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Grant number: HD-51128-10

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Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH 03755-1808)
Mikhail Gronas (Project Director: 03/30/2010 to present)

Mapping the History of Knowledge: Text-Based Tools and Algorithms for Tracking the Development of Concepts

Text analysis of 15 editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica employing natural language processing, network analysis, and information visualization in order test computational methods for tracing changes in formation and evolution of concepts and ideas across domains of knowledge over time.

We propose to map out the History of European thought over last three centuries using as a proxy the history of changes in 15 editions of Encyclopedia Britannica. Editors of each new edition had to build a new consensus on what to include and what to exclude, how much volume a subject deserves, and what are the relations between subjects. These decisions may be captured and analyzed by methods of natural language processing, network analysis, and information visualization, thus providing tools for identification and analysis of various historical trends within and across domains of knowledge, such as discussion of theories and ideas, evolution of concepts, growth of reputations and such.

[White paper][Grant products]

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Digital Humanities

Total amounts:
$50,000 (approved)
$50,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2010 – 9/30/2012