Projects
Featured Project

Adrian Freed and Lisa Wymore are working together with a small team of creative engineers and artists to make a digital platform that has a low threshold of entry. The system would allow people interested in embodied actions, gesture, sensation, bodily expression, etc. to enter the space and build digital instruments that are activated by a variety of sensor and camera based inputs.

The projects below are a subset of the digital humanities work currently taking place at UC Berkeley. If you are affiliated with Berkeley and would like to see your project listed here, please see this guide to creating and maintaining a project page. Questions? Contact us here.

(e)met: Human-machine Interactive Composition Using Machine Learning

Our goal is to make a computer program that interacts with human improvising musicians to automatically co-author music in real time using machine learning. This real-time interactive system will contribute to and draw from already existing branches of study in music composition and computer science. From computer science, the system will apply techniques from Music Information Retrieval (MIR) and Machine Learning to analyze and generate musical content. Within the domain of music composition, our piece aims to develop an interactive digital framework for gesture-based music improvisation.

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A Digital Corpus of Texts for the Study of Magical Ritual

The project set out to collect a large and diverse set of texts related to magical ritual, in particular Greek and Latin incantations used in healing and protective magic as well as aggressive magic. The work proceeded in tandem with my Ph.D. dissertation; no corpus of such documents covering the period in question, from the Classical world through modern Greece, had previously existed. It was hoped that the digital database would facilitate the querying and display of the texts beyond what was possible in previous word-processor- based workflows.

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Automatic Authorship Attribution in the Hebrew Bible and Other Literary Texts

The Hebrew Bible is a composite text written by many authors and compiled over hundreds of years. With much of the academic analysis of the Bible dedicated towards discerning nested authorship, scholars closely examine word choice and style to infer distinct components. Despite centuries of advancement in understanding authorial layers within the Bible, attribution for many verses is still heavily debated. The principal aim of our research project is to develop a set of machine learning algorithms to contribute to the analysis of biblical authorship.

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Berkeley Prosopography Services

Berkeley Prosopography Services (BPS) provides a new set of tools for prosopography - the identification of individuals and study of their interactions - in support of humanities research. Prosopography is an discipline well-served by digital tools; it is a humanities discipline in which the computational and data-driven methods at home in “Big Data” research can transform scholarly workflows, regardless of the size of the datasets. BPS is based upon re-usable infrastructure, supporting generalized web services for corpus management, social network analysis, and visualization.

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Brueghel Family Research Website

This project is as a wiki-based catalogue of the paintings and drawings by Jan Brueghel, his workshop, and his imitators. This includes a corpus of perhaps 500-600 works that are entirely or largely the work of Jan himself, and hundreds more copies and variants. In the wiki, each of these objects has its own page with an image and full cataloging data and bibliography; behind each of these pages, a discussion page allows other facts and opinions to be added.

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Bulgarian Dialectology as Living Tradition

Originally conceived of as a complex digital object comprising audio clips from field dialect recordings coordinated with text files containing analysis on several levels, the Bulgarian Dialectology as Living Tradition project is now being prepared as an interactive database. The central focus remains the collection of interviews, each of which is available both as an audio file and in text format. The texts are currently being transcribed, translated, annotated, and entered into the database.

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Creating Immersive, Interactive Environments for Engaging with Ancient Egyptian Coffins

Since 2015 and thanks to funding from two earlier collaborative research grants, I have been building 3D models of selected ancient Egyptian coffins from the Egyptian collection housed at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. This category of artefacts is central for the study and understanding of the ancient Egyptian funerary religion, literature and iconography. Coffins were elite items for protecting a mummy and enabling the deceased’s soul to travel in the netherworld and therefore they were richly decorated inside and outside by scribes and artists of the time.

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Cuneiform Name Authority - Ur III Period

A multidisciplinary conference was organized at Berkeley in April of 2017, and introduced the goal of building a socio-economic network from the 15,000 Neo-Sumerian texts from Drehem, Iraq, ancient Puzriš-Dagan (2100-2000 B.C.E.). The project brought together archaeologists, cuneiform specialists, experts in text analysis and natural language processing from around the world, country and campus. The workshop delineated a workflow for building a social network database from the digitized text archives, hosted and curated by Dr.

