In this post, we reach back in time to showcase an older project and highlight its impact on data visualization in Digital Humanities as well as its good practices to make different layers of scholarship available for increased transparency and reusability.
Developed at Stanford with other research partners (‘Cultures of Knowledge’ at Oxford, the Groupe d’Alembert at CNRS, the KKCC-Circulation of Knowledge and Learned Practices in the 17th-century Dutch Republic, the DensityDesign ResearchLab), the ‘Mapping of the Republic of Letters Project’ aimed at digitizing and visualizing the intellectual community throughout the XVI and XVIII centuries known as ‘Republic of Letters’ (an overview of the concept can be found in Bots and Waquet, 1997), to get a better sense of the shape, size and associated intellectual network, its inherent complexities and boundaries.
Below we highlight the different, interrelated
layers of making project outputs available and reusable on the long term (way before FAIR data became a widespread policy imperative!): methodological reflections, interactive visualizations, the associated data and its data model schema. All of these layers are published in a trusted repository and are interlinked with each other via their Persistent Identifiers.
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