Presenter: Simon Burrows, Western Sydney University
This talk has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. It will be rescheduled for the beginning of 2018.
This paper has twin aims. First, it discusses how the French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe (FBTEE) database project at Western Sydney has been taking a big data approach to challenge accepted views of the enlightenment and eighteenth-century culture. Second, it will explore how the project is working towards developing a linked data ecosystem for studying the reception of books and ideas between and across historical periods, and some of the challenges and opportunities involved in taking such an approach remain considerable. Marrying together, curation and online presentation of multiple bibliometric datasets produced using different sources, by different teams, at different times, using differing disciplinary norms and for different end purposes presents formidable practical and conceptual obstacles. The resources that result are likely to be complex and require highly refined analytical tools to interpret them. But since our technologies are agnostic to historical context, the FBTEE project and allied projects are now beginning to apply them to further times and places including projects on the C18 British Atlantic world and C20 Australia.
Simon Burrows is Professor of Digital Humanities and Professor of History at Western Sydney University, Australia. He holds his DPhil from Oxford and has also worked at the Universities of Waikato (NZ) and Leeds (UK). He is best known for his path-breaking digital project on ‘The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe’ and is now lead investigator on its successor project, the ARC funded ‘Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment’ project. He is also an investigator on Jason Ensor’s sister project, ARCHivER, an Australian National Data Service funded linked data project on the Angus and Robertson Archive. Simon Burrows is author of French Exile Journalism and European Politics, 1792-1814 (2000); Blackmail, Scandal and Revolution: London’s French Libellistes, 1758-1792 (2006) and A King’s Ransom: The Life of Charles Théveneau de Morande, Blackmailer, Scandalmonger and Master-Spy (2010). He has co-edited important collections on Press Politics and the Public Sphere (2002); Cultural Transfers (2010); and The Chevalier d’Eon and his Worlds (2010). A further monograph entitled Enlightenment Bestsellers is scheduled for publication in early 2018 and a co-edited collection on Digitizing Enlightenment for 2019. He can be contacted atS.Burrows@westernsydney.edu.au.