Python code, but does not presume any prior expertise in either bibliography or coding. We fully expect the class to include students with a range of backgrounds and varying degrees of technical proficiency in different areas. What students need is a willingness to experiment, to try things out, and to work through confusion.

Students will need access to a computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux are all acceptable) on which they have sufficient privileges to install software.

Course History

Benjamin F. Pauley and Carl G. Stahmer co-teach two sections of this course online (each 22 hours long).
Benjamin F. Pauley and Carl G. Stahmer co-teach this course in person.
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  • Benjamin F. Pauley
  • Carl G. Stahmer

Benjamin F. Pauley

Ben Pauley is Professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he teaches eighteenth-century British literature. He developed the site Eighteenth-Century Book Tracker to index links to freely available scans of eighteenth-century books and to connect them to bibliographical entries drawn from the English Short Title Catalogue. Together with the ESTC’s Brian Geiger, he received one of the inaugural Google Digital Humanities Research Awards in 2010, and served on the planning committee for the Mellon Foundation-funded initiative to redesign the English Short Title Catalogue as a 21st-century research tool. He is the Founding Secretary of the Defoe Society, and is currently finalizing development of a Defoe Attributions Database for the Society.

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Carl G. Stahmer

Carl G. Stahmer is the Executive Director of the UC Davis DataLab: Data Science and Informatics, and Professor of English and Science and Technology Studies. He also recently assumed the helm as Director of the English Broadside Ballad Archive, a digital initiative for which he previously served as Associate Director and Lead Developer for 18 years. Since the mid-1990’s, he has also held various developer and leadership roles at a variety of digital organizations and initiatives, including the English Short Title Catalog, NINES (the Networked Infrastructure for 19th Century Studies), ARC (The Advanced Research Consortium), and Project Quintessence, a text analysis portal for the Early English Books Online corpus. Over the course of his career, his digital work has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Microsoft Research, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. His current research is focused on developing and implementing computational tools to facilitate the application of Analytical Bibliographic methods at scale in the study of historical text and printed images.

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