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Detecting Authorship, Hands, and Corrections in Historical Manuscripts. A Mixedmethods Approach towards the Unpublished Writings of an 18th Century Czech Emigré Community in Berlin (Handwriting)


Meyer, Roland; Tikhonov, Aleksej; Hammel, Robert (2023). Detecting Authorship, Hands, and Corrections in Historical Manuscripts. A Mixedmethods Approach towards the Unpublished Writings of an 18th Century Czech Emigré Community in Berlin (Handwriting). In: Schneider, Birgit; Löffler, Beate; Mager, Tino; Hein, Carola. Mixing Methods. Practical Insights from the Humanities in the Digital Age. Bielefeld: De Gruyter/Transcript Verlag/Bielefeld University Press, 215-237.

Abstract

When one starts working philologically with historical manuscripts, one faces important first questions involving authorship, writers’ hands andthe history of documenttransmission. These issues are especially thorny with documents remaining outside the established canon, such as privatemanuscripts, aboutwhichwehave very restrictedtext-externalinformation. In this area – so we argue – it is especially fruitful to employ a mixed-methods approach, combiningtailored automatic methods from image recognition/analysis with philological and linguistic knowledge.Whileimage analysis captureswriters’ hands, linguistic/philological research mainly addressestextual authorship;thetwo cross-fertilize and obtain a coherent interpretation which may then be evaluated against the available text-external historical evidence. Departingfrom our ‘lab case’,whichis a corpus of unedited Czechmanuscriptsfromthe archive of a small 18th century migrant community, the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine (Brethren parish) in Berlin-Neukölln, our project has developed an assistance system which aids philologists in working with digitized (scanned) hand-written historical sources. We present its application and discuss its general potential and methodological implications.

Abstract

When one starts working philologically with historical manuscripts, one faces important first questions involving authorship, writers’ hands andthe history of documenttransmission. These issues are especially thorny with documents remaining outside the established canon, such as privatemanuscripts, aboutwhichwehave very restrictedtext-externalinformation. In this area – so we argue – it is especially fruitful to employ a mixed-methods approach, combiningtailored automatic methods from image recognition/analysis with philological and linguistic knowledge.Whileimage analysis captureswriters’ hands, linguistic/philological research mainly addressestextual authorship;thetwo cross-fertilize and obtain a coherent interpretation which may then be evaluated against the available text-external historical evidence. Departingfrom our ‘lab case’,whichis a corpus of unedited Czechmanuscriptsfromthe archive of a small 18th century migrant community, the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine (Brethren parish) in Berlin-Neukölln, our project has developed an assistance system which aids philologists in working with digitized (scanned) hand-written historical sources. We present its application and discuss its general potential and methodological implications.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:410 Linguistics
490 Other languages
Language:English
Date:10 October 2023
Deposited On:26 Oct 2023 06:51
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 03:34
Publisher:De Gruyter/Transcript Verlag/Bielefeld University Press
ISBN:9783839469132
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/9783839469132-003
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)