Georeferencing the Early Modern London Book Trade: Introduction
In summer 2014, I took a directed studies course with Janelle Jenstad, focusing on the use of historical GIS as a tool for analyzing the spatial distribution and interaction of the early modern London book trade. The course combined curriculum from Ian Gregory’s
Geographical Information Systems in the Digital Humanitiescourse at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) with research based on the Map of Early Modern London (MoEML). A guiding question for this course was
how can book historians use digital tools such as GIS and TEI to analyze spatial data points in bibliographies of early modern London books?Throughout the course, I produced a series of short blog posts that responded to this question. Left behind in the wake of other assignments, these blog posts have been filed away for nearly a year and a half. Today, I’m happy to announce that MoEML will publish them as part of a blog series called
Georeferencing the Early Modern London Book Trade.
The first blog post,
Theory without Practice,considers the growing intellectual interest in what book historians call
the geography of the book.I note that issues of space and place proliferate in recent discussions about print culture and book history and argue that, despite the interest in the geography of the book, book historians have yet to develop a way of encoding geocoordinates and toponyms in bibliographic data sets.
In the second blog post,
Filling the Space in Bibliographies,I propose a template for a georeferenced, TEI-XML database of early books. Like existing databases such as the British Book Trade Index (BBTI) and the London Book Trade Database (LBTD), I use the stationer as the primary variable in my data structure. However, I show how these existing databases could be expanded to include spatial variables like geocoordinates and toponyms.
My final blog post,
What’s in an Imprint?,discusses how programmers and encoders can harvest the raw data necessary to populate a georeferenced database of early books. I emphasize the importance of collaboration among geohumanists and digital humanists, and share how Janelle Jenstad and I worked with the Shakeosphere team at the University of Iowa to harvest a large set of geographic data from early modern book imprints.
These blog posts will be added to the MoEML blog over the course of the next week.
- British Book Trade Index. Dev. Peter Isaac and Maureen Bell. University of Oxford. Open.
- Shakeosphere: Mapping Early Modern Social Networks. Created by Blaine Greteman and David Eichmann. Iowa City: University of Iowa Libraries. Open.
- Turner, Michael, L., dev. London Book Trades Database. Oxford Bibliographic Society. Open.
Last modification: 2016-05-27 14:37:29 -0700 (Fri, 27 May 2016) (tlandels)