The HOCCLEX Files Prototype Launches

We are proud to announce the launch of our prototype of the Hoccleve Lexicon (the HOCCLEX). This is a major milestone on our path to a critical edition, and an important moment in the long and tangled history of Hoccleve and the digital humanities. The new lexicon feature is based on the HOCCLEX files, a set of computer files created over three decades ago. For a bit of perspective, consider that the work stations for cutting edge humanities computing projects at their creation looked like this. First created in the early 1980’s as part of what was at the time a pioneering effort to bring computing power to humanist research, the HOCCLEX files are also a fascinating piece of the history of what we now call the Digital Humanities. The files were developed in the early 1980’s by Peter Farley, working under the auspices of an editorial team lead by D.C. Greetham. They contain semi-diplomatic transcriptions of the poetry found in Hoccleve’s three surviving holograph manuscripts (Huntington MS HM 111, Huntington MS HM 744, and Durham MS Cosin V.III.9). Each word in the transcription has been marked with a Middle English root form and tagged for grammatical and syntactical data including person, number, and part of speech. The original purpose of the HOCCLEX files was to create the raw data for a lexicon of the holograph manuscripts. Greetham proposed to use this lexicon to identify preferences in Hoccleve’s holograph manuscripts that could be used to normalize spelling variants and resolve accidentals in a critical edition of the Regiment of Princes, Hoccleve’s major poetic work. In a very real sense,...

A Successful Thesis Defense

GSU’s investment in the Hoccleve Archive has resulted in the first graduate degree involving the project. Sruthi Vuppala, who has worked for the past two years as a Student Innovation Fellow assigned to the Hoccleve Archive, recently defended her MS in computer science thesis project, “Digitization of the Hoccleve Archive.” Her thesis focuses on her work coding the conversion of the HOCCLEX files created by David Greetham, et al., from .WIN and .CAT formats into TEI-compliant XML. Sruthi’s coding skills contributed to the Hoccleve Archive in several different ways. Her file conversion code ensures the converted files retain the detailed lexicographical data compiled for every word in every poem by previous editors of Hoccleve’s poetry, while adding markup regarding the formal structure of the poems and identifying metadata. No mute archival texts, these transformed files will put in yeoman’s work behind the scenes as the basis for a searchable lexicon of Hoccleve’s Middle English that we have plans to produce in the future. Even now, however, her work is evident at the Hoccleve Archive, where we use the HTML transform Sruthi coded to display “clean” versions of the XML-encoded HOCCLEX files as the basis for our digital edition of the Holograph MSS. Sruthi’s work is much appreciated by everyone here at the Hoccleve Archive. Our project sits at the intersection of humanistic skills and computing and depends on the abilities of programmers like Sruthi. But her thesis is also a powerful reminder that interdisciplinary collaborations like those that fuel the Hoccleve Archive have great value for STEM students, as it gives them the chance to engage in graduate-level programming designed...

Hoccleve Archive at the 2014 SAMLA

The GSU arm of the Hoccleve Archive recently presented a poster at the SAMLA in Atlanta. The conference theme this year was sustainability, and our poster highlighted the way that the Hoccleve Archive Project sustains a corpus of texts, and functions as a pedagogical sight for the sustenance of textual scholarship skills. The poster session was very attended, and we got a lot of people interested in our project.In addition to our poster, we displayed a slideshow documenting the progress we have made transforming the old HOCCLEX files into .TXT and XML. Next up is tweaking the XML transforms so that that they are fully-TEI complaint and finishing off the TEI-headers so that we can publish a digital edition of the poems of the holograph...

Updates from the Hoccleve Archive

This fall, the Hoccleve Archive acquired a new batch of contributors at both its home institutions. At the University of Texas, Mark Watts have begun working on transforming a database of references to time in the Regiment of Princes into a digital concordance table, as part of the Time Referents Concordance project. At Georgia State, five Student Innovation Fellows (SIFs) have been assigned to work on the Hoccleve Archive. The Georgia State team has been working on issues relating to D.C. Greetham’s HOCCLEX project. The HOCCLEX files were created in the 1980’s by an editorial team led by Greetham, and contain semi-diplomatic transcriptions of the poems from the three holograph manuscripts, painstakingly marked with a Middle English root form and tags identifying other grammatical and syntactical data, for example, person, number, and part of speech. These tags initially served the purpose of creating data for a lexicon, in which individual words could be checked against their root forms and part of speech so that variant spellings could be identified and normalized. In their original conception, they were at the editorial heart of Greetham’s proposed critical edition of the Regiment, populating the database that would guide editorial decisions relative to accidentals. While Greetham’s edition never materialized, they were used by Charles Blyth’s 1999 TEAMS edition of the Regiment. Since that time, the HOCCLEX files, and the treasure-trove of information they contain about Hoccleve’s Middle English, have not been easily accessible to scholars. Not only were they privately stored, but more importantly, they were developed using a now-lost and unknown piece of software, making them difficult to use in their original...