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Developing a Modified Version of the Lacuna Collaborative Annotation Platform

This grant will support our third year of an ongoing collaborative research program with Stanford’s Poetic Media Lab, who designed Lacuna (www.lacunastories.com), an online annotation platform designed to facilitate collaborative research and teaching. In our modification of the platform, we have adjusted it to support qualitative and collaborative inquiry for researchers looking to develop language and practices for the study of the Contemporary, including contemporary art, literature, and culture. 

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Digital Intermedia Collaborative Platform

Adrian Freed and Lisa Wymore are working together with a small team of creative engineers and artists to make a digital platform that has a low threshold of entry. The system would allow people interested in embodied actions, gesture, sensation, bodily expression, etc. to enter the space and build digital instruments that are activated by a variety of sensor and camera based inputs.

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Digital Life Project

“The Digital Life Project” aims to reframe how we define digital humanities at UC Berkeley by enabling the investigation of source materials primarily focused on racism and racial violence and subsequently replicating this framework for other activist efforts.  “The Digital Life Project” is a model that emerged out of faculty collaborative research and digital humanities pedagogy that is supported by the D-Lab, an organization that works closely with the Digital Humanities at Berkeley Initiative as a partner.

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Digital/Decolonial: Humanities Methods in Ethnic Studies

This pedagogy project seeks to integrate approaches to and tools from the Digital Humanities into the Ethnic Studies undergraduate curriculum. In particular, this work will explore incorporating digital approaches into Ethnic Studies 101B: Humanities Methods in Ethnic Studies, a mandatory undergraduate methods course in the Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, Native American Studies, and Comparative Ethnic Studies majors.

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Early Modern Scholar­-Printers Online

This project is designed to pilot a digital space where the enormously influential, but overlooked, contributions of early modern scholar­printers (the information managers of the early modern age) can be displayed, searched, debated, and collaboratively expanded and revised. It looks to offer advanced researchers, teachers, and students a resource for understanding not only who these important figures were, but how, why, and where they went about printing the texts they did.

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Expanding "Cuneiform De-Coded"

This project proposes to expand on Eduardo Escobar’s (PhD Candidate, NES) “Cuneiform De-Coded” software, which analyzes base values and hidden meanings within ancient texts that utilize the cuneiform script—the world’s first writing system. Like Chinese, and other script-based languages, the cuneiform script concealed multiple meanings within a single sign; for example, the sign “A,” in addition to its phonetic value /a/ can mean “water” and “son”; “A” was also an element in dozens of compound sign combinations.

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Human-Machine Interactive Composition Using Machine Learning

We will develop a software program that interacts with human musicians to automatically co-author music in real time using machine learning. Our real-time interactive system contributes to and draws from already existing branches of study in music composition and computer science. From computer science, the system applies techniques from Music Information Retrieval (MIR) and Machine Learning to analyze and generate musical content. Within the domain of music composition, our piece aims to develop an interactive digital framework for gesture-based music improvisation.

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Images of Eternity in 3D. The visualization of ancient Egyptian coffins through photogrammetry

Expanding on work accomplished through an earlier collaborative research grant, this project aims to build a new digital platform for an in-depth study of the ancient Egyptian funerary culture and its media. The main outcome will be a digital platform that allows to display a coffin in 3D and where users will be able to pan, rotate, and zoom in on the coffin, clicking on areas of text to highlight them and view an annotated translation together with other metadata (transcription of the hieroglyphic text, bibliography, textual variants, museological data, provenance, etc.)

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Locating Lost Identities: Mapping Italian opera audiences in Paris

This project examines the social life of the Italian opera in Paris during the 1830s and 1840s. The project focuses on an archival collection of letters written by subscribers to the administration of the Théâtre Italien gives the names, addresses, seat preferences, and social connections of patrons.

