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Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD 21218-2625)
Susan Forscher Weiss (Project Director: October 2012 to May 2016)
Ichiro Fujinaga (Co Project Director: October 2012 to May 2016)
Digital Prosopography for Renaissance Musicians: Discovery of Social and Professional Networks

The continued development of a prosopographical database tracing the social and professional networks of Renaissance musicians, using automated methods to identify individuals and biographical information within relevant sources and to establish relationships between them.

As part of Web 2.0 (Semantic Web), there is a new technology called FOAF (Friend of a Friend), describing relationships between people. We will investigate the applicability of FOAF for describing relationships between musicians of the past, thereby establishing a new biographical tool. Musicians have complex relationships,particularly those between teachers and students and those within ensembles of various sizes. Visual artists may have similar teacher-student relationships, but typically do not create their work together. Dancers may perform together, but they are usually taught in groups. Similarly, athletes may compete in groups, but they do not usually perform in public with their coaches. For this project we will focus specifically on relationships among Renaissance musicians and how to extract the biographical and relational data automatically from existing documents using natural language processing technology, creating a model applicable to other time periods and disciplines.

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Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Digital Humanities

$54,466 (approved)
$53,918 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2013 – 10/31/2015