The Hoccleve Archive welcomes new collaborators

This fall, the Hoccleve Archive welcomes six new contributors, one from the University of Texas, and five Student Innovation Fellows from Georgia State University. The new members of the team are: Siva Charan Kondeti (Georgia State University, Computer Science MA Student): Siva holds Bachelors of Technology degree in Computer Science and Engineering from SASTRA University, Tanjore, India. He worked for Tata Consultancy Services for a little over 33 months, and as a SAP MM Consultant and QA Tester for an Australian Client, Woolworths at TCS. Rushitha Mettu (Georgia State University, Computer Science MA Student): Rushitha has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from India. She worked as an intern at dotcom soul private limited company on web development. Dylan Ruediger (Georgia State University, Ph.D. Candidate in History): Dylan is an early modernist by training, specializing in English colonialism in the 17th century. His dissertation explores tributary relations between Algonquians and English colonists as a means of understanding affective, legal, and cross-cultural contestations over the process of political subjugation and community in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Chesapeake. Of late, he has become engaged with a number of digital humanities projects designed to make early modern archival materials, especially hand-written documents, legible in the digital age. Ramsundar Sundarkumar (Georgia State University, Computer Science MA): Ram has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. He has worked for Microsoft for a little over a year and was part of the team to build the UNO Rush game for XBOX. Sruthi Vuppala (Georgia State University, Computer Science MA student): Sruthi holds a...

NCS 2014 Rekjavik

While Thomas Hoccleve very likely never even considered a trip to Iceland during his life, we feel very fortunate to be able to say that the Hoccleve Archive is going to NCS 2014 in Rekjavik! Robin Wharton and Elon Lang have been accepted into the Digital Chaucer seminar being organized by Simon Horobin. Our paper will be titled: “Scholarly Editing through Digital Pedagogy in the Hoccleve Archive.” If you plan to attend, let us know–we will hope to see you...

August 2013

This has been a busy summer for the Archive! We are currently working to establish the back-end infrastructure and data hierarchy to store and serve the files associated with the archive (including the ~6000 manuscript collation table scans that were completed this past May). We are also testing some new display schemes using pieces of Karen Smyth’s Concordance of Time Referents as an example (thanks Karen!). Work will continue on new schemes this fall, so please do check back. Finally, we are hard at work on a proposal for a 2013 NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up grant to host a workshop that will help us iron out development details for the Edition/Teaching Tool section of this site. We are grateful to have the advice of Tanya Clement, Timothy Stinson, and Dene Grigar on the project. It is due very soon, so wish us...

Scans complete / Welcoming new collaborator!

Two bits of news. Firstly, the scans of all ~6,000 of the Regiment of Princes Collation Tables have been completed by Emma Whelan at the UT-Austin LAITS Media Development Lab. They are currently stored offline awaiting file name modifications, metadata, and a little image editing. As groups of these are completed I will be working with the Digital Repository at UT-Libraries to permanently archive them in an openly accessible location. Secondly, I’m very pleased to announce that the Edition / Teaching Tool Platform project is going to be getting a sooner-than-expected boost. The Archive welcomes Robin Wharton, Ph.D., to the project as a digital humanities and digital pedagogy project development expert. Thank you to Robin for being interested in this collaboration! Stay tuned for news about what we’ll be up to in the coming...

Revisions April 8-16, 2013

Currently I am hard at work revising and updating some of the site’s principal narrative content and have been publishing it piecemeal (‘plotmeel’ as Hoccleve says). Please do check back frequently as I continue to polish things up. The major goal of these revisions has been to clarify how the various components of the Hoccleve Archive are organized and to explain in some detail the goals and status of each part. These updates represent the first substantial revision of the Archive‘s web presence since I migrated it from Wash.U. It reflects the ways the Archive has expanded its scope from a system to preserve, edit, and teach the Regiment of Princes MS Collations to a more comprehensive archive that will be able to incorporate a variety of materials from Hoccleve scholars around the world. As you look through the site, you may notice that many of the links to the Archive Projects’ core content currently are not enabled (e.g. images of the MS Collation sheets, Karen Smyth’s concordance data, etc.). This is because one of the design principles for this website is to provide an interface for properly archived content at the UT Digital Repository rather than to store and serve it itself. I am currently engaged in the process of preparing and finalizing the format and metadata for this content and I hope to launch much of it by Fall 2013. Until then, I will try to post more detailed samples of this content to illustrate each of the Projects and to address any questions readers have about the...

Revisions 3/18

Today I updated the front page and added Karen Smyth’s front matter to the Referents project page. Not completely satisfied with the formatting, but it’ll do for the time being. I’m holding off for the moment on posting her actual data and bibliography because I think it would be very helpful if I can figure out how to take advantage of some sort of multi-column table/database format for it.  I’m not quite sure yet how to do this with WordPress, though. In any case, in order to establish a more permanent archival home (with a permalink) for Dr. Smyth’s excellent concordance, I eventually want to place her document in the UTDR so that it can be preserved (and served up) with standard copyright and metadata. I would like to be able to offer the same kind of service to any other Hoccleveans who’d like to use the Archive as an online “Appendix” for their work published...