Marking Up Our Virtue

Multilingual Standards and Practices in the Digital Humanities

Alexander O'Connor,


Defining the Humanities

The division of knowledge into ‘science,’ ‘social science,’ and ‘the humanities’ is deeply entrenched in ways of thinking prevailing in the English-speaking world and is reflected in many institutional structures.
Anna Wierzbicka, 2011

What is Digital about it, anyway?

Is it Digital Humanities if I emailed it as a PDF?


Source: TaDiRAH

  • Capture, Creation, Enrichment
  • Analysis, Interpretation
  • Storage, Dissemination

Some popular areas right now

Based on Scott Weingart's Analysis of the DH2014 Acceptances by Topic:

Digital Artefacts

  • Manuscripts
  • Books
  • Film
  • Diaries
  • Archæological Finds
  • Secondary Sources

Which one is the Artefact?

  • Image of the Original Document
  • Manual Transcription of the Document
  • Normalised and processed html text of the document
  • Associated metadata describing the people, places, entities

Markup, Items & Collections

Mark up...

  • Libraries tend to deal with Items
  • Archives tend to deal with collections
  • The collection, the archive or the item itself might no longer exist: evidence only in metadata. find...

  • Entities
  • Linguistic Elements
  • Physical Properties
  • Editorial Notes

Cendari Archive Catalogue & Research Guides

  • Hidden Archives
  • Secondary Works
  • Existing Databases
  • Scholars' personal data
  • Accessing the physical

Entities, Ontologies and Knowledge

  • DBPedia: Notability in the context of crowd-sourcing?
  • VIAF, EDM,Bibframe
  • Feasibility of automation in archaic languages/language forms and highly irregular content?

Naming a City

Historical Names
Name Year
Vicus Theutonicus 1227
Civitas Gedanensi 1236
Civitas Danczik 1236
Burgum Dantzike 1299
Rechtestadt Danczk 1420
Danzig (modern German)
Gdańsk (modern Polish)
Historical affiliations

Kingdom of Poland 997–1227
Duchy of Pomerelia 1227–1294
Kingdom of Poland 1294–1308
Teutonic Order 1308–1466
Kingdom of Poland 1466–1569
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569–1793
Prussia 1793–1807
Free City of Danzig 1807–1814
Prussia 1814–1871
German Empire 1871–1918
Weimar Germany 1918–1920
Free City of Danzig 1920–1939
Nazi Germany 1939–1945
People's Republic of Poland 1945–1989
 Republic of Poland 1989–present




Research Landscape

Thank You.

This research is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland (Grant 12/CE/I2267)
as part of the Centre for Next Generation Localisation at Trinity College Dublin.

Built with impress.js, google fonts and bootflat.

Hosted on

Creative Commons License
Marking Up Our Virtue Multilingual Standards and Practices in the Digital Humanities by Alexander O'Connor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at