CAA2014: Reading between the lines


The Spatial Humanities team is organising a session at the CAA2014 Conference. The aim is to bring together scholars that are dealing with texts of historical and archaeological interest. The call for papers is open now.

Reading between the lines: Computing applications for the analysis of archaeological and historical texts

Over the past twenty years, the adoption of digital technologies within the humanities has revolutionized scholarly practice in traditionally text-based disciplines such as History, Archaeology and Anthropology. From experimental methods for manuscript conservation to automated techniques for handling ‘Big Data’, this budding field of research offers many promising areas for further exploration. These include visualization and conservation technologies (such as Reflectance Transformation Imaging), data-extraction, management, and analysis tools (such as Text Encoding, Text Mining, Geoparsing and Geographic Information Systems). These approaches have been used by a number of research projects in both Europe and the United States. Examples include Lancaster University’s Spatial Humanities Project (, the Quijote Interactivo Project ( ), Stanford University’s Mapping the Republic of Letters (, Sheffield University’s London Lives (,the Pelagios Project (, A vision of Britain Project ( ), Locating London’s Past Project ( )and Google Ancient Places (, among many others. These projects are marked by their unique methods and aims, and by the fact that they work with texts and documents from different historical periods. Yet, when viewed collectively, they can each be understood as participating in a common scholarly agenda.

The aim of this session is to put this agenda into focus by bringing together the multiple theoretical and methodological digital perspectives established in the last years for the research of documents of archaeological and historical concern.  By providing a wide platform for researchers with interest in the study of past texts, we aim not only to explore the achievements of present research projects, but also to examine potential lines of collaboration on this topic between fields such as (but not limited to) archaeology, history, literature, heritage management and computer science.

We welcome abstracts from projects and/or individuals at any stage of research that are implementing computing approaches to deal with documents and texts.

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