Impressions from WebMontag Göttingen / Einstein-Zirkel Berlin

Just in time before the weekend some impressions from WebMontag Göttingen and the Berlin Einstein-Zirkel Workshop.

Once a month a group of Digital Humanities enthousiasts gathers in the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH) for Webmontag or Webmonday. These  informal meetings have the aim to offer a meeting point for people interested in issues relating to Web 2.0 and especially the active Göttingen DH scene  (http://www.gcdh.de/en/events/web-monday).
I was invited to join the March meeting which focussed especially on digital editions and next to my Vierde Partie project for which I am staying at the moment at the Berlin State Library (http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/) as bursary of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, several running and future Göttingen based DH projects were presented (http://webmontag.de/location/goettingen/2014-01-13).
During the lively discussion after my short presentation which acted as a kind of kick-off, I got some very useful tipps concerning the issue of how to represent in XML-TEI the loads of special characters and abbreviations in medieval manuscripts. The main point of critique was that using characters in the PUA of Unicode might conflict with the aim of general compatibility. I intend to adress this issue in a later blog entry more profoundly as I still have to think how to actually solve this problem and decide on a reasonable compromis.
The running projects presented at this WebMontag were the notebooks of Theodor Fontane (http://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/303691.html) and Blumenbach online (http://www.blumenbach-online.de/). It was really impressive to get an insight into the progress of these projects. One of the future Göttingen projects will be a Mayan dictionary, which will have to deal with the problem of how to code the highly complicated graphical Mayan hieroglyphs that are transmitted mainly as inscriptions on building and on archeological objects like vases etc. (as during the conquest of South America most manuscripts were destroyed). Some information can be found on the website of the project (http://www.iae.uni-bonn.de/forschung/forschungsprojekte/laufende-projekte/idiom-dictionary-of-classic-mayan/interdisciplinary-dictionary-of-classic-mayan-idiom). The other project is an editionproject on the Geschichte der Neologie, which aims at digitally editing important works in this field and showing the development of specific thoughts in these works during a longer period.
As the focus of this evening on digital editions was concidered very succesful by its participants, the idea is to have in future more often digital editions as special theme of the Göttingen Webmontag. This would offer a possibility to discuss problematic issues that emerged during the discussion as the citability of digital editions and if a only machine-readable edition is still a edition in more detail.

During the general discussion Jörg Wettlaufer also gave a short account of the third workshop of the Einstein-Zirkel Digital Humanities Berlin (http://www.digital-humanities-berlin.de/werwirsindhttp://www.digital-humanities-berlin.de/archive/1064) which took place on 28th of February at the Freie Universität Berlin. This workshop was at least concerning the numbers of participants a huge success. I was very lucky to be at this moment in Berlin and therefore able to attend to the meeting as well and talks to many of the poster presentators and participants. A setback was the rather undecided vision of some big DH players in Berlin during the plenary discussion to act together to strengthen Berlin’s DH infrastructure. You can read Jörg Wettlaufer’s more detailed account of this event on his blog (http://digihum.de/2014/03/digital-humanities-in-berlin-grenzen-ueberschreiten-28-2-14/) and the book of abstracts (more than 60! projects) can be downloaded as PDF (https://edoc.hu-berlin.de/docviews/abstract.php?lang=ger&id=40508).

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