Development and testing of Prosop, an open source universal demographic history tool used to plot historical relationships of individuals in time, space, and society and to discover connections among historical networks of individuals.
This Level II Digital Humanities Start-up application seeks funding for two workshops that will populate and refine Prosop, a social networking tool for the past. Prosop offers an open-source, customizable database in which historians and genealogists can record demographic information about individuals famous and unknown: names, dates, professions, locations, relations, and the like. Researchers can then use this data to plot groups of individuals that they study in time, space, and society and to discover connections between their historical networks and those of other scholars. Each Populating Prosop workshop will bring together twelve to fifteen historians of the Mediterranean representing diverse languages and periods. Participants will be chosen (in part) for the size and complexity of the prosopographic databases they can offer. The workshops will generate the large, highly heterogeneous dataset needed to develop a truly universal demographic history tool.