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2010 Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (DHCS)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 11/21/10 (2:18pm)

I was at the 2010 Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (DHCS) -- this year hosted by Northwestern and for that reason in Evanston.

I saw a couple of great presentations including one by Benjamin Pauley from ECSU. He started out by discussing how unreliable biographic information is coming from Google.

Well, that's nothing new, I said to myself -- so what's he going to do about it?

He then preceded to show his fascinating 18th Century Book Tracker which attempts to correctly identify items in Google Books based on established bibliographies or through careful inspection of the scanned works.

The kicker is, he did the whole thing in Drupal. When I asked him whether there was any special customization, his reply was, not much.

So not only is this a great example of how to build reliable bibliographic data into works that Google is scanning but it's being done using a relatively standard install of Drupal. The best news is that Google's taken a look at what Pauley's been doing and given him a grant to expand his activities.


P.S. I also briefly met someone from U. of C. who's working on something she described as a localized 'Craig's List' for the humanities using Drupal. She said it's about to launch. Looking forward to it.