Michelle Margolis Chesner deposited Footprints: A New Approach to (Jewish) Book HIstory in the group Digital Humanists on Humanities Commons 2 months ago
This article describes and analyzes the methods of Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place, a digital humanities contribution to book history. Footprints collects and aggregates information about the movement of copies of Hebrew books and books of Judaica in other languages printed in the early modern period (roughly corresponding to the hand-press era) and follows evidence of their movement into the twenty-first century. It stores this information in a relational database in which users can run specific queries and delivers the results in a number of visual representations for analysis and interpretation. Footprints undertakes two concurrent and more open-ended aims: (1) the on-going assemblage of a dataset about post-print mobility based on evidence other than the printed text (e.g. marginalia, catalog records, archival letters, other printed texts); and (2) the creation and iterative refining of a scholarly instrument to analyze the dataset through computational methods and modes of representation.