HDDA 2012

Historical Documents in the Digital Age is an international workshop organized in Rouen (25-26 Oct. 2012) as part of the DocExplore project, addressing the issues of Computer Science, Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage.

  • Session 1: Libraries and archives in the Digital Age
    • J.-F. Moufflet (Service interministériel des Archives de France): “Quels fonds d’archives numériser et avec quels outils les valoriser dans une perspective de recherche ?”
    • Matthieu Bonicel, Bibliothèque Nationale de France: “La constitution de bibliothèques numériques patrimoniales : et après ?”
    • Cressida Williams (Canterbury Cathedral Archives): “Digitisation and the local archives office”
  • Session 2: Digital tools for annotating and indexing
    • Stéphane Nicolas, Laboratoire d’Informatique, de Traitement de l’Information et des Systèmes: “Transcrire le passé à l’aide d’outils du présent”
    • Marçal Rusiñol, Computer Vision Center (Centre de visio per computador): “Browsing the contents of digital libraries of historical documents by word spotting – Latest Achievements”
    • Franck Lebourgeois, Laboratoire d’InfoRmatique en Images et Systèmes d’Information: “De l’image au texte – From image to text”
  • Session 3: Digital paleography (Amphithéâtre de la Maison de l’Université)
    • Élisabeth Lalou, GRHis: “DocExplore et son usage pour la paléographie”
    • Marc Smith, École Nationale des Chartes – Dominique Stutzmann, Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes: “Nouvelles perspectives en paléographie: imagerie numérique, métrologie, encodage allographétique, statistiques”
    • Véronique Eglin, Laboratoire d’InfoRmatique en Images et Systèmes d’Information: “Digital tools for Middle Age handwriting clustering and identification”
    • Richard Guest, University of Kent: “Novel computer-based techniques for exploring handwritten documents”
  • Session 4: ICT in Cultural Heritage
    • Jean-Marc Minière, VirtuaSense: “Les TIC sont-elles en train de transformer la relation au patrimoine culturel ?”
    • Clive Izard, British Library: “Turning over a new leaf: Access and interpretation through technology interpretation”
    • Clotilde Vaissaire-Agard, CF2ID: “Patrimoine numérisé et lecture sociale, quelles convergences ?”

Session 5: Digital Humanities: present and future

    • Alison Wiggins, School of Critical Studies – University of Glasgow: “How Do We Build It So They Will Come?: Editing Bess of Hardwick’s Letters Online”
    • Dominique Stutzmann, Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes: “L’outil et les paradigmes : ergonomie applicative, visualisation des données et leur rôle dans le travail d’historien”
    • Alixe Bovey, Center for Medieval and early Modern Studies: “Pixiliating the Page: Reflections on Illuminated Manuscripts in the Digital Age”

Session 6: Software DocExplore demo

Digital Humanities Congress

Digital Humanities Congress

Date: 6 – 8 September 2012

Location: University of Sheffield

The first Biannual Digital Humanities Congress was organized by The University of Sheffield’s Humanities Research Institute with the support of the Network of Expert Centres and Centernet (http://www.shef.ac.uk/hri/dhc2012).

The HRI defines the DH as: ‘the use of technology within arts, heritage and humanities research as both a method of inquiry and a means of dissemination’.

The keynote speakers were:

  • Professor Andrew Prescott (Head of Department, Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London)
  • Professor Lorna Hughes (University of Wales Chair in Digital Collections at the National Library of Wales)
  • Professor Philip Ethington (Professor of History and Political Science, University of Southern California and Co-Director of the USC Center for Transformative Scholarship)

Papers on Medieval Topics

  • Takako Kato (De Montfort University), ‘Transcribing incipits and explicits in TEI-XML’
  • Bill Endres (University of Kentucky), ‘More than Meets the Eye: Going 3D with an Early Medieval Manuscript’
  • Guillaume Sarah and Florence Codine (CNRS, France), ‘Transcribing early medieval epigraphy in the digital age’
  • Ségolène M. Tarte (University of Oxford), ‘Cognitive Insights in Interpretation Building: Tailoring Software to Expert Practices’
  • Elisabeth Salter (Aberystwyth University), ‘In the mind’s eye: reflections on generating reader experience c 1350 – 1600’

You can download the programme and all the abstracts from: http://www.shef.ac.uk/hri/dhc2012.

