Prototype Reflections

On September 7, 2018, a group of specialists across Galileo Studies, Italian Studies, and Digital Humanities convened at Harvard to try the Jupyter notebooks associated with GaLiLeO. Funding was provided by Harvard’s Dean’s Fund for Competitive Scholarship. The day-long workshop was designed to generate discussion about what a project like this could be. The energy and interest were palpable. We learned about a diverse range of digital user needs that went far beyond the scope of GaLiLeO and we confronted the immediate obstacles addressed on the landing page that describes this project. The future of the project is still uncertain, pending time and also funding.

Here are the general pieces of feedback that we received:

  • More tools would be welcome: an API, historical text reuse detection, reporting on avoided topics, named entities, and a “humanistic suggestion tool” that offers models for queries along with rationales.
  • More documents would be welcome: marginalia, more library texts, better OCR, and machine readable text based on manuscripts instead of 19th century editorial versions of letters.
  • Transmedia linguistic analysis would be valuable further step.
  • GaLiLeO represents an opportunity to bring new perspective on digital projects that are considered “complete” by linking from its terms, people, years, and texts to the lemmario, biographies, chronologies, and bibliographies that have been developed by colleagues in Italy and the U.S.
  • The project will benefit from phased roll outs of the underlying data and metadata. Particularly as more texts from the library are added and additional metadata tags are created.
  • This is an opportunity to involve undergraduate and graduate students of Italian in an exploration of the history of Italy as well as the ways in which Italian content can influence the development of predominantly Anglophone technology. It could also be a platform to put specialist, informed readers in contact with novice, curious readers.

Return to the GaLiLeO landing page.