2020 Election Results

Dear Digital Medievalist community,

The tally for Digital Medievalist Executive Board Elections (term 2020-2022) has been computed and released. We now have the pleasure of announcing the results from the 2020 DM elections. In alphabetical order, the elected members of the community to the Board are:

• Luise Borek, TU Darmstadt
• Tobias Hodel, University of Berne
• Laura Morreale, Independent Scholar
• Lynn Ransom, University of Pennsylvania, Schoenberg Institute for Manuscripts Studies
• Claudia Sojer, University of Innsbruck

We would like to thank the other candidates for standing and providing us with an outstandingly rich choice. Thank you for your participation!

Best wishes to the new DM board and the DM community in a most unusual year!

The 2020 DM Elections Committee:
Alberto Campagnolo
James Harr
Georg Vogeler

Digital Medievalist Journal – Call for Submissions

Dear digital medievalist community,

Digital Medievalist is an indexed (see below), open access and internationally peer-reviewed scholarly journal, devoted to topics likely to be of interest to medievalists working with digital media, though they need not be exclusively medieval in focus. It publishes work of original research and scholarship, theoretical articles on digital topics, notes on technological topics, commentary pieces discussing developments in the field, bibliographic and review articles, tutorials, and project reports. The journal also encourages reviews of books and major electronic sites and projects. All contributions are reviewed before publication by authorities in humanities computing.

The journal is published online as a continuous volume and issue throughout the year. Articles are made available as soon as they are ready to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in getting content publicly available. Special collections of articles are welcomed and will be published as part of the normal issue, but also within a separate collection page.

The journal’s publisher, Open Library of Humanities, focuses on making content discoverable and accessible through indexing services. Content is also archived around the world to ensure long-term availability. Ubiquity Press journals are indexed by the following services: Nordic list, Google Scholar, Chronos, ExLibris, EBSCO Knowledge Base, JISC KB+, SHERPA RoMEO, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), EBSCOHost, OpenAire and ScienceOpen.

Prospective authors should consult the Author Guidelines at: https://journal.digitalmedievalist.org/about/submissions/

More information can be found at the journal’s homepage: https://journal.digitalmedievalist.org/

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Digital Medievalist Editorial Board

Digital Diplomatics 2020 Call for Posters

Digital Diplomatics 2020 will bring together selected leading and upcoming experts in the study of Digital Diplomatics and related fields, to facilitate a productive exchange on the state and the future of the field. The conference will include expert panels, lightning talks, and a poster session, which is currently open for submissions. We are soliciting posters on any subject related to the study of charters and computing, including:

Machine Learning for Digital Diplomatics
Linguistic Corpora for Digital Diplomatics
Digitally Mediated Archives for Diplomatics
The Future of Diplomatics

Rolling Deadline no later than 17 March 12:00 GMT.
More information at https://digdipl20.hypotheses.org/87

Introducing DM’s Student and Early-Career Sub-Committee

Dear Digital Medievalist Members

If you recall, a couple of years ago, we ran a community survey to better understand our constituency, and its interests and expectations. We have used the survey results to guide our decisions and better represent the DM community. A significant issue that was highlighted by the survey was a certain lack of participation by part of (post-)graduate students and early career researchers. 

We have decided to tackle the problem by instituting a new subcommittee of students and early career scholars to work in parallel to the Executive Board, aiming at engaging with their peers and help the board in its activities.  

We have invited 8 outstanding and enthusiastic candidates to be part of this first instalment of the subcommittee. I will work as a liaison between the two boards to guarantee active communication and collaboration between the two boards. 

If the experiment will be successful—and I am confident it will!—we would like to call on the community once more to update the bylaws and make the subcommittee an official branch of DM, with regular calls for nominations and elections, as it is for the Executive Board. 

Allow me, therefore, to introduce the members of the subcommittee (in alphabetical order):

Hannah Busch: PhD candidate studying the application of Artificial Intelligence for the study of medieval Latin palaeography, at Huygens ING, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Nathan Daniels: PhD candidate in History at Johns Hopkins University, studying Parisian guilds, urban space and topography, with related interests in digital editions of historical texts, linked open data, and mapping.

Selina Galka: currently finishing the Joint-Masters-Degree in German Medieval Philology and studying the MA “Digital Humanities” at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz. 

Tessa Gengnagel: PhD candidate at the University of Cologne, with a background in History and Latin Philology of the Middle Ages and an interest in digital scholarly editions of non-textual materials.