DigiPal Symposium 2011


Date: 5 September 2011, 9.30am-5.30pm

Place: Council Room, King’s College London

In recent years, scholars have begun to develop and employ new technologies and computer-based methods for palaeographic research. The aim of the symposium is to present developments in the field, explore the limits of digital and computational-based approaches, and share methodologies across projects which overlap or complement each other.

Call for Papers

Papers of 20 minutes in length were invited on any relevant aspect of digital methods and resources for palaeography and manuscript studies. Possible topics could have included:

  • Project reports and/or demonstrations
  • Palaeographical method; ‘Digital’ and ‘Analogue’ palaeography
  • Quantitative and qualitative approaches
  • ‘Scientific’ methods, ‘objectivity’ and the role of evidence in manuscript studies
  • Visualisation of manuscript evidence and data
  • Interface design and querying of palaeographical material

To propose a paper, please send a brief abstract (250 words max) to digipal [at] kcl.ac.uk. The deadline for receipt of submissions was 8th May 2011.


  • 9:30-10:00: Coffee and registration
  • 10:00–11:00: Introduction, followed by
    • Plenary Lecture: Elaine Treharne (Florida State University), A Site for Sore Eyes: Digital, Visual and Haptic Manuscript Studies
  • 11:00–11:20: Coffee Break
  • 11:20–12:30: Session 1. Chair: Orietta da Rold (University of Leicester)
    • Peter Stokes (King’s College London): DigiPal in Theory
    • Stewart Brookes (King’s College London): DigiPal in Practice
    • Erik Kwakkel (Leiden University): The Digital Eye of the Paleographer: Using Databases to Identify Scribes and Date their Handwriting
  • 12:30-13:30: Lunch (provided for all registered participants)
  • 13:30–15:00: Session 2. Chair: Ségolène Tarte (University of Oxford)
    • Wim Van Mierlo (University of London): How to Work with Modern Manuscripts in a Digital Environment — Some Desiderata
    • John McEwan and Elizabeth New (Aberystwyth University): The Seals in Medieval Wales Project: Towards a New Standard in Digital Sigillography
    • Ben Outhwaite and Huw Jones (Cambridge University Library): Navigating Cambridge’s Digital Library: the Cairo Genizah and Beyond
  • 15:00–15:20: Coffee Break
  • 15:20–16:50: Session 3. Chair: Malte Rehbein (Universität Würzburg)
    • Franck Le Bourgeois (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon): Overview of Image Analysis Technologies
    • James Brusuelas (University of Oxford) and John Wallin (Middle Tennessee State University): The Papyrologist in the Shell
    • Els De Paermentier (Ghent University): Diplomata Belgica: Towards a More Creative and Comparative Palaeographical Research on Medieval Charters
  • 16:50–17:00: Short Break
  • 17:00–17:30: Panel Discussion with Michelle Brown (University of London), Donald Scragg (University of Manchester) and Marc Smith (École Nationale des Chartes), chaired by Clare Lees (King’s College London)

There was no formal evening event, but an informal dinner was held in a local restaurant.


Leeds 2012

International Medieval Congress

The following conference sessions, panels, and business meetings involving digital subjects are being proposed for the International Medieval Congress 2012, which takes place in Leeds, July 9-12, 2012.

The theme of the 2012 conference is “Rules to follow (or not),” although other topics are welcome. For further details, see http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/index.html.

In 2012, Digital Medievalist does not sponsor any session.

Sessions involving digital subjects

Session 403: Seals and Sigillography: What Is Their Future in a Digital Age? – A Round Table Discussion

Arranged in the year that Sigillum, the website for the encouragement of research and the study of seals, was established, this round table will discuss the future for the study of seals and sigillography in the digital age. Is sigillography a study in its own right or is it simply the handmaid of history and art history? One of the goals of Sigillum is to encourage the use of seal and seal matrices in the study, teaching and writing of history (of all kinds, including social history and art history), archaeology, palaeography, archival studies, and other allied subjects. Whatever its status, how should the study develop in this digital age? All those interested in seals and seal matrices, of whatever country and period, are warmly invited.

