Posts tagged with "digital humanities"

    Überlegungen und Material für den Editionsworkshop im März 2015 am OIB

    Technische Aspekte, oder: the D in Digital Humanities

    Grundsätze

    • wenige und simple Formate / Programmiersprachen, die mit einfachsten Texteditoren bearbeitet werden können, damit sie von den Nutzer_innen, und das sind in der Regel Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftler_innen, gebraucht werden können. D.h. im besten Fall wird ein einziges Format und eine einzige Sprache für den gesamten Editions-/ Publikationsprozess verwandt.
    • Formate / Programmiersprachen müssen menschen- und maschinenlesbar sein. Damit wird sichergestellt, dass sogar ein plain-text-Ausdruck auf Papier prinzipiell verständlich ist, auch wenn dabei natürlich viel, wenn nicht gar sämtliche, Funktionalität verloren geht.
    • Sämtliche Sprachen und Programme sollten open source und etabliert sein, mit einer großen Community. Das verhindert einen lock-in und Abhängigkeit von einem einzelnen Abieter.
    • Sprachen sollten im Publikationsgewerbe und Editionsprojekten weit verbreitet sein.
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    New XSLT stylesheets for calendar conversion on Github

    A couple of months ago a posted a short note on my XSLT stylesheets to convert the various calendars at use in the late Ottoman empire at will. Now, I have improved the functions and added the Ottoman fiscal calendar (mālī, sene-yi māliye) to the brew and uploaded everything under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license to GitHub. Feel free to fork and tinker with the code. Enjoy!

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    XSLT functions for converting calendars

    Recently I came across the necessity of converting Islamic hijrī dates to Gregorian dates in order to automatically harvest data from the Baṣbakanlik Osmanli Arṣivi’s catalogue into my research database. Unfortunately the database I use (the reference manager Sente) is proprietary software that can only deal with Gregorian dates. Thus, I needed to translate a certain string through XSLT in order to produce the correct XML for import into the database. I soon discovered that even though, formally the specifications for the format-date() function in XPath 2.0 include the hijrī calendar (labelled “Islamic”) and even Arabic month names, this specification was never actually implemented. As I could not find any available code on the net, I adopted the javascript conversion between Gregorian, Julian, and Hijri calendars provided by John Walker’s Calendar Converter for XSLT 2.0 and decided to share the functions on GitHub for reuse.

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    Historical Currency Converter

    Conducting historical research, one often encounters odd currencies, measures, and calendars, all of which are bound to space and time. Calender conversion tools can be readily found on the internet (a good example is CalendarHome’s adaptation of Fourmilab’s code), but converters for non-metric currencies and weights are a bit trickier to come by. As I found myself repeatedly computing exchange rates between Ottoman Lira, British Pound Sterling, US Dollars, and French Francs, I wrote a simple javascript and html frontend.

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    Project Jaraid: our new chronology of nineteenth-century Arabic periodicals is online

    After some time out, I return to this blog to announce yesterday’s publication of my first ever paid-for website and digital humanities project. Called “Project Jarāʾid – A chronology of nineteenth century periodicals in Arabic” the website is hosted by the Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin. Based on a simple analogue table provided by Adam Mestyan and Philip Sadgrove (both nowadays in Oxford), I developed a static HTML page that provides the chronology in tabular form, including information on date of first publication, names of publishers, places of publication, and known holding information. In addition, we provide indexes of persons, organisations, places, and holding institutions, as well as a density map of all periodicals we could trace. As a further experimental feature, we included an index of all languages besides Arabic, such as Ladino, Ottoman, French, English, Spanish, various Arabic colloquiuals etc. The website, we hope, will help all those researchers interested in periodicals als a source for their historical accounts to a) establish possible sources, and b) to locate them for their actual research.

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