Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Demonstration Video of T-PEN's Transcription UI

Over the last few months, the T-PEN team has re-fashioned the core UI of the application. Instead of presenting the user with a number of manuscripts lines split up and each having their own text box, there is now just one text box. It floats over the image of the manuscript page, and as the user moves to the next line, so does the transcription box. We've also added new transcription aids: a Latin Dictionary (since currently the majority of our manuscript repositories house Latin manuscripts), a searchable version of the Latin Vulgate Bible, and an electronic copy of Capelli's Dizionario de Abbreviature latine ed italiane. The video here shows how all these aids (plus the option to do XML markup while transcribing) make T-PEN a robust digital tool for scholarly transcription and editing:

The manuscript featured in this demonstration comes from Houghton Library of Harvard Univeristy, and is one of 2,600+ manuscripts to which  T-PEN users could gain access.  Over the summer we will be striking agreements with other digital repositories and our aim is to have over 5,000 manuscripts on T-PEN's access list when the beta is released in October 2011.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We're goin' to Kalamazoo...

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the annual pilgrimage to the International Medieval Congress, held at Western Michigan University.  This will the be 46th iteration of the "uber-conference" for all things medieval.  It attracts some 3,000 medievalists from all academic walks of life, as well those interested in reviving certain features of medieval culture (such as those devoted to reenactments or making food and beer the medieval way!).  As much as fun as there is, the real focus is just like every other conference: the opportunity to share current research, engage in lively conversation about one's respective fields, and get a bird's eye view of the present shape of medieval studies. Attendees can choose from 580 individual sessions.

Make that 581: thanks to the Digital Medievalist Society, there will be an additional poster session Friday evening where scholars can display their digital wares.  Part of the T-PEN team will be there with one large poster and a few laptops on which participants can take T-PEN out for a spin.  We spent the last week building a Linux VM version of T-PEN that we will run as a local application (just in case our network connection fails to materialize) on the laptops.  Users will be able to transcribe a few select manuscripts, make use of the built-in tools, and even import an XML schema to validate an encoded transcription.  Our hope is to get some feedback from the users (including their wishlists for which digital repositories they would to see on T-PEN's access list).

If you are anywhere near Kalamazoo, MI on Friday 13 May 2011 at 7pm, stop by and say hello.  Here's the teaser poster we will be plastering about the conference grounds (artfully designed by Patrick Cuba)