Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Spotted: Exploring Collections of Tagged Text for Literary Scholarship

Vast collections, they say

Exploring Collections of Tagged Text for Literary Scholarship


Abstract

Modern literary scholars must combine access to vast collections of text with the traditional close analysis of their field. In this paper, we discuss the design and development of tools to support this work. Based on analysis of the needs of literary scholars, we constructed a suite of visualization tools for the analysis of large collections of tagged text (i.e. text where one or more words have been annotated as belonging to a specific category). These tools unite the aspects of the scholars’ work: large scale overview tools help to identify corpus-wide statistical patterns while fine scale analysis tools assist in finding specific details that support these observations. We designed visual tools that support and integrate these levels of analysis. The result is the first tool suite that can support the multilevel text analysis performed by scholars, combining standard visual elements with novel methods for selecting individual texts and identifying represenative passages in them.

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