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Louisiana Purchases: The Indian Treaty System in the Missouri River Valley,1804-1859

“Louisiana Purchases: The Indian Treaty System in the Missouri River Valley,1804-1859” combines traditional archival methods with GIS to examine the settler colonial transformation of the lower Missouri River Valley in the first half of the nineteenth century. The project’s digital components involve designing new visualizations of territorial conquest and demographic change in the trans-Mississippi West.

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Louisiana Slave Conspiracies

We are a collaborative and multidisciplinary research project dedicated to preserving, digitizing, transcribing, translating, analyzing, and publishing manuscripts related to two slave conspiracies that occurred at the Pointe Coupee Post in 1791 and 1795. We have digitized more than 1800 folio pages in French and Spanish related to these two conspiracies and crowdsourced their transcription and translation. From these sources, we have processed geospatial, demographic, and forensic information relevant to persons, places, and events involved in the conspiracies.

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MayaLab: Sharing Maya archaeology within and outside the research community

This project will develop a web portal for MayaLab, an international collaborative environment for exploration of the archaeology of the Classic Maya city-state network that developed in Central America between AD 250 and 800, one of the most significant examples of a literate ancient society in the world.

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Milton Revealed

Milton Revealed is a collaborative project to collect audio-visual materials related to John Milton and his work, to re-examine his relation to theatricality, and to develop teaching approaches to Milton that use performance across a variety of media. Our principal concern is to enhance the appeal of Milton to a broad audience by such dynamic approaches of all kinds.

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Minding the Digital Gap: digitizing ceramic analysis methods in low-power computing communities

This project outlines ongoing efforts to “digitize” archaeological ceramic analysis methods used by the Taraco Archaeological Project in Chiripa, Bolivia. Chiripa is located on the southern shoreline of Lake Titicaca, home to a vibrant indigenous community, and the site of some of the oldest ceremonial and agricultural settlements in the southern Andes.

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New York’s Dutch History: Preparing a Discoverable Digital Resource from Primary Source Materials

In spring 2016, the Dutch Studies Program at the German Department and the Bancroft Library partnered in a collaborative research grant through Digital Humanities to prepare a digital research collection from selected primary source materials in the Engel Sluiter Historical Documents Collection at The Bancroft Library. This collection consists predominantly of copies and transcriptions of primary source materials on the seventeenth-century Atlantic.

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Political Science 239T - An Introduction to Computational Tools and Techniques

This course will provide graduate students the critical technical skills necessary to conduct research in computational social science and digital humanities, introducing them to the basic computer literacy, programming skills, and application knowledge that students need to be successful in further methods work.

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Predicting Dates of First Publication in the HathiTrust

The rise of large-scale digitized book collections—such as those provided by Google Books, the HathiTrust and the
Internet Archive—is enabling a fundamentally new kind of text analysis that exploits the scale of collections to ask
questions not possible with smaller corpora. Many of these research questions are driven by historically deep textual
collections—corpora that span several decades or centuries in their publication. Moretti (2007) analyzes the changing

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Res Romanae: University of California, Berkeley Roman Material Culture Laboratory

RES ROMANAE: University of California, Berkeley Roman Material Culture Research Laboratory serves as the portal for reporting the activities and presenting the research results obtained by the members of the Berkeley Roman Material Culture Research Group, an informal grouping of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students associated with UC Berkeley whose research interests focus on the investigation of the material culture of the Roman world.  RES ROMANAE presents professional profiles of the group members, a description of the UC Berke

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Richard Pryor's Peoria

"Richard Pryor's Peoria" opens up the genre of biography for the digital age. Traditionally, biographers have done their research—rooted around in archives, conducted their interviews, sleuthed for missing puzzle pieces—and then streamlined that research to write the story of the person in question. Our site is an interactive archive of the first two decades of the life of Richard Pryor in Peoria, Illinois.

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Shakespeare's Staging

Shakespeare's Staging explores the history of Shakespeare performance through images, videos, essays and bibliographies. The site is designed to be a resource for teachers and students of Shakespeare as well as for performers and directors of the plays. The audio-visual collection includes materials spanning from Shakespeare's original stage all the way through contemporary productions, and focuses on the many ways performance spaces can be used to realize Shakespeare's texts.

