Conference paper Open Access

Bibliographic and textual studies and the personal library

Wingate, Alexandra; Walsh, John A.; Nurkkala, Caroline; Evans, Daniel; Mertka, Alyssa; Christie, Jennifer

This paper will discuss the application of digital humanities methods to understanding private libraries in three contexts: a corpus of post-mortem library inventories from early modern Navarre, Spain, the library of Isaac Newton, and the library of Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. The particularities of each case facilitate different analysis techniques from the visualization and quantitative analysis of private libraries to comparative textual analysis of full-text corpora of an author’s library and the author’s own works. The number of viable techniques is affected by factors such as how much can be known about the library’s contents, how much is known about the owner, and the availability of quality OCRed texts of the books in the library from sources such as the HathiTrust Digital Library.

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