Stewart Brookes: Getting Digital on Medieval Manuscripts

Tue November 1st 2022, 12:00 - 1:15pm
Wallenberg 443A

Annotating the Lindisfarne Gospels (f. 25v) in Archetype

There are now many millions of high-resolution images of medieval manuscripts on-line. This is a huge step forward for public accessibility, but presents us with the challenge of what we might we do with this material beyond browsing with the “Turning the Pages” and IIIF viewers provided by repositories. How might, for instance, letter-forms or iconographic motifs be catalogued, curated and compared to support evidence-based scholarship? How fine-grained should our descriptions be? And do digital humanities projects and machine learning change the scope or even the nature of our research questions? In this seminar, we will look at a number of tools and approaches, exploring the ideas behind computer-assisted research.

Dr. Stewart J. Brookes is a researcher at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, working on the retro-conversion and XML/TEI mark-up of the Bodleian’s online catalogue of medieval manuscripts (funded by the Tolkien Trust). He is a co-designer of Archetype, an integrated suite of open-source, web-based tools for the study of medieval handwriting, art and iconography. Stewart is co-Director, with Joanna Tucker (Glasgow), of Models of Authority, and is on the Executive Board of Digital Medievalist. His publications include chapters on studying medieval handwriting from a Digital Humanities perspective and handwriting variation in Aldred’s gloss to the Lindisfarne Gospels. He is currently working with Elaine Treharne on a Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Early English (Oxford University Press), a major revision and update of N.R. Ker’s highly influential volume of similar title.

As part of the CESTA Lunch Seminar Series, this presentation will include lunch and take place at the Stanford Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis in Wallenberg 433A.