Digital Humanities at Berkeley recently awarded more than $75,000 in grants to UCB community members in the area of Collaborative Research. This project is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon grant: Capacity Building and Integration in the Digital Humanities.

Funded Grants: Collaborative Research Grants

Zach Bleemer (Economics) & John Douglass (CSHE); University of California Cliometric History Project

Zach Bleemer, DH Fellow and PhD Student in Economics and John Douglass, Center for Studies in Higher Education Senior Research Fellow are taking a Big Data approach to exploring the history and role of the UC campuses in the state of California. The project will produce an unprecedented large-scale empirical examination of the university’s funding, students, professors, institutional structure, and the university’s impact on socioeconomic mobility and economic development.

Niek Veldhuis (Near Eastern Studies) & Adam Anderson (DH at Berkeley); Cuneiform Name Authority - Ur III Period

Professor of Assyriology Niek Veldhuis and DH at Berkeley Postdoctoral Adam Anderson seek to create a name authority for the Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000) in ancient Mesopotamia, based on a corpus of 94,790 transliterated texts. The name authority will be used as one part of the training data for a neural network that will lemmatize the entire Ur III data set. Once lemmatized, the vocabulary in these texts will be much more easily available for semantic research (for instance Word2Vec) and for computational analysis.

Rita Lucarelli (Near Eastern Studies)

Creating Immersive, Interactive Environments for Engaging with Ancient Egyptian Coffins

Rita Lucarelli, Assistant Professor of Egyptology has been building 3D models of selected ancient Egyptian coffins since 2015. Her work involves producing metadata for these coffins, including the translation, transcription of the hieroglyphic text, bibliography, textual variants, museological data, provenance, etc., which will constitute “annotations” on the 3D models. In partnership with Research IT and the Hearst Museum, this project will enable broader dissemination of the models, both for the international Egyptology community and for the public at large.

Digitizing Ancient Egypt: Coffins and Funerary Culture in 3D

Currently, five 3D models of ancient Egyptian coffins with preliminary metadata are currently available on the project’s new website ( This new project aims to consolidate and enlarge the existing 3D coffin database by building more 3D models of coffins kept in the Hearst Museum as well as in other museums of the Bay Area with less well known ancient Egyptian collections (Legion of Honor in San Francisco, Sutro Collection of UCSF and the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose). This project will develop new immersive 3D content from the ancient Egyptian collection of the Hearst Museum that could be used for learning in class, in museums and in other interactive learning environments.

Bryan Wagner (English), Patty Frontiera (D-Lab) & Stacy Reardon (Doe Library); Louisiana Slave Conspiracies

Associate Professor Bryan Wagner, D-Lab Academic Coordinator Patty Frontiera, and Literatures and Digital Humanities Librarian Stacy Reardon are preserving, digitizing, transcribing, translating, sharing, and analyzing testimonies from slaves accused of plotting revolution. Their geospatial visualizations of the 1791 and 1795 conspiracies using historical maps of Central Louisiana will enable viewers to track the competing claims of eyewitnesses as well as the circulation of ideas about the conspiracies allowing analysis and visualization of the uncertainty about agency, collaboration, causation, and communication by rendering the forking narratives suggested by extant records.

David Bamman (School of Information) & Cody Hennesy (Doe Library); Assessing and Improving OCR Quality in the HathiTrust

David Bamman, Associate Professor and Cody Hennessy, E-Learning and Information Librarian will work to improve large-scale digitized book collections along the following dimensions: 1) Improving metadata, 2) Recognizing the document structure of OCR’d books, and 3) Measuring and improving OCR quality. Their work will explore a targeted use case of improving OCR while focusing on evaluating OCR accuracy so that researchers are empowered to make informed choices at the level of data sampling and methodology.