Proposal: Paleography Play and Transcription Resources

The Folger Library and its affiliates have been hard at work in recent years on several initiatives that make early modern manuscripts digitally accessible for researchers. The principle result of this project, EMMO or Early Modern Manuscripts Online, combines digitized manuscript images with easy-to-read textual transcriptions of each page. A related project, EMROC (Early Modern Recipes Online Collective), focuses transcription efforts on the recipe books used in early modern households. Although the Folger has in-house specialists in paleography, the practice of deciphering early modern handwriting, external scholars are also welcome to contribute through several of its digital tools, including Dromio, a digital platform through which contributors can view document images and transcribe them using a combination of words and tags to indicate textual phenomena like strikethroughs, abbreviations, and more. As preparation for this style of transcription, the Folger team, along with at Oxford University and the Oxford English Dictionary, have created a friendly practice resource that will teach participants how to transcribe and tag digital documents: Shakespeare’s World. In a proposed breakout session, participants will walk through a tutorial on paleographic alphabets before practicing their transcription skills on Shakespeare’s World.

Proposal: Learn to Tag Borrowers & Lenders

Proposed Breakout Session: Christy Desmet and Sujata Iyengar will introduce workshop participants to the process of encoding data and publishing Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation.

Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation uses extensible mark-up language, or xml, to encode articles for publication online. This means, basically, that we encode strings of text according to what they are rather than how they should look. Whereas in HTML a “tagger” might indicate that the title of a long work (say, Shakespeare’s Hamlet) should appear in italics by using a pair of “tags” <i> and </i>, in our XML mark-up the title Hamlet is marked up as <titleoflongwork></titleoflong work>. This means that in turn all our tags are already defined in a document called the DTD, for Document Type Definition. The DTD tells the web interface how it should display something tagged as <titleoflongwork></titleoflongwork>, i.e., it should appear in italics.

We have additional deep tags for our rich multimedia, and Christy Desmet will also offer an instructive overview of the process of preserving and archiving multimedia, and some suggestions for “best practices” to avoid the disappearance of links, videos, and other media. — Sujata Iyengar and Christy Desmet

Remember to register for THATCamp Shakespeare 2017 by Monday, March 20th.

Registration is Still Open

Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library.

Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library.

Greetings, technologically-minded humanists and humanist-minded technologists! There’s still time to register for THATCamp Shakespeare at the UGA DigiLab on April 5th. The cost of registration is $15 per participant, plus $25 if you are taking the shuttle from the Hyatt-Regency Atlanta to Athens.

We will be closing registration on March 20th, so make sure to register now. If you have any questions, feel free to email Gabrielle at .

THATCamp Shakespeare FAQs

Happy February, everyone. Believe it or not, we are less than 2 months away from THATCamp Shakespeare. We thought we’d answer a few questions about THATCamp Shakespeare, the expected schedule, and how to propose a session.

What is a THATCamp, and can I come?

“THATCamp” refers to The Humanities and Technology Camp, a so-called “UnConference” where interested humanists (digital or would-be digital), programmers, social media writers, systems administrators, students, and members of the public can come together to share their skills and knowledge.

You don’t have to be a digital maven or expert to attend a THATCamp. They are meant to introduce humanists to technologists and vice versa so that we can exchange ideas and perhaps collaborate on new projects. Register now.

Why THATCamp Shakespeare?

This year the University of Georgia celebrates its new Willson Center Digital Humanities Lab and co-sponsors the Shakespeare Association of America’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. To commemorate this happy coincidence, the University of Georgia, the University of Georgia Libraries, and the Folger Shakespeare Library are collaborating to host THATCamp Shakespeare. We invite Shakespeareans with an interest in digital culture and Digital Humanists with an interest in Shakespeare or in literary applications for their work to join us and share their skills.

What is the schedule?

The (tentative!) schedule is as follows:

8:00am  Bus leaves Hyatt Regency Atlanta for Athens

9:30am   Registration opens

10:30am THATCamp Opening and Vote on Sessions

11:00am  Breakout session 1

12:15pm   Lunch

1:15pm     Breakout session 2

2:30pm   Break

2:45pm    Breakout session 3

4:00pm   Break

4:15pm    Breakout session 4

5:30pm   Closing reception

7:00pm   Bus leaves Athens for Hyatt Regency Atlanta

9:30pm    Arrival in Atlanta (traffic-dependent)

Schedule subject to change. Note: for those seeking to attend The Duchess of Malfi back in Atlanta, please be aware that the bus will not get you back to Atlanta in time for the performance.

