Digital Humanities Observatory Dublin Lecture

The DHO announces an upcoming presentation by DHO Metadata Manager Dot Porter entitled ‘Reading, Writing, Building: the Old English Illustrated Hexateuch’. The lecture is presented as part of the Culture and Technology Seminar Series organized by Humanities Advanced Technology And Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow, and will be simultaneously webcast. Ms. Porter holds an MA from the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University and has worked on several digital editing projects of medieval manuscripts.

Date: 26 January 2009, 15:00-16:00
Venue: Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
All Welcome


In recent years there has been a growth amongst humanities scholars in the interest in the materiality of objects including manuscripts, printed books, and inscribed stones, as they relate to the text inscribed upon them and contained within them. This interest has shown itself in the digital humanities as well, as scholars explore how computers might be made to express the physical in the digital. This may take many forms, including 2D images, 3D images or scans, or textual descriptions of objects.

This presentation will explore how digital elements describing, expressing, or representing different aspects of a single physical object might be used to study the creation of that object. The focus will be on a manuscript commonly known as the Old English Illustrated Hexateuch (BL Cotton Claudius B.iv.), an Old English translation of the first six books of the Old Testament that includes over 400 color illustrations. In his recent book The Illustrated Old English Hexateuch, Cotton Claudius B.iv: The Frontier of Seeing and Reading in Anglo-Saxon England (British Library Press, 2007), Benjamin Withers describes a theory for how the relationship between the images and text prescribed both the layout of the content and the physical construction of the entire manuscript. How might Withers’ theory be expressed, visualized, or tested in a digital environment? This presentation is intended to be the start of a conversation, rather than the answer to a very complex and wide-ranging question.

Susan Schreibman, PhD
Digital Humanities Observatory
Pembroke House
28-32 Upper Pembroke Street
Dublin 2, Ireland



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