Resources for Student Researchers at StMU 2018


Workshop Meeting January 19, 2018

General Announcements

  1. Hours
  2. Texas Jewish Studies Triangle Undergraduate Student Conference
    University of Houston, March 25-26, 2018
  3. Options for going forward for meetings and tasks

Mirador Viewer

  2. Basic navigation: pan, zoom, slots, view, moving between pages
  3. Image manipulation
  4. Side panel: Index
  5. Side panel: Layers
  6. Side panel: Annotations
  7. Viewing annotation overlays
  8. Adding and editing annotation overlays

TEI XML of Ceriani

  1. HTML view: HTML
  2. Eclipse Editor: download page

February 2, 2018

Questions about TEI XML

Annotating Latin Moses with Ceriani and new readings

February 16, 2018

Preparing for research presentations

Continuing annotations in Mirador

March 2, 2018

Continue annotations in Mirador

Prepare for student conferences


March 23, 2018

Practice of Sunday’s presentations

March 25-26, 2018

Texas Jewish Studies Triangle Student Conference
University of Houston

Provisional titles and abstracts:

The Jubilees Palimpsest Project (1): The Recovery of Lost Ancient Jewish Literature

The Jubilees Palimpsest Project (2): Digital Humanities Principles for Open Access to More Primary Primary Sources

The Jubilees Palimpsest Project at St. Mary’s University includes student researchers in its work to recover lost ancient Jewish literature. Writings that had been unreadable under any conditions are being made available for anyone to study online using digital tools.

The first part of this two-part presentation focuses on the background of the Book of Jubilees, its preservation and near destruction in a Latin translation, and the spectral imaging technology that restores it to readability. The Book of Jubilees was written in Hebrew in the 150s BCE. It rewrites Genesis in such a way as to resolve interpretive problems, derive legal material, and address theological problems of its day. Though quoted as scripture among the Dead Sea Scrolls, it was abandoned by Judaism as it survived. As the book fell out of favor, copies were no more valuable than the parchment on which they were written, which fortunately was still pretty valuable. The pages were erased and used to copy other texts. The erased writing is mostly invisible to the human eye, but spectral imaging technology makes it possible to overcome the limitations of the human eye.

The second part describes the work currently underway to use digital humanities principles to provide open access to manuscripts, the most primary of primary sources. Whether a manuscript is a palimpsest or readable upon first-hand inspection, prior to digital technology few have had direct access to ancient manuscripts. Adherence to open standards allows the information to be interoperable across computer systems and across human scholars. For example, the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) defines standards for digital texts that reduces the ambiguity in older media. The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) defines a standard for image repositories that makes it easy to derive images into new contexts, such as paleography charts. It also defines standards for defining the overall manuscript from the many images and annotations that describe it, such that we can navigate the pages and enhancements, see the annotations provided by others, and contribute our own.

Provisional outline:

Part 1

  1. Introduction to the Jubilees Palimpsest Project and student research
  2. What is the book of Jubilees?
  3. What is a palimpsest?
  4. How does spectral imaging make illegible manuscsripts legible?

Part 2

  1. Scribal culture and the study of manuscripts (rather than critical editions)
  2. Digital Humanities principles

Existing resources

April 6, 2018