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Digital Humanities

BAND, Digital Humanities

Blake In Photoshop, Part 3: Recovering Overwritten Text

This fall I’ve been blogging about forensic experimentation with Blake Archive images in Adobe Photoshop. The idea is that Photoshop can be a [relatively] cheap, easy, and fast way to either answer transcription questions or allow editors to model alternate views of manuscript images for Archive users. In the last two posts, I’ve used examples of faded, hard-to-read text to illustrate the potential usefulness of digital image manipulation.

Interesting stuff, but also pretty conservative in terms of total image manipulation and Photoshop’s technical abilities. This week, we’re going to push the envelope . . . just a bit.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Blake In Photoshop, Part 2.5: Can You Read This?

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a simple Photoshop technique for recovering faded text in old manuscripts. I used a couple of objects from Four Zoas as a demo because we’ve been working a lot with Four Zoas and, well, it’s pretty hard to read.

It wasn’t a true experiment, though. Because FZ has been so heavily scrutinized by scholars past and present, nearly every conceivable reading is documented and available for verification. In other words, I was working towards a recovery that I already had in mind. Not-so-boldly-going where many have gone before.

OK, so maybe that’s fine for proof-of-concept. But what about a real test? Could we try this out on something we really had trouble reading? Wouldn’t you know it—a recent letter acquisition provided exactly that opportunity.

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Digital Humanities, XML

DHSI and the Four Zoas: Part 1

In June, I went to the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) in Victoria, BC. I have a whole other post in my head about the ferry journey from Seattle to Victoria (beautiful!), the fish tacones at Red Fish Blue Fish (delicious!) and the nineteenth-century architecture of the city (magnificent!), but for now I’ll stick to the subject at hand: encoding the Four Zoas.

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Digital Humanities

Blake In Photoshop, Part 2: Recovering Faded Text

A few months ago, I wrote a post that introduced the idea of experimenting with the Archive’s cache of high-resolution digital photography in Photoshop. Experimentation has continued and has provided some interesting results. It’s difficult to label the experiments as successes or failures—the stakes aren’t that high yet. But in the DH/Zen-like spirit of play and working-without-aiming, let’s continue with the fun.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Blake in Photoshop (Part 1 of…)

We’ve blogged quite a bit about our recent work creating an experimental edition of The Four Zoas. That sort of work has been on the encoding/display end of things. And while that work is ongoing, I’ve since become occupied with digital imaging and the potential editorial/archival uses for digital software, like Adobe Photoshop.

When I first sat down to a computer with some of these questions in mind, it took about five minutes to realize I needed full, lossless, high-resolution files to see anything in meaningful detail. I was able to work out a few techniques for recovering faded text (which I will blog about in the future), but some immediate questions our Rochester group had involved compressed files vs. high-resolution. So, dear reader, if you’ll permit me, today I’m going to respond to the group in blog form with some quick explanations and comparative screenshots.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

“dance & sport in summer”: overhauling the transcription guidelines

We’re approaching the end of semester here, and, as you all know, “summer vacation” in the wonderful world of academia doesn’t mean time off but time to actually try and get work done. Accordingly, over the last few weeks, I’ve been putting my ducks in a row and trying to organize my projects for the summer. The task at the top of my list is to update our transcription guidelines and tag set, and (hopefully) to put them into some sort of format that we can eventually make public for users of the Blake Archive. This project isn’t as snoozeworthy as it sounds: I’m actually looking forward to incorporating the transcription decisions that we’ve made over the last few years and seeing what kind of editorial rationale emerges (assuming, of course, that there has been some method to our madness).

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Stopping to smell the roses: more thoughts on DH and collaboration

We have been fortunate to have a series of visiting Digital Humanities scholars at the University of Rochester over the last few months, and while all of their projects and approaches have been very different, most have still emphasized the importance of collaboration in their work. We’ve written a post about the topic before, but this time I want to focus more generally on the different kinds of group work we engage in at BAND.

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