Wednesday, November 17, 2010

“Mapping the Republic of Letters” Featured in NY Times

Mapping the Republic of Letters,” a major collaboration between Stanford scholars and researchers at institutions around the world, was featured in the recent New York Time’s article “Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities.” The article looks at the new trend in humanities scholarship towards using technology to enhance liberal arts research and quotes at length project co-leader and former fellow Dan Edelstein. A graphic in the left sidebar highlights the project’s visualizations and summarizes some of its key findings.

In addition to the article, the Times devoted an Arts Beat blog entry to “Mapping” that features a video about the project and explains how to use the publicly available visualization.

“Mapping the Republic of Letters” is led by former Humanities Center fellows Paula Findlen (1998-99) and Dan Edelstein (2008-09) and the Center’s academic technology specialist, Nicole Coleman. Other former fellows on the team include Caroline Winterer (2008-09), Giovanna Ceserani (2007-08), and Keith Baker (2005-06). Groups of researchers are combining data from curated correspondence collections and other archives with tools for visual analysis to better understand the circulation of people, letters, and objects during the 17th and 18th centuries.

“Mapping the Republic of Letters” receives support from the Stanford Humanities Center and is funded by Stanford’s Presidential Fund for Innovation in the Humanities as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities “Digging into Data” grant.


Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities (New York Times)

Digitally Mapping the Republic of Letters (New York Times Arts Beat entry)

Multimedia Feature on Mapping the Republic of Letters (New York Times)

Chicago Press Blog (features a response to the NY TImes article by Dan Edelstein)

“Mapping the Republic of Letters” Website