Projects

The Transcriptions Center at UCSB has developed or headquartered projects in the digital humanities and new media studies since its inception in 1998. The following are projects originating or anchored at the center.

Ongoing Projects:

WhatEvery1Says (WE1S) (2013)

The 4Humanities WhatEvery1Says project (WE1S) uses digital humanities methods to study public discourse about the humanities at large data scales. The project concentrates on, but is not limited to, journalistic articles and media available in digital textual form beginning circa 1981. Our hypothesis is that digital methods can help us learn new things about how news media sources portray the humanities. We hope to use our findings to provide advocates for the humanities with strategies and materials for effective communication about the value of humanistic study and knowledge – with narratives, arguments, scenarios, and evidence that advance, rather than simply react to, public conversation on the place of the humanities in today’s world.

In the process of our work, we are also developing tools and guidelines to create an open, generalizable, and replicable digital humanities methodology.

For more information on the project, read “About” and the WE1S Prospectus. Funded by a $1.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, WE1S is based at University of California, Santa Barbara, with core collaborators at California State University, Northridge, and University of Miami.

4Humanities (2010)

4Humanities is an advocacy initiative for the humanities focused on placing the value of the humanities before the public. We draw in particular on the expertise of the international digital humanities community. Digital methods now play a key role in showing why the humanities must be part of any vision of a future society. Advocacy viewpointsprojects, and research by 4Humanities and its local chapters use today’s means to shout out for the humanities. 

Digital Arts and Humanities Commons (DAHC) (2017)

The Digital Arts & Humanities Commons (DAHC) is an open floor plan interdisciplinary co-working space for digital scholarship, pedagogy, and creative practice located in Music 1410 (formerly the Arts Library). The Commons vision is a vibrant, accessible space for open research and interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.

Transverse Reading (2017)

The Transverse Reading project focuses on mapping the plot structures of interactive narratives, and in particular gamebooks – that is, playable print stories. The project data mines, analyzes, and visualizes the branching plot structures of hundreds of interactive stories, with examples from different decades, nations, and languages.

Examples are principally drawn from the Demian Katz Gamebook Collection housed in the The Department of Special Research Collections in the UC Santa Barbara Library.

Past Projects:

Scanner Praxis (2012)

Scanner Praxis is a project to engage digital humanities scanning and digitization through building a low cost book scanner from parts, considering the hardware, software, and uses of such devices in DH projects, and investigating the cultural context of scanning in everything from classroom pedagogy to large scale cultural production. How does the logic of scanning shape what Amazon, Google Books, Project Gutenberg or the Internet Archive are producing? What can and can’t scanning do, and how can we use scanning to think differently?

RoSE (2009)

RoSE is a system for exploring the humanities that encourages you to seek out relationships between authors, works, and commentators–living and dead–as part of a social network of knowledge. RoSE is a library that is a community; and a community that is a library.

The Agrippa Files (2005)

The Agrippa Files is a scholarly site created by a team of researchers participating in the Transcriptions Project on literature and information culture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, English Department. Photos of the book and scans or transcriptions of unique archival materials are used by permission of the book’s publisher, Kevin Begos. The Agrippa Files was created between July and December 2005, and launched on Dec. 9, 2005, to coincide with the anniversary of the 1992 Agrippa “transmission” event.

Voice of the Shuttle (Vos) (1994)

Started in 1994 as a suite of static Web pages, VoS has now been rebuilt as a database that serves content dynamically on the Web. Users gain greater flexibility in viewing and searching, while editors are able to work more efficiently and flexibly.

We’ve tried to maintain most of the original structure of the site, which models the way the humanities are organized for research and teaching as well as the way they are adapting to social, cultural, and technological changes. But some shifts in organization and navigation are necessary for technical reasons.