What do digital medievalists do?

As is often the case in the Digital Humanities landscape, outsiders find it difficult to imagine what kind of work a digital medievalist would engage with. If the term Digital Humanities is often perceived as an oxymoron, this is even more so for Digital Medievalist. Digital and medieval do not seem to go together, and yet, as we know, they complement each other in our projects.

Digital Medievalist (DM) was born in 2003 as a project and an international ‘community of practice’ dedicated to the development and dissemination of best practice in the use of technology in Medieval Studies[1]. In 2005, the Digital Medievalist Journal (DMJ) was added as a more formal component of DM. A review of the papers published in DMJ and of the posts and webpages here at digitalmedievalist.org provides an idea and an overview of our scholarly activities. Digital archives, digital palaeography and codicology projects, medieval corpora, textual analysis and editions are among the most prominent activities, but DM does not wish to be solely involved in medieval manuscript culture. A recent review[2] of a project on Gothic Architecture is an example of the breath of activities carried out by digital medievalists.

To start a reflection on the scholarly interests and endeavours lead by members of our community, we are launching a series of blog-posts written by digital medievalists from around the world, focussing on some aspects of their research, and showcasing their particular views of the Digital Medievalist landscape.

We begin with contributions by a group of early career researchers who are (or have been) engaged in research projects as part of a series of postdocs in Data Curation for Medieval Studies, organized by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and funded by the Mellon Foundation.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage other researchers engaged in projects that fall within the umbrella of Digital Medievalist interests to contact us and submit blog-post proposals.


[1] Paul O’Donnell, D., (2005). Welcome to The Digital Medievalist. Digital Medievalist. 1. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/dm.1

[2] Werwie, K., (2017). Stephen Murray and Andrew Tallon, 2012-. Mapping Gothic France. http://mappinggothic.org/. Digital Medievalist. 10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/dm.54

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