This two-day (24 – 25.09.2020) online course offers an introduction to the theory and the practice of automatic collation.
Collation is the practice of comparing texts in order to identify their variant forms. It is used in the preparation of critical editions, as well in genetic criticism and in the study of textual transmissions. More in general, the alignment of two or more texts, which is the basis of collation, can be useful for analysing text reuse and intertextuality. Computers have been used to automatize collation since the 60’s, but even though several examples of stable software are available nowadays, this tedious task is still often done by hand. This workshop will show participants how to take advantage of automatic collation tools in the field of textual and genetic criticism. A brief history of collation together with a reflection about the practices of the research community in Humanities and Social Sciences when working on the digital ecosystems will contextualise the analysis of the tools.
During the course, we will address the principles of the theory of automatic collation and briefly present a number of programs. In the hands-on part of the course, we will use CollateX, a collation software, to put into practice what the participants have learned. Eventually, the last part of the course can be devoted to find the right software and parameters for the use cases brought by the participants.
9h45-11h00 First session. Explore your computer (command line, Jupyter Notebooks, Python)
11h00 – 11h30 Break
11h30 – 12h30 Second session. [Continuation] Explore your computer (command line, Jupyter Notebooks, Python)
12h30 – 14h Break
14h – 15h15 Third session. Theory of automatic collation and reflection about the use of digital tools for textual criticism.
15h15 – 15h45 Break
15h45 – 17h00 Fourth session. [Continuation] Theory of automatic collation and reflection about the use of digital tools for textual criticism.
17h15 Keynote. Elli Bleeker, Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (The Netherlands): What has been left out: The perks and pitfalls of XML-aware collation.
9h30 – 10h45 First session. Automatic collation practise: environment configuration, making a simple collation.
10h45 – 11h15 Break
11h15 – 12h30 Invited speaker: Rudolf Mahrer (UNIL) will present the platform Variance. Second session. [Continuation] Automatic collation practise: making a simple collation.
12h30 – 14h00 Break
14h – 15h15 Third session. Automatic collation practise: making a simple collation with the possibility to work with the texts of the participants.
15h15 – 15h45 Break
15h45 – 17h00 Fourth session. Automatic collation practise: making a simple collation with the possibility to work with the texts of the participants.
The course is open to researchers working with texts in any discipline.
Requirements. No prior knowledge of automatic collation nor programming is required.
Logistics. The course will be held live on an online platform of the University of Lausanne. Participants will receive instructions about where and when to connect. A chat and a forum will be available. A stable internet connection is needed to follow the course.
Your texts. Participants will have the opportunity to send their texts in advance, in order to benefit from a personalised support during the course.
Installation. There is no need to install software to follow the course, because we will be using virtual machines and explain how to do it during the course. If, nevertheless, participants want to have their own installation, they may follow the instructions that they will receive after registration.
Course materials. The syllabus will be available to the participants immediately before the course.
Date: 24-25 September 2019.
PhD students of the universities of Berne, Fribourg, Genève, Neuchâtel and Lausanne (UNIL and EPFL) have priority, but researchers of any level and master students from Swiss universities and abroad are welcome. The participation is free, but registration is requested.
Languages of the course: English and French.
Elli Bleeker works as postdoctoral researcher in the Research and Development Team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She specializes in digital scholarly editing and computational philology, with a focus on modern manuscripts, genetic criticism and semi-automated collation. As a Research Fellow in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie funded network DiXiT (2013 – 2017), she received advanced training in manuscript studies, text modeling, and XML technologies. She also enjoys spending time in archives looking for the forgotten writers from the 20th century.
Helena Bermúdez Sabel is a post-doctoral researcher in computational and historical linguistics at the University of Lausanne.
Elisa Nury is a post-doctoral researcher in digital papyrology at the University of Geneva. Her background is in digital philology.
Elena Spadini is a post-doctoral researcher in digital philology at the University of Lausanne.