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The Book of the Dead in 3D. Visualizing the ancient Egyptian magic for the dead

During this year (AY 2017-2018), we have continued to build 3D visualizations of ancient Egyptian coffins and to progress in disseminating 3D models of previously unpublished ancient Egyptian coffins kept in the storage rooms of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (PAHMA) at UC Berkeley. We are also continuing the textual and iconographic analysis of the 3D models by creating interactive annotations on the models themselves.

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The Future of Memory: Jewish Culture in the Digital Age

The Future of Memory: Jewish Culture in the Digital Age is a new project of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life that includes an installation, exhibition, and digital research lab in which museum professionals, scholars, students, and the public, discuss the meaning of memory and the many facets of digital history.

 

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The Living New Deal

The Living New Deal is a research project and online public archive documenting the scope and impact of the New Deal on Americans’ lives and landscape. The New Deal was a constellation of economic stimulus policies and social programs enacted to lift America out of the Great Depression, one that touched every state, city, town, and rural area in the country, yet there is no national record of what the New Deal built, only bits and pieces found in local and national archives, published sources, and occasional markers.

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The Promise of Cinema

This website provides a research hub for those interested in early film theory. It serves as a supplement to the sourcebook The Promise of Cinema: German Film Theory, 1907-1933, which brings together hundreds of texts by theorists, intellectuals, and filmmakers, documenting the early twentieth century’s efforts to assimilate modernity’s most powerful medium. Users will find a collation of German film-theoretical publications before 1933, links to films as well as suggestions for researching and teaching Weimar cinema.

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The Rise of the Chinese Meritocracy: A Digital Approach to the Study of Cultural Change in Tenth-Century China

This project explores the sudden appearance in the 10th c. of a meritocratic culture that transformed Chinese elite society and constituted the ideological foundation of China's famous civil service exams. My earlier work used GIS, social network analysis, and a very large biographical database to explain the physical demise of China’s aristocracy. This project now complements that sociopolitical research with a study that explains the accompanying cultural change as a product of the rampant migration of the era.

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Toward a Dialogic Ethnographic Archive

Combining the cultural embeddedness of anthropologists and the design innovation of the Berkeley Center of New Media (BCNM), this project builds a global online archive of conversations recorded by ethnographers in field sites worldwide. Our scalable global archive addresses two concerns in contemporary anthropology: 1) renewed interest in collaboration as both ethnographic object and method, and 2) the paucity of interactive, design-focused ethnographic archives.

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TRANSIT Journal

TRANSIT Journal is the first refereed, multidisciplinary online journal dedicated to the critical inquiry of travel, migration, and multiculturalism in the German-speaking world. As a web-based, multimedia production, TRANSIT pushes boundaries both of traditional scholarship and of print publication. We publish one issue over the course of a year in several rounds of publication, allowing for new submissions throughout the year. Each issue also contains an open forum for experimental work and review essays on relevant books.

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University of California Cliometric History Project

On the eve of its 150th anniversary, the University of California (UC) is one of the world’s premier academic institutions. This project will take 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. Data will include digitization of previously published financial and administrative statistics, student records, cour

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Vietnamese Intellectual Networks Database

The Vietnamese Intellectual Networks Database provides detailed data regarding key Vietnamese intellectuals, their geographic movement, and their intellectual networks. Based on primary and secondary sources, the database seeks to highlight the historical nuances of each trip by charting modes of transit, activities in situ, and engagements between intellectuals. In this way, this database thus would form a nucleus for ongoing spatial research into Vietnamese intellectual networks.

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“The Bay Area in the 1970s: A Digital Archive”

“The Bay Area in the 1970s” is a DH-oriented research project in collaboration with the Bancroft Library and in synch with the American Studies program. The larger project will capitalize on, and work to curate, the excellent Bay Area-related primary source holdings of the Berkeley library system, and will be linked to a course (also titled “The Bay Area in the Seventies”) to be regularly offered in the American Studies program.

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