The Shelley-Godwin Archive
From the homepage:
The Shelley-Godwin Archive will provide the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, bringing together online for the first time ever the widely dispersed handwritten legacy of this uniquely gifted family of writers. The result of a partnership between the New York Public Library and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, in cooperation with Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the S-GA also includes key contributions from the Huntington Library, the British Library, and the Houghton Library. In total, these partner libraries contain over 90% of all known relevant manuscripts.
In case you don’t recognize the name, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus; William Godwin, philosopher, early modern (unfortunately theoretical) anarchist; Percy Bysshe Shelley, English Romantic Poet; Mary Wollstonescraft, writer, feminist. Quite a group for the time or even now.
From the About page on Technological Infrastructure:
The technical infrastructure of the Shelley-Godwin Archive builds on linked data principles and emerging standards such as the Shared Canvas data model and the Text Encoding Initiative’s Genetic Editions vocabulary. It is designed to support a participatory platform where scholars, students, and the general public will be able to engage in the curation and annotation of the Archive’s contents.
The Archive’s transcriptions and software applications and libraries are currently published on GitHub, a popular commercial host for projects that use the Git version control system.
- TEI transcriptions and other data
- Shared Canvas viewer and search service
- Shared Canvas manifest generation
All content and code in these repositories is available under open licenses (the Apache License, Version 2.0 and the Creative Commons Attribution license). Please see the licensing information in each individual repository for additional details.
Shared Canvas and Linked Open Data
Shared Canvas is a new data model designed to facilitate the description and presentation of physical artifacts—usually textual—in the emerging linked open data ecosystem. The model is based on the concept of annotation, which it uses both to associate media files with an abstract canvas representing an artifact, and to enable anyone on the web to describe, discuss, and reuse suitably licensed archival materials and digital facsimile editions. By allowing visitors to create connections to secondary scholarship, social media, or even scenes in movies, projects built on Shared Canvas attempt to break down the walls that have traditionally enclosed digital archives and editions.
Linked open data or content is published and licensed so that “anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it—subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike,” (from http://opendefinition.org/) with the additional requirement that when an entity such as a person, a place, or thing that has a recognizable identity is referenced in the data, the reference is made using a well-known identifier—called a universal resource identifier, or “URI”—that can be shared between projects. Together, the linking and openness allow conformant sets of data to be combined into new data sets that work together, allowing anyone to publish their own data as an augmentation of an existing published data set without requiring extensive reformulation of the information before it can be used by anyone else.
The Shared Canvas data model was developed within the context of the study of medieval manuscripts to provide a way for all of the representations of a manuscript to co-exist in an openly addressable and shareable form. A relatively well-known example of this is the tenth-century Archimedes Palimpsest. Each of the pages in the palimpsest was imaged using a number of different wavelengths of light to bring out different characteristics of the parchment and ink. For example, some inks are visible under one set of wavelengths while other inks are visible under a different set. Because the original writing and the newer writing in the palimpsest used different inks, the images made using different wavelengths allow the scholar to see each ink without having to consciously ignore the other ink. In some cases, the ink has faded so much that it is no longer visible to the naked eye. The Shared Canvas data model brings together all of these different images of a single page by considering each image to be an annotation about the page instead of a surrogate for the page. The Shared Canvas website has a viewer that demonstrates how the imaging wavelengths can be selected for a page.
One important bit, at least for topic maps, is the view of the Shared Canvas data model that:
each image [is considered] to be an annotation about the page instead of a surrogate for the page.
If I tried to say that or even re-say it, it would be much more obscure. 😉
Whether “annotation about” versus “surrogate for” will catch on beyond manuscript studies it’s hard to say.
Not the way it is usually said in topic maps but if other terminology is better understood, why not?