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A Report on the Digital Prosopography of the Renaissance Musicians Project

Thu, March 26, 10:15 to 11:45am, Hauptgebäude, Unter den Linden 6, Floor: Second Floor, 3059


With this project, funded by NEH Digital Humanities Start-up Grant (Susan Forscher Weiss, PI), we are creating a web-based framework for building a database (Linked Open Data) of professional and social networks of Renaissance musicians and people related to them. Although online biographical databases exist, they are expensive to build because they are mostly created manually. We are attempting to reduce costs by applying technology, specifically natural language processing (NLP). This program automatically extracts necessary information from existing computer-readable documents and uses crowd- or expert-sourcing techniques for corrections. GATE (General Architecture for Text Engineering) is our main NLP tool. Because the state-of-the-art NLP technology is imperfect for named entity and events extractions, we have developed a JavaScript-based online editor to correct the errors. The results are stored using the quad RDF (Resource Description Framework) format, which then can be searched via SPARQL, ia query language for RDF.