Lincoln Logarithms: Finding Meaning in Sermons

Lincoln Logarithms: Finding Meaning in Sermons

From the webpage:

Just after his death, Abraham Lincoln was hailed as a luminary, martyr, and divine messenger. We wondered if using digital tools to analyze a digitized collection of elegiac sermons might uncover patterns or new insights about his memorialization.

We explored the power and possibility of four digital tools—MALLET, Voyant, Paper Machines, and Viewshare. MALLET, Paper Machines, and Voyant all examine text. They show how words are arranged in texts, their frequency, and their proximity. Voyant and Paper Machines also allow users to make visualizations of word patterns. Viewshare allows users to create timelines, maps, and charts of bodies of material. In this project, we wanted to experiment with understanding what these tools, which are in part created to reveal, could and could not show us in a small, but rich corpus. What we have produced is an exploration of the possibilities and the constraints of these tools as applied to this collection.

The resulting digital collection: The Martyred President: Sermons Given on the Assassination of President Lincoln.

Let’s say this is not an “ahistorical” view. 😉

Good example of exploring “unstructured” data.

A first step before authoring a topic map.

One Response to “Lincoln Logarithms: Finding Meaning in Sermons”

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