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The Aberdeen Burgh Records of 1398–1531 and the Semantic Web

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of two text analytic projects on the Aberdeen burgh records, which are legal records of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. These records contain detailed information about a range of activities in the city and their legal treatment. The projects cover the periods 1398–1511 (Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers project – LACR) and 1530–1531 (A Text Analytic Approach to Rural and Urban Legal Histories project – TAHL). The completed TAHL project annotated a selected corpus with rich semantic information for the purpose of facilitating historical research by querying and extracting data from across the corpus. The LACR project, which is ongoing, focuses on transcribing the first eight volumes of the Aberdeen burgh records (1398–1511) into the Text Encoding Initiative’s standard, thus making the text machinereadable. This project lays the foundation for further analysis and enrichment of the corpus.

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Gearing up for Catalan Intellectual History: JOCIH’s Twist

Abstract

This article can be read as an Editorial for the first issue of the Journal of Catalan Intellectual History (JOCIH) in its new stage at de Gruyter Open. It offers, first, a methodical review of the concept, roles, and trends of intellectual history in the 20th century. Next, it looks into the particular Catalan tradition, historiography, and cultural analysis to position the aim and the role of the Journal with regard to similar initiatives. It tries to give an answer to the crisis of intellectual history as a discipline, at the end of the past century. The third part of the article describes some of the available resources. The fourth section introduces the contents of the present issue, focussing on the construction of a collective identity and the literary engagement of Catalan writers between 1920 and 1980, either in their country or in exile. The Notes of the present issue highlight the importance of technology, natural language processing, and Semantic Web developments in carrying out contemporary research in this field.

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Digital Humanities on the Semantic Web: Accessing Historical and Musical Linked Data

Abstract

Key fields in the humanities, such as history, art and language, are central to a major transformation that is changing scholarly practice in these fields: the so-called Digital Humanities (DH). A fundamental question in DH is how humanities datasets can be represented digitally, in such a way that machines can process them, understand their meaning, facilitate their inquiry, and exchange them on the Web. In this paper, we survey current efforts within the Semantic Web and Linked Data, a family of Webcompatible knowledge representation formalisms and standards, to represent DH objects in quantitative history and symbolic music. We also argue that the technological gap between the Semantic Web and Linked Data, and DH data owners is currently too wide for effective access and consumption of these semantically enabled humanities data. To this end, we propose grlc, a thin middleware that leverages currently existing queries on the Web (expressed in, e.g., SPARQL) to transparently build standard Web APIs that facilitate access to any Linked Data.

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The Censorship of Essays Written by Maria Aurèlia Capmany (1968–1978)

Abstract

General Franco’s censorship apparatus was quick to pounce on the intellectual dissent in the essays written by Maria Aurèlia Capmany from 1968 to 1978. Based on censorship records, this article analyses the ideological way that those in charge of issuing the reports read her essays. The essays that suffered the most in the hands of the censors were La joventut és una nova classe? (1969), Pedra de toc (1970), El feminismo ibérico (1970) and El feminisme a Catalunya (1973).

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