James Harr, III: PhD student focusing on medieval media studies, petitionary networks, and material semiotics in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at North Carolina State University.

Aylin Malcolm: PhD candidate studying medieval literature and science, including digital editions of scientific manuscripts, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Caitlin Postal: PhD student caught between medieval literature, material culture, temporality, and digitality at the University of Washington.

Daniela Schulz studied History and English in Cologne, with a focus on medieval history, and also received some training in what’s now commonly called “Digital Humanities”. She is writing a doctoral thesis focusing on the digital edition of an early medieval Roman law text.

Alberto Campagnolo




A New Tool for Digital Manuscript Facsimiles: Introducing the Manicule Web Application

Aylin Malcolm, DM Postgraduate Subcommittee

Much of my work in digital manuscript studies has been informed by a simple question: is this something I can show to my parents? I am the only person among my family and childhood friends to pursue graduate studies in the humanities, and when others take an interest in my work, I try to provide resources that do not depend on specialized knowledge or institutional subscriptions. This question can also be framed in broader terms for scholars interested in public engagement: how can we make our research accessible and engaging for nonspecialists? How can scholars working on the material culture of previous periods demonstrate the relevance of such studies now? And how can digital resources enable us to learn from communities outside the traditional bounds of academia?

I recently confronted these questions while examining a late-fifteenth-century astronomical anthology, written in German and Latin close to the city of Nuremberg, and now identified as Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, LJS 445. This codex, which you can see in my video orientation below, is remarkable for its inclusion of material from three incunables, making it a clear example of the transmission of knowledge from print to manuscript.

For more videos like this one, see the Schoenberg Institute Youtube channel.

My own fascination with LJS 445 began when I opened it for the first time and saw a charming sketch of a man on the first page. Turning to the second folio, I was struck by its whimsical doodles of gardens and doors. What were these doing in a book dealing mostly with astronomical calculations and predictions about the Church?

birds.pngDetail of fol. 2r of LJS 445.

My non-medievalist mother knew the answer immediately. “They’re children’s drawings,” she observed, pointing out the uneven writing and repetition of common motifs, such as trees. And turning to the 1997 catalogue description by Regina Cermann, I found that she was right: this book can be traced to two of the sons of a Nuremberg patrician, Georg Veit (1573-1606) and Veit Engelhard (1581-1656) Holtzschuher. Veit Engelhard left numerous marks in it, including the year “1589” (fols. 95v, 192r, and 222v), suggesting that he inscribed this book when he was around eight years old. Thus began my efforts to find out more about the contents and uses of this book, from its faithful copies of print editions to its battered and often mutilated constellation images. Perhaps my favourite discovery occurred as I was reading German genealogical records, when I came across an engraving of Veit Engelhard as an adult.holzschuher-1.jpg

This digitized portrait of Holtzschuher is from the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. It was also printed in Die Porträtsammlung der Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, vol. 11, ed. Peter Mortzfeld (Münich: K.G. Saur, 1989), no. A 100058, p. 266.

To make this remarkable manuscript more accessible to the public, I created a digital edition of it using Manicule, a web application built by Whitney Trettien and Liza Daly. Manicule, which is available on GitHub at https://github.com/wtrettien/manicule, allows scholars and students to create accessible, dynamic web editions of manuscripts and other rare books. It offers three modes of entry into a digitized text: a “Browse” function, whereby the viewer scrolls through pages of the facsimile alongside marginal notes written by the editor; a series of editor-curated “Tour Stops,” which provide commentaries on pages of particular note; and a “Structure” view, which draws on Dot Porter’s VisColl data model to depict the physical makeup of the manuscript, including missing, inserted, and conjoint leaves. Manicule can be downloaded and deployed on Mac OS systems using the instructions on the GitHub repository; Whitney is also available to provide advice and resolve issues.

The finished edition of LJS 445, available at aylinmalcolm.com/ljs445 under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, is a true collaboration. In writing the text and creating the digital resource, I have built on the labours of many other researchers, including Regina Cermann; Whitney Trettien and Liza Daly; Dot Porter, whose tools for generating a collation model and image list are also available on the VisColl GitHub repository; and an entire digitization team at the University of Pennsylvania, from photographers to data managers and programmers. The result is also an evolving resource that can be adapted and augmented as new information about this manuscript emerges. Please feel free to contact me at malcolma[at]sas.upenn.edu if you have suggestions or queries, and I hope that you’ll enjoy exploring this unique manuscript.