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Keywords: 'Six Degrees of Francis Bacon' (this phrase)
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Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890)
Christopher Warren (Project Director: February 2016 to July 2018)
Six Degrees of Francis Bacon: Reassembling the Early Modern Social Network

Implementation of a web-based platform to enhance research on the social networks of Great Britain in the early modern era, 1500-1700. The project would also make available open-source software to facilitate development of tools for additional regions and time periods.

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon is a digital reconstruction of the early modern British social network that people from all over the world can collaboratively expand and revise. It harnesses digitized texts, natural language processing, network inference methods, and distributed historical expertise to create the broadest, most accessible source of who knew whom in early modern Britain. The beta version of our website, created collaboratively with undergraduate programmers, has received nearly 30,000 hits since going live in September 2015 and is growing daily through the contributions of scholars, students, and citizen humanists. An NEH grant would allow us, first, to transform Six Degrees into an accessible, sustainable, and vital resource that will continue to grow and serve the early modern community for the long term, and, second, to package and distribute our code so that scholars can create similar networks for different eras and regions.

[White paper]

Project fields:
British Literature; European History; Renaissance Studies

Digital Humanities Implementation Grants

Digital Humanities

$325,000 (approved)
$308,254 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 3/31/2018