Tag Archives: parchment

Translating Touch Data in Laud656

Talking about touching parchment, this week’s code blog is all about how to add touch data to our JSON descriptions of manuscripts right now, before parchment surface experimentation is perfected (watch this space, it might happen).

I’ve chosen to use Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Laud Misc. 656 for this particular endeavor because it has some really fascinating, really feature-rich, really bad parchment.  And, bad parchment is really the best, because you can see and touch so many features of it.  Unlike really high quality parchment, which has eradicated so many of its distinguishing features that it makes you forget–however momentarily–that it is skin, bad parchment carries reminders of what it was, where it came from, marks of class and production, and so much more.

So, this blog is about capturing that kind of awesome badness in code.  Now, the code to date has a few features that allow me to talk about this thing that fascinates me (the touch of parchment):

ScriptData1

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Visualizing the Touch, the Feel of Parchment

This week’s post is about synaesthetic data.  Literally, it’s about visualizing the data we (the human instrument) collect by touching. To really show you what I mean, I’m going to jump right into our visualizations, which (as discussed last week) are a different style of data visualizations, but they are such nonetheless.

To put what I mean in perspective, I’m going to use something I know you’ve touched, and something you may have touched (the likelihood of which increases significantly if you’re a medievalist working on manuscripts). I’m going to compare the two materializations of post-calf and post-goat flesh we know as leather and (loosely) parchment.

Leather

Hairsides

CalfLthrHairImg GoatLthrHairImgCalfLthrHairImgNC GoatLthrHairImgNC                     Calf                                                                     Goat Continue reading Visualizing the Touch, the Feel of Parchment

The Making of a Manuscript: TCC B.15.17

The visualization post this week was about making a manuscript and the various different economies, ecologies, and congealing materialities that bring forth parchment, the material support on which a text is eventually written.

One of the things I want to draw attention to in that post and the upcoming ones is the fact that a manuscript is specifically more than a text, and thus requires us to look at it with different eyes and tools than we use for looking at texts.  A manuscript contains, or even embodies texts, but it also is and does myriad other things that all affect the way that it matters–the way it signifies in both a material and symbolic sense.

To highlight what I mean, today we are going to encode and examine Trinity College Cambridge B.15.17, a manuscript with a little more known history than most, and I’m going to draw attention to choices I make in coding that aim to bring the manuscript object itself into focus, rather than just simply the texts contained therein.

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Making Parchment: Material Data and Agential Cuts

We are going to take a tiny digression from Piers specific visualizations to get a sneak peak at visual data I’m presenting at the New Chaucer Society Congress in July.

What you are going to see here is a little different from the kind of data visualizations we’ve been looking at to date. So far, most of the data we’ve been highlighting here has been primarily data abstracted from a material phenomenon, and then reconfigured into slices meaningful to us. I’m going to talk more next week on what is “data,” so put a pin in those thoughts and we’ll come back to them.

CalfStrHairAImgThis week, we have a series of images of parchment surfaces (to be featured in NCS panel 5F on Parchment, organized by Bruce Holsinger) that have been translated via a few very intense scientific apparatuses into something that we think we understand intuitively. There is so much at work in that intuitive leap, however, that I think it’s worth breaking it down step by step.

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