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Participant name: william noel
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University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)
William G. Noel (Project Director: January 2017 to May 2021)
Laura E. Aydelotte (Co Project Director: July 2017 to May 2021)

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper][Grant products]

$75,000 (approved)
$72,380 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

The Philadelphia Playbills Project

A proof-of-concept effort to transcribe and disseminate textual data from a collection of theater playbills documenting 19th-century American theater history.

The Philadelphia Playbills Project (PPP) takes materials from the archive and transforms them into Linked Open Data. The project will be based at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and collaborate with the New York Public Library and the Yale University Digital Humanities Lab. It will use a sample set of 19th century playbills filled with performance information from America's oldest theaters to test approaches to generating data from these materials, including publically crowdsourcing transcriptions using the Ensemble software produced by the NYPL. The PPP will then test workflows for transforming this data into RDF (Linked data). The project will produce a previously unavailable data set that will support new research about the American Theater, develop and refine methodologies for generating such data in the future on a larger scale with other playbill collections, and lay the grounds for future collaborative work with a conference on Performance History in the Digital Age.

Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, MD 21201-5185)
William Noel (Project Director: July 2007 to September 2011)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Prizes]

$307,500 (approved)
$307,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2008 – 6/30/2011

Creating a Digital Resource of Islamic Manuscripts

Cataloging and digitizing 236 Islamic illuminated manuscripts, which contain 53,000 folios that date from the 9th to the 19th centuries. Images and catalog data would be freely accessible via the museum's Web site and available through a portal maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Islamic Manuscripts of the Walters Art Museum: A Digital Resource will turn the illuminated and illustrated Islamic manuscripts of the museum, which are currently inaccessible to all but a tiny minority, into the Islamic Digital Resource (IDR), aiding in their preservation, and making them accessible. WAM?s collection of 236 medieval Islamic manuscripts remains underused both by the public and by scholars in the field, at least in part because the codices have never been catalogued. Current technology now allows for the possibility of cataloguing these books, generating digital images of the bindings of these manuscripts, and the 53,000 folios contained within them, and combining this information to create searchable digital surrogates. Through IDR we expect to open these closed books to all, and to provide different audiences with the information and the interfaces that they will need to mine this invaluable resource.