June 2017 Archives

June 30, 2017

Fellowship opportunity to digitize Dickens

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will be funding a graduate student fellowship, the official announcement of which is on the Graduate School's website. This fellowship will support the development of a website that will make widely available a digitized selection of the manuscripts, first editions, unique art objects, and realia in its Gimbel Dickens collection. Elizabeth Frengel, head of research at the Beinecke, is collaborating on this project with Janice Carlisle, Professor of English. They are soliciting statements of interest from graduate students who would like to be considered for the position.

The graduate student chosen to hold this fellowship will curate materials for online presentation by choosing items to be digitized, compiling meta-data, and writing brief descriptions of and commentaries on such items. Yale graduate students who will be in their fourth, fifth, or sixth years in 2017-2018 are eligible to apply. The fellowship would replace a regular teaching appointment, and it will require approximately fifteen hours of work per week on a schedule more flexible than that of a teaching assignment. No experience designing or building websites is required, though knowledge of Dickens’s life and writings would be helpful. 
Please let Elizabeth Frengel know as soon as possible if you are interested in this opportunity, which would give you experience in one form of digital humanities and in the work of a rare-books collection. Janice Carlisle would be also happy to talk with anyone who would like more information about this fellowship.

Post on June 30, 2017 - 9:45am |

June 30, 2017

Vivian Perlis with Aaron Copland

Adding to existing extracts available on its YouTube channel, additional materials from Oral History of American Music's (OHAM) renowned collection are now publicly available online via the Gilmore Music Library's recently launched instance of Avalon Media System. This new collection of extracts will serve as a test of Avalon's ability to provide unrestricted access to digital or digitized audiovisual materials to a global audience, rights permitting. 

Since its founding in 1969 at Yale University,  OHAM has been dedicated to the collection and preservation of the voices of the major musical figures of our time. The project captures musicians’ narratives and reflections in their own words through in-depth interviews. With an ever-expanding collection, OHAM is a living archive, currently comprising over 2,600 audio and video recordings. OHAM regularly conduct, catalogue, and transcribe interviews with emerging talents and established artists, producing a wealth of primary and secondary source material accessible to musicians, students, scholars, arts organizations, and the media.

The extracts now available online feature noted composers and performers from the 1960s through today including Eubie Blake, Nadia Boulanger, Anthony Braxton, Martin Bresnick, Charles Buesing (an employee of Charles Ives), John Cage, Aaron Copland, Henry Cowell, Duke Ellington, Lou Harrison, Babe LaPine (Charles Ives’ barber!), David Lang, Ingram Marshall, Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. 

Post on June 30, 2017 - 3:15pm |

March 21, 2017

We are proud to announce that the Yale Film Study Center has received a 2017 Preservation Grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to support preservation of 16 MILLIMETER EARRINGS, a 1979 film by director and Yale alumnus Robert Withers made in collaboration with Meredith Monk. Learn more about this project here.

Post on June 30, 2017 - 10:14am |

March 21, 2017

We pay tribute to director Jonathan Demme with a screening of his 2008 drama RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, starring Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Debra Winger, Tunde Adebimpe, and Anna Deavere Smith. 7:00pm Tuesday, July 18, at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street). "Treasures from the Yale Film Archive" screenings are always free and open to everyone. Learn more.

Post on June 29, 2017 - 8:00pm |

June 20, 2017

Call for Participants

Earn extra money while benefiting music cognition research at Yale. Subjects are needed for an EEG study of musical perception. Participants should be 18 years old or older and should have no hearing loss or history of neurological injury or disease. Musicians and non-musicians are welcome.

Subjects will be paid for their participation in a 1-2 hour study to occur this summer. For more information, please contact Stefanie Acevedo


Stefanie Acevedo is a PhD student in music theory at Yale University. She was the recipient of a Digital Humanities Lab Seed Grant for her work with computational methods and music analysis.

Post on June 20, 2017 - 9:53am |

June 20, 2017

A pilot program to extend hours at Sterling Memorial Library and Bass Library has been continued for another year – a result of requests from the leaders of the Graduate Student Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, who highlighted the increasing demand for library spaces to remain open later. During the summer, SML will stay open later on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, while late night hours on Thursdays in SML will continue as usual. During October and spring breaks, both Bass and SML will offer extended hours during the week. Read more.

Post on June 20, 2017 - 10:55am |

June 20, 2017

The garden is often thought of as a place of tranquility and repose. With the cycle of growth and the seasons, it is also a place of creativity and renewal. A myriad of shapes, colors, textures, sounds, and smells offer inspiration to the artist. The book arts also offer myriad options for an artist to express their engagement with the garden. Along with the traditional codex, miniature, folio, and interactive non-codex formats, as well as colorful illustrations and typographic interpretations transport the reader to this place of beauty and wonder.