Session 627: Mabillon’s Heirs: New Diplomatics – Young Scholars

Diplomatic studies, as an old science, have renewed themselves these last years with the new perspectives brought by the study of literacy. The famous technical way of studying documents is not only used for the discrimen veri ac falsi, but also to bring into new light the practices of writing in particular societies, in connection with social studies and cultural studies. These two sessions aim to focus on new projects initiated by young scholars at the beginning of their research, in order to help them to connect themselves with the scientific community and to improve their own way of searching.

Session 727: Producing, Keeping, and Reusing Documents: Charters and Cartularies from Northern Iberia, 9th-12th Century

The session will address the ways in which documents were kept, copied and reused in northern Iberia in the period between the late 9th and the 12th century. The first paper will focus on the single charters which survive from the earlier end of this period to investigate how documents were produced and kept before the production of the later monastic cartularies, while the second and the third paper will discuss the rationale behind the construction of some of the most significant cartularies which were compiled in that region between the end of the 11th and the 12th century.

Session 1015: Medievalism: Medieval Rules in Modern Culture and Literature

There are a lot of everyday rules, cultural rules and agreements, literary structures and rules, religious orders and rules of the Middle Aages that have survived up to modern times. But they have not been the same ones. For instance sometimes only a word still exists with another meaning or not exactly equivalent meaning, as ‘Ritterlichkeit’ or with different meaning ‘wib : weib’. We still know some religious customs and rules but they don’t have this high relevance for our everyday life as they had in the middle ages. For some occasions we still have dress-codes but they are aimed other events and other groups of people and other dressings. We still know the lyrics and the epics, the literary texts of the Middle Ages but nowadays they are told in a different way, sometimes for a different audience and, of course, they appear in another media. This session will give three exemples of this turn of rules.

Session 1119: ‘Ruling’ the Script, I: Playing with the Rule

Medieval writing, as part of the interpersonal communication process, had to follow rules that ensure the legibility and convey the meaning of a text. Latin or vernacular, spoken or read, charter on parchment, painting, or stained-glass: different functions, social contexts, and publics lead to variations in the use of scripts during the Middle Ages. This session explores the representational modes of the text as an image and the concept of ‘liberty’ for scripts in regard to the staging of spoken or vernacular texts in epigraphy (Latin/vernacular) and to the degree of stability and variation in vernacular scripts.

Session 1303: GIS as a Tool for Understanding Medieval Road Systems

This session is primarily concerned with the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in creating a method of modeling historical roads. Very often, medieval roads cited in historical sources are no longer existent, and locating a known route could be impossible; GIS surveys, combined with an extensive analysis of historical sources and archeological data, can be an excellent tool to reconstruct the outline of a road, or of a network of roads, offering the historians an invaluable help.

Session 1319: ‘Ruling’ the Script, III: Measure and Sense

Medieval writing, as part of the interpersonal communication process, had to follow rules that ensure the legibility and convey the meaning of a text. The digital humanities in palaeography give birth to a renewed quantitative approach, either as computer-aided palaeography or as digital palaeography with automated image-analysis softwares. This session explores what can be measured (angles, inclination, collective scribal profiles, and allographs) and how this new data can be analysed (databases, factorial analysis, cross-validation). The results give new insights on the dynamic of script evolution, and how it relates to the social contexts of written production.

Session 1402: ‘The Paradox of Medieval Scotland’ Database as a Research Tool – A Round Table Discussion

‘The Paradox of Medieval Scotland’ database covers all individuals mentioned in the 6014 charters (broadly defined) that survive from the period 1093-1286. Relationships between individuals, as well as information about them, are represented as this has been constructed in the documents themselves. The database, completed towards the end of 2010, has been designed as a research tool not only for historians of Scotland, but for anyone with an interest in the process of ‘Europeanisation’, or who wishes to include a comparative dimension to their research. The workshop will consist of a brief introduction to the database, a couple of case studies where it has been used in research, followed by questions and discussion.

Session 1706: Vicissitudes of Cultural Transfers: Case Studies from Late Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages

Perception of the Middle Ages in digital media

Sessions 728 & 828: Playing with the Middle Ages: Video Game Medievalisms, I & II

Video games are one of the most popular ways in which the public engages with the Middle Ages today. While they often may present romanticised or (more often) completely fantastical versions of the period, these are a vibrant way in which the public comes to know the Middle Ages today.


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For more information, see

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