Fernie Maas (VU History Department), Albert Merono (VU Computer Science), Wouter Beek (VU Computer Science)


October 10, 2013

Dutch Book Trade 1660-1750: using the STCN to gain insight in publishers’ strategies
Despite a stagnating domestic demand near the end of the seventeenth century, Dutch book producers managed to keep up their international market position. In a so-called embedded research project, the Short Title Catalogue, Netherlands (STCN) was used to gain insight in the strategies and decisions of these publishers. The STCN is a retrospective bibliography of publications 1540-1800, containing information on title, author, book producer, language, subject and collation. Historians and computer scientists collaborated to disclose this STCN, and to connect it to other relevant datasets. To explore the possibilities of, and difficulties in, disclosing and linking the bibliography, attention was turned to a particular strategy: publishing scandalous books. Next to explaining the process of converting and querying the STCN data, the presentation will deal with differences in handling data and the advantages of an Open Data approach in the humanities research.

Albert Meroño-Peñuela is a PhD student at the VU University Amsterdam and works at Data Archiving and Networked Services and the eHumanities Group of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in the Computational Humanities project CEDAR. He holds a bachelor in Informatics Engineering from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (FIB-UPC). As a researcher he has previously worked at the Institute of Law and Technology (IDT-UAB), developing models for Law using semantic technologies. His PhD focuses on the Semantic Web and the Humanities, with a particular interest in concept drift and the dynamics of meaning. His research interests also include Linked Open Data, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Computer Graphics, and he is an enthusiast of Free Software. He also likes to spend his time playing music and reading science fiction.

Wouter Beek is currently employed as a researcher at the Free University (VU) in Amsterdam, working on the Free Competition NWO project Pragmatic Semantics (PraSem). He is working on a new semantic paradigm for interpreting existing Semantic Web (SW) data, taking the contradictions, ambiguities and context-dependencies that abound into account. His conducted his previous research at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) within the international DynaLearn project, focusing on the diagnostic evaluation of qualitative models.

Fernie Maas has completed the research master Historical Sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen, specialising in 17th and 18th century cultural history. She graduated with a thesis on early modern Dutch cookery books and ideas of healthy eating. She recently finished an embedded research project on cultural industries in the Dutch Golden Age at VU University Amsterdam, working together with VU computer scientists in converting the Short Title Catalogue, Netherlands. Currently she is involved in developing a joint eHumanities education program at UvA and VU.

(Presentation slides- part 1
part 2)