Digital Mitford Coding School, June 25-27, 2016

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We invite you to join members of the Digital Mitford project team from Saturday June 25 through Monday June 27, 2016 for the Fourth Annual Workshop Series and Coding School, hosted by the newly established Center for the Digital Text at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. E-mail your interest by Monday April 11; registration fee (described below), due May 15. As featured on its public website, http://digitalmitford.org, the Digital Mitford project has two major purposes:

  1. to produce the first comprehensive scholarly edition of the works and letters of Mary Russell Mitford, and
  2. to share knowledge of TEI XML and related humanities computing practices with all serious scholars interested in contributing to the project.

Our editing team meets face-to-face to brush up on project methods and make major decisions, and we invite participants and prospective new editors to learn our methods and think with us about project management challenges during the Coding School. Please join us if you want to learn text encoding methods and their applications in the Digital Humanities through hands-on participation in a large-scale digital archive project. We will orient you to coding by giving you hands-on experience with literary and historical documents, from the careful encoding of markings on manuscript material to autotagging enormous and complicated texts with regular expression matching. And we invite you to think with us about how best to build a site interface and visualizations to help explore the data we are gathering on nineteenth-century networks of people, places, and texts.

Our workshops are held at the lovely Pitt-Greensburg campus, recently named one of the five most scenic college campuses near Pittsburgh. This year’s Coding School is part of a series of Digital Humanities events in the Pittsburgh area, as we are coordinating it to follow immediately after the Keystone DH Conference (from June 22-24) in Pittsburgh. Our editors will convene in the days preceding the conference, and the Coding School begins immediately afterwards. We expect people to arrive on Friday afternoon or evening June 24 and depart on Tuesday morning June 28,  with our Coding School in session from Saturday morning June 25 through Monday afternoon June 27.

WHO COMES?

Though we draw our active editors from researchers of 19th-century literature, we hope that all who join the Mitford project (whatever their primary research field) will find good resources for professional scholarly research and publication, and gain beneficial experience for individual projects. Joining our workshop leads to a free first-year membership in the Text Encoding Initiative, the international consortium establishing best practices for encoding of digital texts.  We anticipate hosting two kinds of audiences:

1) those who wish to join the Mitford project as active editors, and

2) equally welcome, those who wish to learn our methods to apply them to their own projects (including repeat visitors who wish to review and continue more advanced work).DSC_0189

WHAT WE TEACH AND SHARE:

  • Discussion of best practices for preparing digital scholarly editions as digital databases.
  • Textual scholarship and paleography (working primarily with 19th-century manuscript correspondence).
  • Participation in an active “dig site” for important data on networks of women writers, theaters, and publishers from the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Hands-on learning of text encoding, including the following:
    • TEI XML encoding and best practices for project sustainability and longevity
    • Autotagging and regular expression matching to prepare digital texts
    • Hands-on experience with XPath, code schemas, XSLT, and an XML database.
  • Perspective on project management and interface development as we work on developing our site interface.
  • Individual and Group Instruction, working with our Explanatory Guides and Resources, organized and led by an elected member of the TEI Technical Council.
  • Based on the applications we are receiving so far, we plan to offer a Part 2 workshop to follow on this one, to give participants more advanced experience with XPath, XSLT, and XQuery. See my instructional materials for a range of coding I am prepared to teach.

HOW TO REGISTER:

Send me an e-mail (at ebb8 at pitt.edu) by Monday April 11, 2016, indicating your interest in the Digital Mitford Coding School. A registration fee is required of all who are not actively affiliated as editors with the project:

  1. Students, Adjunct Instructors, or Independent Scholars: $180
  2. Full-Time Faculty Members, Editors, and Librarians: $300

All registration fees are to be paid by check to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and are due by mail by May 16, 2015.  Please mail checks to: The Digital Mitford Project, c/o Elisa Beshero-Bondar, U. of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, 150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601-5804. (Donations to the project above and beyond this amount are, of course, quite welcome.)

BUDGETING FOR THE JUNE 2016 WORKSHOPS:

  • We will cover the costs of residence in suites (with kitchens and good wireless internet) at the Pitt-Greensburg campus and will arrange for licenses for an extended (90-day) period to use our XML editing software .
  • We cannot cover the costs of travel to Pitt-Greensburg, but we can and do coordinate rides from the Pittsburgh International Airport, the Latrobe regional airport, and the Amtrak train stations in Pittsburgh and in Greensburg.
  • We ask each participant to investigate local funding sources to help cover the costs of travel here.

Thanks, everyone, for reading and sharing with interested parties! We look forward to seeing many new and familiar faces at beautiful Pitt-Greensburg in June. Please feel free to write me with any questions in advance of our application due date of Monday, April 11.

Sincerely,
Elisa Beshero-Bondar
Associate Professor of English
Director of The Digital Mitford Project and Pitt-Greensburg’s Center for the Digital Text

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