The works in this exhibition explore topics such as gardens through the seasons, the beauty and utility of common weeds, and garden dwellers such as bugs and birds. Also included are books that document the use of garden plants for papermaking and that identify flower colors for the serious horticulturalist.

This exhibition is a companion to two exhibitions at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 121 Wall Street. Happiness: The Writer in the Garden and Bird Watching are on display through August 12, 2017.

Post on June 20, 2017 - 10:59am |

June 5, 2017

Award Recipients

The Digital Humanities Lab is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2017 Project Grants. These awards support both the initial planning phases and also the continued development of Yale faculty projects that pursue innovation and excellence in the humanities by way of digital methods.


Project Descriptions

Internet Cultures: Histories, Networks, Practice
Marijeta Bozovic, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Film and Media Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Marta Figlerowicz, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature; English; Film and Media Studies
Internet cultures have transformed our world in the past quarter of a century, as human beings seemingly overnight learned to use and depend on computer networks for various kinds of work, military operations, pursuits of scientific knowledge, religious proselytizing, political organization, searches for mates and social communities, information retrieval, e-commerce, illegal activities, and infinite varieties of play. The very size of this "cultural production" defies understanding, and for a long time it has also defied systematic study. The prominence of the Internet in our everyday experience needs to be more fully recognized in the undergraduate humanities curriculum. With the Project Grant we received, we will design a research, teaching, and learning initiative that aims to establish Internet studies within Yale’s undergraduate humanities curriculum, and to give such studies a prominent place within our university’s outreach programs. We plan 1) to create a shareable undergraduate syllabus and lecture course across several departments and programs on the diverse histories, technologies, and cultural practices of the Internet, and 2) to develop outreach and resource-sharing practices in the humanities with public high schools in New Haven, Connecticut.
The Digital Archive of Medieval Song
Ardis Butterfield, John M. Schiff Professor of English & Director of Graduate Studies; Professor of French and Music
The Digital Archive of Medieval Song will bring together in a uniquely comprehensive way the texts, manuscript images, music, and scholarly resources relating to medieval song in England. At the center of this largely undiscovered field are the approximately 2,000 medieval lyrics catalogued by modern editors. These poems survive in around 450 manuscripts from the twelfth to the early sixteenth centuries; only a fraction has yet been published in any form. The challenges of working with this material include its diversity, quantity, anonymity, trilingual character, and the difficulty involved in recovering the music so integral to the poems’ medieval existence as song. This project will create a prototype website using a limited corpus of lyrics, presenting an archive of medieval English songs in the richness of their manuscript and musical contexts. Its image-viewing platform will link manuscript image with lyric text, musical notation, sound recording and scholarly commentary. The platform and its search interface will enable new research into medieval song, and bring this rich heritage within reach of the general public.
Living Desegregation: A Digital Gamification of Decision-Making and Consequence in the Jim Crow South
Matthew Jacobson, William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and History; Ethnicity, Race & Migration Director; Public Humanities at Yale acting Co-Director
Living Desegregation is a digital "gamification" of US social history, focusing on the lived experience of African Americans in the Jim Crow south during the hopeful but dangerous era of desegregation (1954-1970). Designed for students from eighth grade through college, the platform is part of a web-based educational package accompanying the NEH-funded documentary film A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation (anticipated release 2017). The gamification is based on a decision-tree design, confronting students with myriad social decisions both large and minute (Do I go into this restaurant, or do I wait on the bus? Do I try to rent in this neighborhood? Do I challenge this teammate for his racist comment?), with each decision resulting in a documented consequence and linking to both archival materials and interview clips from the documentary film. While most of today’s students easily recognize the injustice of past White/Colored codes of social conduct, few have a realistic sense of the ins and outs, the nuances, the contradictions, the inconsistencies and caprices, the local or regional variations, and the ubiquitous dangers of Jim Crow custom. The "game" embeds a serious and needed historical pedagogy.
The Tekagami-jō Project
Edward Kamens, Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Studies
The Tekagami-jō, currently housed in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, is a 17th-century album of Japanese calligraphy samples in a variety of styles that are attributed to distinguished writers—emperors, ministers, clerics, poets and the like. The samples include poems and excerpts from literary works, letters, documents, and other miscellaneous writings dateable to as early as the 8th century. It has been recognized by specialists as one of the very finest extant examples of such albums, comparable to a similar album recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to the best-known examples in Japanese collections. This project aims to create a comprehensive bilingual web-based presentation and analysis of the entire contents using the Vercelli engine or a similar platform supported by the Digital Humanities Lab, which will include high-resolution images, transcriptions, translations, and short essays on the attributed calligraphers, the literary or documentary content of each sample, and the culture of calligraphy albums as such.
Out of the Desert Digital Portal
Mary Ting Yi Lui, Professor of American Studies and History; Head of College for Timothy Dwight College
With the Project Grant, Out of the Desert will overhaul the architecture of our current website outofthedesert.yale.edu, implementing a web application that will serve as a standalone digital portal for exploring the history of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Organized around key humanities themes, the site will provide a scholarly, engaging introduction to the public through the use of interactive, user-driven modules. Through a partnership with Brown University’s Choices Program, we will also develop a "blended learning" environment, using the web application as a platform for pedagogical instruction outside of the classroom. Digital tools will also extend the range of possibilities for scholarly research. This includes tethering extant excel databases of incarcerees to visualization tools, allowing scholars to engage with "big data" demographic trends. We will also geotag extant digitized material from Yale and the Library of Congress and overlay this content on a revised interactive map.
The Digital Fauvel
Anna Zayaruznaya, Assistant Professor in the Department of Music
The Digital Fauvel is an interactive facsimile-edition of the Roman de Fauvel as preserved in the manuscript Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale fr. 146. It will enable a variety of user interactions with the manuscript including viewing and navigating high-resolution scans, viewing superimposed translations of the text, searching manuscript text and metadata, viewing modern editions of musical items, and listening to musical audio. By bringing together information traditionally available in disparate places (editions, facsimiles, translations, commentary), we create new ways for students, scholars, and the public to interact with this important source. A prototype was designed in 2012–2013 for the now-obsolete Samsung SUR40. In the current phase, The Digital Fauvel will be built to run on the Web as well as a large multi-touch tabletop, with an earlier version of the text programmed in for comparison. New interfaces for interacting with musical content will also be implemented.

