Articles from Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (formerly LLC)

A web application for exploring primary sources: The DanteSources case study

AbstractWe present the methodological and technical process we adopted to develop DanteSources, a Web application that allows free access to the knowledge about Dante Alighieri’s primary sources, i.e. the works of other authors that Dante cites in his texts. Up to now, this knowledge has been collected in many paper books, making it difficult for the scholars to retrieve it and to produce a complete overview of these data.

An authorship analysis of the Jack the Ripper letters

AbstractThe Whitechapel murders that terrorized London in 1888 are still remembered to this day, thanks to the legend of its unapprehended perpetrator, Jack the Ripper. In addition to the gruesomeness of the murders, the name and the persona of the killer have been popularized by the over 200 letters signed as ‘Jack the Ripper’ that have been received following the murders.

What is Elena Ferrante? A comparative analysis of a secretive bestselling Italian writer

AbstractThis article looks at the case of Elena Ferrante, the (presumed) pseudonym of an internationally successful Italian novelist, and has two objectives: first, to observe how her novels are positioned in the panorama of modern Italian literature (represented by an ad hoc reference corpus—composed of 150 novels by forty different authors) and, second, to attempt to understand whether, amongst the authors in the corpus, there are any that can be considered candidates for involvement in the writing of the novels signed Ferrante.

‘Making such bargain’: Transcribe Bentham and the quality and cost-effectiveness of crowdsourced transcription1

AbstractIn recent years, important research on crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage sector has been published, dealing with topics such as the quantity of contributions made by volunteers, the motivations of those who participate in such projects, the design and establishment of crowdsourcing initiatives, and their public engagement value.

Toward a computational history of universities: Evaluating text mining methods for interdisciplinarity detection from PhD dissertation abstracts

AbstractFor the first time, historians of higher education have large data sets of primary sources that reflect the complete output of academic institutions at their disposal. To analyze this unprecedented abundance of digital materials, scholars have access to a large suite of computational methods developed in the field of Natural Language Processing. However, when the intention is to move beyond exploratory studies and use the results of such analyses as quantitative evidences, historians need to take into account the reliability of these techniques.

Stylometric analysis of Early Modern period English plays

AbstractFunction word adjacency networks (WANs) are used to study the authorship of plays from the Early Modern English period. In these networks, nodes are function words and directed edges between two nodes represent the relative frequency of directed co-appearance of the two words. For every analyzed play, a WAN is constructed and these are aggregated to generate author profile networks. We first study the similarity of writing styles between Early English playwrights by comparing the profile WANs.

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