Meghan Lockwood's Digital Humanities Research
September 16, 2019 Classics | College of Arts and Humanities
I am a junior Classics major planning to pursue a Ph.D so that I can teach Latin someday. Some of my interests include Latin poetry, manuscript tradition, archiving, preservation and digital humanities.
I am a junior Classics major planning to pursue a Ph.D so that I can teach Latin someday. Some of my interests include Latin poetry, manuscript tradition, archiving, preservation and digital humanities. I am applying to study in Rome next spring at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies where I hope to learn new techniques and skills for observing the ancient world. This semester, through a research assistantship with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), I'm creating a digital humanities project that tracks textual variants in Book VIII of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The programmers at MITH are helping me learn XML, which I'm using to encode a digital apparatus criticus for the story of Philemon and Baucis. The project is part of the Textual Encoding Initiative, which is an organization that created guidelines for textual encoding that are "used by libraries, museums, publishers, and individual scholars to represent all kinds of textual material for online research and teaching." In addition to building a digital representation of the text (that will eventually become an open-access webpage for students and scholars to use), I am also encoding manuscript data for 5-10 manuscripts and encoding explanatory notes within the text so that a user could click on a word, e.g., "Minerva," and find relevant scholarly elaboration or a definition of the term. I wanted to do this project because during my research for a paper about the manuscript tradition of the Metamorphoses last year, the process of gathering and then sifting through the critical editions of scholars Tarrant, Anderson, Slater, Magnus and Heinsius was extremely laborious and time-consuming. My project, tentatively titled "Tracking Text Variants in Book VIII of the Metamorphoses" aims to help researchers better access and visualize the same information from Tarrant et al., but in a much more simplified manner. I'm thrilled to be participating in work that adapts modern technology for the benefit of students and classicists alike.