Last week we had the opportunity to attend the 2nd international conference about Digital Humanities in Spain, and the first European Association for Digital Humanities Day. Both took place at the UNED, in Madrid, and we were able to present our CLiGS project as a poster and make a short contribution to EADH Day about HTML and TEI.
We had the chance to meet colleagues from Spain and abroad that are working with the DH methodologies and technologies. I would like to make a short overview about some tendencies that I noticed:
- There is an important amount of projects about digitalization going on right now and TEI has become also in Spain the standard language for that. Some interesting examples of this activity are the edition of La dama boba, by Lope de Vega (abstract here, web here) or Las soledades of Gongora.
- Another great editing project comes from the University of Graz (Austria), where they have edited and published on the Web as TEI hundreds of texts from the 18th Century, the so called Espectadores (abstract here, web here). An incredible source of information!
- I still feel from some projects some doubts about publishing the actual TEI on the web; the HTML or plain text is easily uploaded, but the publishing of TEI version is many times postpone. And some projects are looking for ways of working with TEI without seeing brackets or any code.
- The conference was very useful to get a general idea about how different projects are developing their software (databases, webs, storage systems…) and work-flow. Also to hear about the conditions and academical problems that are confronted with.
- The DH field has a stronger relationship in Spain with teaching and in general pedagogy that in other countries.
- One very strong tendency is to use metadata from catalogues, linked data and using semantic web technologies. Probably the most ambitious project was presented by Asunción Gómez Pérez and it was about the datos.BNE.es portal.
- On the other hand, there weren’t too many presentations about linguistics and NLP. One of the exceptions was present and that have developed interesting web services called ParamText are the researchers from Las Palms de Gran Canaria.
- Probably related to this is also the small number of presentations about results of applying new technologies to the digital data. David Wrisley (using stylometry to some hundreds of texts in order to understand better the relationship between the texts), Frank Fischer (searching for dates in thousands of European novels in order to know when the action of the novels tend to take place; by the way, between May and August) or Borja Navarro (using different techniques for grouping sonnets of the Siglo de Oro) did present this kind of analysis.
- I think the DH field in Spanish language is doing a good job against gender discrimination. One female president abandon the charge and another female president took up. An other great example of that was the panel were 4 women presented their work of creating groups and networks around DH in Spain and Latin America.
- I was very impressed by the group at the UNED, LiNHD, led by Elena González Blanco, both for their work as organizers but also for all the activities (seminars, publications, work with other groups, and so on) that are achieving.