Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Enhancing digital humanities at National Library of Finland

The National Library of Finland organized an internal seminar in which both organizational and content matters were presented and discussed. The director of research library Liisa Savolainen gave a presentation on the developments related to the Digital Humanities area. Digital humanities is a natural active area for the National Library as an increasing proportion of material is in digital form and the lirary itself digitizes large quantities of materials. Savolainen discussed a conceptual model. She also gave examples of international and Finnish digital humanities projects and institutions including
  • styly analysis of Sharepeare's texts,
  • Old Bailey corpus of London central criminal court decisions, published from 1674 to 1913
  • Bible version comparison, and
  • sea traffic in the antiquities.
Savolainen concluded that library's natural role is to provide materials. Is was also discussed that availability of easy-to-use tools can be important for researchers, many of which have only limited skills in computer science.

Jean Sibelius is the internationally best known Finnish composer who lived 1965-1957. Tuija Wicklund gave a presentation on a large-scale project called JSW - Jean Sibelius Works in which a critical edition of Sibelius' works is compiled. The editions includes both musical scores and and associated texts such as letters. Wicklund gave as an example Lemminkäinen Tuonelassa and described the different stages of composition and the information is transferred from composer's table to åublisher manuscrisher's hands where the score is presented for each 27 players separately. In the critical edition, different information sources are integrated. For example, potential errors in the original score are corrected but in an open and transparent manner.

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