The course is hosted by Huw Jones (Cambridge University Digital Libraries), Yasmin Faghihi (Cambridge University Library) and Sepideh Alassi (Digital Humanities Lab, University of Basel)
As an increasing amount of manuscript description becomes available as data, opportunities emerge for new approaches to research on manuscript collections. Can we use manuscript datasets to find out new things about manuscript cultures – to engage in a distant reading of large collections of manuscript descriptions? In this workshop we will look at common approaches to the encoding of manuscript description, with a focus on TEI and the use of identifier schemes such as VIAF and ISNI. We will also look at how approaches to description affect the research questions that can be asked of datasets, and how cross-institutional collaborations can be beneficial in this area. We will investigate tools and techniques for the analysis of manuscript datasets, and finally look at the importance of documentation, availability and licensing in encouraging the use of such datasets by researchers.