Week Beginning 17th April 2017

This was my first week back after the Easter holidays and was in fact a four-day week due to Monday being Easter Monday.  Despite being only four days long it was a pretty hectic week.  I had to travel to Edinburgh for a project meeting on Tuesday for Jane Stuart Smith’s SPADE (SPeech Across Dialects of English) project, which will be officially starting in the next few weeks (or whenever the funding actually comes through).  This is a fairly large project involving partners in Canada and the US and our meeting was the first opportunity for members of the project to meet in person since the notification of award was given.  It was a useful meeting and we discussed what the initial stages for each project partner would be, how data would be collected and other such matters.  I’m not hugely involved in the project (4.5% of my time over 3 years) and will mainly be spending that time developing the project website, which will feature a map-based interface to summary information about the data the project will be dealing with.  The main focus of the project is the creation of an ‘integrated speech corpus analysis’ tool, which is being undertaken at McGill University in Canada, and it was interesting to learn more about this software.  I spent the bulk of Tuesday preparing for the meeting, travelling and attending the meeting.

On Thursday and Friday this week I attended two workshops that Bryony Randall had organised as part of her ‘New Modernist Editing’ AHRC Network project.  The first was for postgraduates who wanted to learn more about transcription and annotation with specific emphasis on Modernist texts.  I was leading a two-hour hands-on session on TEI, XML and Transcription as part of the event, so I spent quite a bit of time preparing for this.  I’d started putting some materials together before my holiday and indeed I’d worked on the materials during my holiday too, but I still had quit a lot of preparation to do in the run-up to the event.  Thankfully the session went pretty well.  TEI and XML can be rather intimidating, especially for people with no previous experience of such matters and I was really hoping to put a session together that managed to cover the basics without putting people off.  I think I managed to achieve this and by the end of the session all of the participants had managed to get a taste of TEI transcription.

The event on Friday was one of the main Network events for the project and as part of this I had a half-hour session where I was to demonstrate the digital edition I had created for Virginia Woolf short story (see previous posts for lots more information about this).  I think the demonstration went ok, but I managed to mess things up at the start by having the wrong edition settings set up, which wasn’t so good.  I also fear that I went into too much technical detail for an audience that were not especially technically minded.  In fact at least some of them were rather against having digital editions at all.

I didn’t have time to do much other work this week, other than to catch up with emails and things like that.  I did do some further work during my holiday, however.  Firstly I had to respond to AHRC review feedback for Murray Pittock and secondly I had to give feedback on a technical plan that Meg MacDonald had asked for some help with.

With my speaking at events now complete for the foreseeable future I will be able to return to more usual work next week.  I have a lot still to do for the Historical Thesaurus visualisations for the Linguistic DNA project and a number of items still to sort out for the SCOSYA project, for a start.