Department of English

“'Laborsaving Machinery' for the Tasks of Textual Studies"

A Bibliography and Textual Studies Interest Group/American Literatures Interest Group Event

Wed, April 28, 2010 | Harry Ransom Center, Denius Seminar Room (2nd Floor)

12:00 PM

“'Laborsaving Machinery' for the Tasks of Textual Studies"
Travis Brown and Matt Cohen
The University of Texas at Austin
The Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive has one of the largest critical bibliographies on the Internet, with 14,000 annotated and cross-referenced entries spanning 170 years. Over a third of these entries are from Scott Giantvalley's Walt Whitman, 1838-1939, a print bibliography that was digitized last fall. They will describe how they used basic hardware and open source software to translate the physical book into 4,983 database entries accurately and efficiently, in dozens rather than hundreds of hours. They will also discuss techniques that they are currently using to automate parts of the process of proofing Horace Traubel's nine-volume, 1.5 million-word biography of Whitman.

Travis Brown is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English, and Matt Cohen is Associate Professor of English; both are contributors to The Walt Whitman Archive.

Sponsored by: the Bibliography and Textual Studies Interest Group and the American Literatures Interest Group

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