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dc.contributor.authorHouston, Natalie
dc.descriptionDigital Humanities Seminar, University of Kansas. Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities & Hall Center for the Humanities. October 3, 2013:

Natalie Houston is in English at the University of Houston.
dc.description.abstractThe digitization of nineteenth-century texts offers us the opportunity of asking new research questions that could transform our historical understanding of Victorian culture. My research explores how we can use computational tools with large sets of digitized texts to gain a broader sociological understanding of poetry’s circulation, consumption, and function within Victorian culture.

All printed texts simultaneously convey meaning through both linguistic and graphic signs. Printed poems, for instance, are typically framed by the white space created by line endings, creating a distinctive visual signal of the genre on the printed page. In Victorian books of poetry, rhymed lines were frequently indented the same distance from the left margin to visually indicate the poem’s form and structure. Rhyme is thus simultaneously a linguistic, poetic, and graphic feature of many Victorian books. Most scholarly digital archives recognize the value of this graphical meaning and provide users with page images as well as OCR text, but most tools for large-scale computational analysis focus only on the linguistic content of texts.

In this talk, I will discuss how the visual aspects of printed texts contribute to their cultural significance; how computational analysis can facilitate the identification of unique or representative items, historical trends, and comparisons not accessible to the human eye across large document collections; and present some initial research findings from the current development of VisualPage, a prototype software application for the large-scale identification and analysis of the graphical elements of digitized printed books.
dc.titlePoems on the Page: Reading the Visual Codes of Victorian Booksen_US

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