Post on June 5, 2017 - 9:40am |

June 1, 2017

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the much-loved publication Nota Bene: News from the Yale Library. Launched in the spring of 1987, one of its aims was to “encourage the fullest possible use of the Yale Library’s collections and services,” according to University Librarian of the time, Millicent D. Abell (Nota Bene, Volume I:I, 1987).

Nota Bene’s founding editor was Susanne Roberts, Librarian for European History, who took on the challenging task of establishing and managing a publication, in spite of her already substantial workload. Little did she know, this would become a nineteen-year commitment! She retired from the role in 2006, after guiding the newsletter through almost two decades of changes, with an expert eye and rigorous editorial standards. Read on as Sue shares a few recollections of her years as editor.

"Launched in 1987, the library’s newsletter grew out of University Librarian Penny Abell’s desire to “extend communication with the Yale community…to foster general awareness of the library’s great strengths…of library services and scholarly information activities” and to encourage the greatest possible use of these resources. The first steps beyond this concept were finding a title and developing a graphic identity for this new publication. The former emerged from a contest among library staff; the winning entry was Nota Bene: advising readers to “Take note!” of what is going on here. The title in turn helped shape the newsletters image and content. Designer John Gambell, now the University Printer, created a simple but elegant design, evocative of old books with double columns and an index finger pointing at important items.

The content was left to me. Though I had never done anything like this before, I found quickly my stride with the help of colleagues and librarians eager to publicize their new or existing collections and services.  My goal and delight was to report of ‘news” but also to link newsworthy acquisitions and events to the physical and artistic aspects of the great library that is Sterling Memorial Library. Indeed to the whole encyclopedic (for its time) intellectual program of the library designed and built by James Gamble Rogers and completed in 1931.

Looking back over the issues of those decades, I see these goals in play and remember the fun of it all. It was a wonderful way to get to know and work with people all over the library system and also the university: reference librarians, collection builders and preservers, printers, photographers, curators, cataloguers and other specialists. Working with students also afforded a lively and enriching experience as well as a new set of friends. Bringing together disparate aspects and users of the library brought me great satisfaction.
Seeing and discovering the rich and unusual collections both satisfied and developed my curiosity. The Beinecke’s accession of the Spinelli archive 1988 (covered in Nota Bene, III:1, 1989) presented the opportunity to hold the will of the famous sixteenth-century artist, writer, and historian Giorgio Vasari in my hands and started me on a research path in this rich and extensive archive that continues to nourish my retirement."

Susanne Roberts

Post on June 1, 2017 - 3:20pm |