What’s the conference program?

Delegates have the chance to set their own agenda and to decide what they would like to learn. That is to say: you decide!

We will have four breakout session time slots. We will have concurrent sessions (two or more breakout sessions per time slot) depending on interest, attendance, and the number of proposals.

What kinds of activities or breakout sessions can I propose?

Sessions at THATCamp usually range from general discussions (Talk sessions) to project-based hackathons or writeathons (Make sessions) to technology skills workshops (Teach sessions) to miscellaneous experiments (Play sessions). 

THATCamp website

This rubric (Talk / Make / Teach / Play) is a helpful way to frame your proposed breakout session.

Some snazzy 17th-century shoes, courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library. "Illus. Henricus priceps Walliae [graphic] / W.M., sculp." Marshall, William, fl. 1617-1650, printmaker. FSL Collection. Call no.: ART File H521.5 no.2 (size XS).

Some snazzy 17th-century shoes. Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library.
“Illus. Henricus priceps Walliae [graphic] / W.M., sculp.” Marshall, William, fl. 1617-1650, printmaker. FSL Collection. Call no.: ART File H521.5 no.2 (size XS).

One (fictitious) example: You participate in an online collective project around The Shoes of Shakespeare’s Globe, which documents the shoes worn on stage during Shakespeare’s lifetime in multimedia formats. You want to share your project with THATCampers to gain a larger audience for your work, to recruit new collaborators, and to see if others can shed light on challenges you face.

You could propose to lead a session inspired by your project in a number of ways, like:

  • Talk: Share lessons learned from collaborative digital humanities projects.
  • Make: Work for an hour to tag photos from the Shoes project backlog. (Or)       Design Renaissance-inspired shoes in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Teach: Learn best practices of shoe documentation, both from Shoes of Shakespeare’s Globe workers and from others at THATCamp who also have an    interest in shoe documentation.
  • Play: What happens if we cross-reference the images of shoes worn during performances with lines from the plays which reference shoes?

Other (real) examples:  During THATCamp Shakespeare, we’ll be proposing Teach workshops on “tagging” text in .xml for the multimedia Shakespeare journal Borrowers and Lenders; on how to prepare multimedia for digital publication; and/or on GIS mapping applications for the humanities.

Remember: if you propose a session and it is voted into the schedule, you are going to be the session leader.

How do I propose a session?

First, make sure you register. Your registration should be reveiwed within 3-5 business days.

Once your registration is approved, log into the THATCamp website, either by using the left-hand Meta navigation bar or by clicking here. Go to “Posts,” click “Add New,” and then write a post which will publish directly to the THATCamp website. Keep proposal posts brief, about one to two paragraphs. We will then vote on proposed sessions during the scheduling portion of the morning.

Don’t worry if you don’t manage to write a post prior to April 5. We’ll take day-of proposals as well.

What if my proposed session isn’t selected?

We can’t guarantee that your session will definitely be selected as part of the THATCamp schedule: the attendees will vote on the morning of the conference, not the organizers. However, given the common interests of those attending THATCamp Shakespeare, and the informal, participatory spirit of the event, there will most likely be a way for you to offer your expertise and ask your questions regardless of the final schedule.

I have another question. Whom can I ask?

We’d love to hear from you. Email Gabrielle Linnell at thatcampshax [at] gmail [dot] com.

THATCamp Shakespeare 2017: Coming Soon!

THATCamp Shakespeare 2017

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

The University of Georgia DigiLab

Athens, GA

In 2016, the world celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  To commemorate the end of this “Year of Shakespeare,” as well as the return of the Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting to Atlanta, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the University of Georgia are hosting a THATCamp at the University of Georgia’s DigiLab on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017.

A unique kind of “unconference,” THATCamp stands for The Humanities And Technology Camp. We encourage local digital humanists as well as far-flung Shakespeareans coming to Atlanta for the SAA Annual Meeting to visit our new digital learning environment, to discover our new initiatives in Shakespeare studies and in Digital Humanities, and to share your digital Shakespearean skills.

Registration will open in late 2016 or early 2017.  There will be a modest fee to help defray costs of the event. For those making travel plans, we plan to help delegates with transportation between Atlanta and Athens.

Questions, suggestions, or ideas? Tell us what you want (what you really, really want) to share and learn about deep-fried digital Shakespeares by sending an email to , and get excited. Athens, GA is beautiful in the springtime—and no, not everything is deep-fried.