About Us

Stanford Global Currents Research Team: Ben Albritton, Mark Algee-Hewitt, Celena Allen, Elaine Treharne

Stanford Global Currents was initially funded by an NEH-funded Project as part of an international collaboration. Stanford's project focused on British manuscripts from the long twelfth century in the Parker on the Web repository asking how manuscript producers assisted audiences in finding their way around the folio. This project website contains information about our work and some of our findings. These preliminary findings, available in "Discovery" and "Research," show the components of mise-en-page that were investigated by the team. Our new research will fully explore the extensive dataset generated through machine learning feature extraction.

Project Context

The Stanford Team is led by Professor Elaine Treharne, with co-investigators Professor Mark Algee-Hewitt and Dr Benjamin Albritton. Celena Allen formerly managed the project and its undergraduate Research Assistants in the collaborative Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. The overall original PI for the multi-institutional "Global Currents: Literary Networks, c. 1090-1900" team was Professor Andrew Piper at McGill University.

Stanford RAs initially trained data to isolate features of mise-en-page for analysis by Professor Mohammed Cheriet's lab at ETS in Montreal. The preliminary results of test-cases were thrilling and the success rate of the automated algorithm extracting individual features has been outstanding. The program can identify litterae notabiliores, rubrics, and other major medieval information retrieval practices. These are displayed through Stanford's IIIF gallery, a combination of tools which promises to make a major contribution to the future of manuscript studies. Test databases suggest that once the data is fully searchable (phase 2.0 beginning in 2023), there will be new information about the colors used for decorated and enlarged initials by certain centers of manuscript production in England in the 1100s and early 1200s; that particular forms of capitalization (especially the slow introduction of "Lombardic" letter-forms) will be localizable and dateable; and that we shall be able to present greater granularity about specific features of pricking and ruling.