Team Remix, Winter 2016

On February 1, 2016 by Michelle Warren

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Qingyu Wang, Michelle Warren, Jennifer Zhong, Laura Braunstein, Bay ByrneSim

This Winter, Team Remix is in full swing. We have three new team members and are putting the remix philosophy into practice.  From the outset, I envisioned adapting goals to the interests and skills of the team members. The architecture of the research is designed to turn the “problem” of team turnover into an asset—as we remix the team, our vision adapts and takes new forms. Every step is a step in the right direction. The method is modular: each teach member should have a tangible outcome to show for their time on the project, whether they participate for three months or three years.  Blogging about the research process is built into team member contributions to the outcomes. Ideally, we’ll learn things from each outcome that can contribute to future projects, either scaling up what they completed or adapting for new ideas.  It’s so great to see the vision actually working!

Currently, We have two experiments from our wishlist underway with June 2016 deadlines, when two team members are expected to leave the project. Each module is itself scalable, so that the team can adapt to unexpected complexities and still meet a firm deadline.

Transcription.  Qingyu Wang, an MA student in Comparative Literature, is trained in Middle English paleography, and so can transcribe handwritten text from the manuscript. We had not anticipated this capability on the team, but now that she is here (supported by her graduate fellowship), we are working on a small test case to compare digital transcription tools. We’re using a sampling method (in tune with remix) so that Qingyu has time to work with more than one transcription method. For now, she has selected Folio 10v, which begins a new chapter of text that is also densely annotated in the margins. Meanwhile, Jennifer Zhong, a sophomore studying English and Computer Science, is contributing research to establish an annotated bibliography of transcription tools. Emily Ulrich is also contributing ideas from her own research and professional contacts. The goal is to compare the transcription process and outputs from several tools.

Digital Exhibit. Bay ByrneSim, a postbac fellow at Rauner Special Collections Library, majored in Art History and is interested in photography. After hearing the project wishlist, she decided to focus on digital publishing. We’re in the process of breaking down the component steps to remixing the already published photo essay about the preservation of the Brut manuscript, including new material on Deborah Howe’s fabrication of the model book.  Collaborating with Deborah, Bay will (at least) publish a publicly accessible photo archive and (at most) design versions of the preservation story on several different platforms so that we can compare their respective impacts on the story. Jennifer is contributing tool bibliography, while Laura is contributing expertise on how different platforms interface with digital publishing at the Library.

We hope that this work will provide several building blocks toward future projects. The transcription tests will help explore interactions among text, annotation, and visual display. The digital exhibit will give us some insights about the interoperability of digital archives as well as the boundaries between archive and narrative. Together, these two modules will help us assess the more complex problem of the annotation display.

 

 

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