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The next IHR live stream will take place at 5.15pm on 14 May 2013 with the Digital History seminar.  Details below:

Digital History seminar
Matthew Hammond
The People of Medieval Scotland database: structure, prosopography and network visualisation
 
 
The People of Medieval Scotland 1093-1314 website (click on image to view)

The People of Medieval Scotland 1093-1314 website (click on image to view)

This is a seminar about a prosopographical database, ‘The People of Medieval Scotland, 1093-1314’, which has been in production since 2007, and which has been freely available online since the summer of 2010. Since the relaunch of the database last year, we have had over 40,000 unique visitors from across the globe. Now nearing completion, the database contains records on over 20,000 individuals, drawn from over 8500 medieval, mostly Latin documents. The paper will examine some of the PoMS project’s technical innovations as well as the new directions we hope to take in the coming years.

The seminar will take you behind the scenes of the public website to see how this database evolved from the factoid prosopography model created for the ‘Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England’ (PASE) by John Bradley of the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, now Department of Digital Humanities, at Kings College London. PoMS has developed what might be called a ‘transactional model’ of factoid prosopography, due to the fact that it is comprised almost entirely of transactional documents like charters. Rather than simply recording events, the transactional model is explicitly interested in relations between individuals as recorded in the documents. We will examine the new structures PoMS incorporates to allow end users the ability to research the terms of the transaction, and thus the nature of the interaction between people, as well as multiple transactions happening at different times within the same document. We will look at the work of Michele Pasin, formerly of DDH, in developing new ways for users to both search and visualise these transactions. The seminar will finish with a consideration of the capabilities of the database for studying the social networks, and visualising the relationships between large numbers of people.

Matthew Hammond is a Research Associate in the School of Humanities at the University of Glasgow and former Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. Since 2007, he has been a team member of the AHRC-funded projects that created the ‘People of Medieval Scotland, 1093-1286’ database (www.poms.ac.uk) and is now working on a Leverhulme-funded project to expand the capabilities of that database, especially in the area of Social Network Analysis.

To take part in the live stream visit History SPOT on 14 May at 5.15pm and open up the pop out video, slide show, chat, and twitter feed.

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Anglo-American conference 2009
What is a City? The English experience
John Beckett (Centre for Local History, IHR)
2 July 2009

Abstract: This paper will present an overview, concluding that England has two leagues of cities: a largely medieval league of what are now small cathedral towns; and a post-Victorian league which now includes more or less all the great ‘towns’. The paper explains how this came about, and asks what it means for our understanding of the English city.

To listen to this podcast click here.

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Digital History
17 May 2011
Professor Adrian Bell (Reading) and Dr Andy King (Southampton)
The Soldier in Later Medieval England Project – did it do what we wanted it to do?

Re-enactor in armour at the Tewkesbury Medieval FestivalThe research project: The Soldier in Later Medieval England was supported by the universities of Reading and Southampton between 2006 and 2009 and was run by Professor Adrian Bell, Dr Andy King.  It was never intended as a digital project which is somewhat ironic considering that this project has been selected as the opening discussion for a new IHR seminar group focused on analysing digital projects.  However, the impact of the online resource has been staggering.  Between 27 July 2009 and 15 October 2009 the website received 3.4 million hits with at least ¼ million unique visitors.  That’s somewhere around 3,000 visitors per day.  This was not just a brief ‘fad’ either.  For example in May 2011 the site received 15,000 visits.  In this session Adrian Bell and Andy King discuss the success of the project and particularly the online database.  They explain what their original brief was, what they planned to achieve (and what they feel they did, in the end, achieve), the methodology behind the project, and where they plan to take the research in the future.  The online database allows visitors to search the service records of soldiers in later medieval England using the Muster Rolls as its source.  The success of the online database comes not just from providing a useful resource but, as Adrian Bell explains, from various high profile promotions.  In July 2009 they appeared on the BBC website receiving a staggering 1.5 million hits on that day alone.  Since, the project has been advertised in a double page spread in the Daily Mail, in several magazine articles, and on various radio appearances.

To listen/watch this podcast please click here.

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