MarineLives is an innovative academic project for the collaborative transcription, linkage and enrichment of primary manuscripts, which were originated in the High Court of Admiralty, London, 1650-1669. The end product will be a publicly and freely available online academic edition of the 1656-1657 volume (HCA 13/71).
TRANSCRIPTION AND EDITING
Our volunteer transcribers are back at work after the Christmas break, and we are celebrating the transcription of one thousand pages since the start of the project. That’s around five hundred and fifty thousand words in four and a half months, one third of which have now been edited. We are on track to complete the transcription and text editing of HCA 13/71 by the end of March this year.
A huge thank you to all our volunteer transcribers, who committed to the fourteen weeks of Phase One of the project, which finished on December 14th. In alphabetical order our transcribing associates have been Deborah Ashby, Rachel Bates, Katie Broke, Elio Calcagno, Dr Janet Few, Jamie LeAnne Hager Goodall, Karen Gunnell, Dr Liam Haydon, William Kellett, John Miller, David Pashley, Dr Cathryn Pearce, Andrew Richens, Daniel Richards, Laura Seymour, Ida Sjoberg, and Alexis Harasemovitch Truax.
Likewise in alphabetical order, our transcription team facilitators have been Colin Greenstreet, Philip Hnatkovich, Alex Jackson, William Tullett and Jill Wilcox.
Giovanni Colavizza and Patrizia Rebulla have led our semantic markup efforts, with Giovanni creating the technical platform used by the transcribing teams, based upon the open source software package SCRIPTO. Gordon O’Sullivan project managed the establishment of our PhD Forum.
Our project advisors have been Dr Richard Blakemore (Exeter), Dr Catherine Buchanan (Westminster School), Dr Stuart Dunn (King’s College London), Dr Charlene Eska (Virginia Tech), Margaret Schotte (PhD Candidate, Princeton), Jo Pugh (National Archives), and Vikki Corker (National Archives).
We must be doing something right, since half of our team have revolunteered to continue transcribing till the end of March and to finish the volume.
Since Christmas we have reduced our transcription teams from five to two in number.
These are led by two of our team facilitators, William Tullett, a masters student at King’s College, London, and Alex Jackson, a recent masters graduate from the University of Sheffield.
Working with William and Alex are Dr Janet Few, Karen Gunnell, Jamie LeAnne Hager, Dr Liam Haydon, Philip Hnatkovich, Dr Cathryn Pearce, David Pashley, and Laura Seymour.
We are down to the tougher pages, written by two High Court of Admiralty clerks who would have benefited from advanced handwriting lessons. If you are an experienced and enthusiastic transcriber who likes challenging texts, you would be very welcome to join us for these last two and a half months of transcription. You can get in touch with our transcription teams using this contact form.
Two successful online PhD forum sessions took place in January – the first on geography, trade, commerce and law, convened by Philip Hnatkovich (Penn State) and Dr Richard Blakemore (Exeter); the second on material culture and language, convened by Dr Liam Haydon (Manchester) and Laura Seymour (Birkbeck College, London).
Participating in the two sessions, in addition to the convenors, were Dr Charlene Eska (Virginia Tech), Colin Greenstreet (MarineLives project leader), Jamie LeAnne Hager Goodall (Ohio State), Sue Jones (Birkbeck College, London), Katherine Parker (Pittsburgh), Dr Cathryn Pearce (Greenwich Maritime Institute), (Margaret Schotte (Princeton), Steven Schrum (Washington University, Saint Louis), and Royline Williams-Fontenelle (Oklahoma).
We plan to hold further online forum sessions and are open to new members, both PhD candidates and early career researchers. You can get in touch with our PhD Forum convenors using this contact form.
PHASE TWO AND CALL FOR PARTNERS
Our leadership team is working with our project advisors and our PhD Forum members to develop our goals, project plan and financing for Phase Two of the MarineLives project.
We have identified four potential modules for Phase Two, starting between June and October 2013.
Possible Phase Two Modules
(1) Module: Semantic markup of transcribed text of HCA 13/71
Our aspiration is to develop a TEI-compliant semantically marked up text for HCA 13/71 which will enable us to perform sophisticated searches, and to display data directly as text, and indirectly accessible through a GIS supported environment. We know broadly what we want to do, and have commenced semantic coding, but we need to partner with a university department with strong TEI expertise to ensure we have a robust conceptual plan, and that this module is successfully delivered. We believe that this module could form the basis for a small scale academic grant application.
(2) Module: GIS enablement of HCA 13/71
We wish to display HCA 13/71 text and data in a GIS-enabled environment. This has been mentioned in a recent blog posting, Mapping Marine Lives.
We have taken a look at existing software, and have thought about conceptual frameworks, but we are not GIS experts, and would benefit greatly from partnering with an institution with GIS interests and expertise.
We are currently working with our newly formed PhD Forum to develop a more detailed set of user requirements for GIS capability.
(3) Module: Linkage and annotation
We are interested in linking the data in HCA 13/71 to other primary and secondary sources, both digitally and non-digitally. We have started this process, but are now exploring how we might do this more systematically, both by theme and by source type. We are also exploring possible annotation software which we might integrate into our digital edition on our planned production server. There is the potential to develop a module around this activity, involving both a technical partner and one or more content partners.
(4) Module: Integration of HCA 13/71 digital edition with innovative search engines
We have started discussions with the Discovery search engine team at the National Archives about the potential to integrate our future production server and its associated data and software with the new Discovery search engine.
We are also interested in integrating our metadata into federated and other search engines.
We have a number of innovative ideas about historical search and linkage, and would welcome contact with academics and institutions who share our ambitious vision for search and linkage of primary documents and archival metadata. You can contact us to discuss search and linkage using the following contact form.
Dr Eska plans, if successful, to employ a PhD candidate to work on textual and semantic editing connected to the MarineLives project.
We are interested in hearing from academic publishers who take in an integrative approach to seventeenth century marine and social history.
Potential publication projects include a guide to the High Court of Admiralty, in print and electronic formats, linked to a production server supporting the MarineLives project.
You can get in touch with our publication coordinator using this contact form.