Monthly Archives: May 2013

Our story

Our poster tells our story, each quadrant representing another chapter of an evolving digital humanities narrative.

BPS Poster

Context: BPS is a set of tools to extract and analyze individuals and social networks in legal and administrative texts. It is open-source and corpus agnostic, meaning it can facilitate study of persons and communities in documentation from any time and place. The development corpus is a group of legal texts written in the cuneiform script on clay tablets from the time that Alexander the Great and his successors ruled Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), 331-164 BCE.

Problem: It is difficult to identify individuals, family trees, and social networks in large text corpora.  As new documents are identified in collections, as scholars challenge others’ interpretations, and as different researchers apply new methodologies, the shape of the data set may change.  Charting these changes by hand is time-consuming and difficult, if not impossible.  What new tools can facilitate the handling of large data sets and support collaborative investigation ?

Berkeley Prosopography Services: Our architecture diagram outlines the steps BPS takes to transform data into a depicting of individuals and communities in the form of a social network graph.

Potential: BPS has the potential to transform humanities research. It can serve the needs of diverse research communities.  The visualizations open the possibility of identifying new research questions. The collaborative model of communication and community outreach has already gained support from researchers around the world.

Berkeley Prosopography Services is as much “about” the conversation and the community as it is about the technology. Explore the potential with us!