Announcing the CDH's 2017-2018 Sponsored Projects

The CDH is delighted to announce our project slate for 2017-18! Our team has more than doubled since this time last year and with new programmers, developers, designers, we are enormously excited about the additional support we are able to offer our returning projects. Our four sponsored projects are all returning from previous grant years and we look forward to seeing them through to completion. In addition, we welcome our individual project grants from graduate students and postdocs in Civil Engineering, English, History, and Near Eastern Studies who will also meet together as a cohort dedicated to database design. You can read more about each project in more detail via our “Research” page.

2017-18 CDH Sponsored Projects

bitKlavier and the Prepared Digital Piano

PI: Dan Trueman (Music)

bitKlavier is a software tool for exploring a range of musical ideas via “preparing” the digital piano, inspired by John Cage’s “prepared piano.” During the 2016-17 grant year the bitKlavier team’s primary objective was to create a clean open-source release of the code-base for bitKlavier, with version control. Much of the year was devoted to redeveloping bitKlavier from scratch in C++ as a way of meeting this open-source/version-control goal and ensuring the efficiency and longevity of the tool. The team is planning an initial release of an OSX-native version of bitKlavier by summer of 2017. After its initial release, the team plans to use it extensively in both large and small courses which will enable them to revise and refine the application with a sizable user-base. The team will also pursue additional platform development while also integrating some additional desirable features that have emerged during the current redevelopment process.

From Library to Laboratory: Alchemy and Medicine in the Winthrop Collection

PIs: Jennifer Rampling and Anthony Grafton (History)

The 2016-17 CDH-sponsored project, The Winthrop Family on the Page, was led by the same PIs and grew out of intensive work with the family library of the Winthrops, a group of English emigrants who played a crucial role in life in colonial America. The Winthrop Family on the Page was dedicated to developing a website that showcased the dynamic interactions of succeeding generations of the Winthrop family documented in annotations. From Library to Laboratory pursues the family’s interest in alchemy by delving in-depth into annotations from scientific and medical books owned by three generations of Winthrops, mapping exchanges of chemical knowledge among the Winthrops’ transatlantic networks of readers.

Mapping Expatriate Paris: The Shakespeare and Company Lending Library Project

PI: Joshua Kotin (English)

The third phase of the Mapping Expatriate Paris (MEP) project builds on previous years’ work with borrowing cards and logbooks belonging to Sylvia Beach, proprietress of the Shakespeare and Company Lending Library in Paris. Previous phases focused on encoding and analyzing information about library members, tracking membership dates and locations and revealing the reading habits of the expatriate community living in Paris from the end of World War I to the German Occupation of France in 1940. The next stage of the project will concentrate on building and harnessing a database of books that circulated in the lending library, to be integrated into the existing website, which will enable users to visualize and analyze connections among library members and the books they borrowed as well as among the books themselves.

The Princeton Prosody Archive

PI: Meredith Martin (English)

After a brief hiatus the CDH’s cornerstone project, the Princeton Prosody Archive (PPA), returns for the 2017-18 grant cycle. PPA is a full-text searchable database of more than 5,000 digitized works on prosody published between 1570 and 1923, the only resource of its kind. From 2015 to 2017, the PPA refined the core collection through a number of strategic initiatives. This year’s work picks up from the editorial curating and metadata cleaning completed during previous project cycles. During the 2017-18 grant year the PPA team will overhaul the user interface and backend data structure with the goal of publicly launching the collection to scholars and researchers.

2017-18 Individual Projects

Historic Materials Database

PI: Rebecca Napolitano (Civil Engineering)

The Historic Materials Database is an interactive database of construction materials used in antiquity that integrates information about the structural properties of substances historically used in construction with references to those materials in Classical texts. It is part of a larger project that aims to enable a wide audience to create 3D and virtual reality (VR) models of historic structures which will bring new perspectives on historic buildings and cities to  historians, archaeologists, and others who study the past.

Mapping Iranian Migrants and their Networks in Bahrain, 1920-1950

PI: Lindsey Stephenson (Near Eastern Studies)

In the early twentieth century, tens of thousands of migrants left southern Iran and settled on the western shores of the Persian Gulf. In Bahrain, because of complicated questions of jurisdiction, the British court adjudicated civil, criminal and estate cases involving the Iranian migrants rather than the local Bahraini court. Using these court records, this project seeks to uncover what the various clusters of migrant networks were and on what basis they were constituted. It aims to visualize the social and labor networks of Iranian migrants in Bahrain between 1920 and 1950, and to contextualize those relationships through a website dedicated to telling the story of Iranian migration to Bahrain in the early twentieth century.

Mapping the Suffrage Metropolis

PI: Lauren Santangelo (Writing Program)

Mapping the Suffrage Metropolis traces how activists mobilized in New York City—a city with a well-established reputation for endangering young women—from the metropolitan movement’s founding in 1870 to its statewide success in 1917. Most of the literature on the woman’s right movement discounts the importance of the metropolitan landscape, tracing instead leadership strategies, rhetorical patterns, and even conservative opposition. Meanwhile, those looking at gendered urban space have largely marginalized the woman’s rights movement while detailing the ways in which race, class, and ethnicity cut across the cityscape. This project builds a website that maps suffrage sites in New York City from 1870-1917 allowing users to analyze the relationship between urban change, women’s rights, and political organization.

The Victoria Press Circle

PI: Miranda Marraccini (English)

The Victoria Press Circle is an open-access network visualization of the women and men involved in Emily Faithfull's Victoria Press, based on the contents of the English Woman's Journal (1858-1864) and three anthologies printed between 1861 and 1863. The project illustrates collaboration among literary contributors, compositors, engravers, printers, and editors, in order to better understand the Press as a collective enterprise. The Victoria Press Circle forms part of a larger work which represents Victorian poetry as a collaborative material endeavor among women with a tripartite aim of social reform, literary recognition, and artisanship.

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