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From cabinet of curiosities to database – modelling and digitising a writer’s archive

An exploration of the establishment and registration of the Grundtvig archive, on the digitisation of handwritten texts and the application of the digital archive in relation to Grundtvig’s work on the basis of four computational methods from the digital humanities.

How does one go about organising the handwritten work of a late author? By content or chronology? Based on whether or not it was published in their lifetime? Or did the author themselves maintain a specific order? Questions such as these can be answered in a multitude of ways, but one thing is certain: the texts must be classified and registered in order to make them not only readable but applicable to the author’s life and work.

The Grundtvig archive is the largest archive of any writer in Denmark and it contains around 45.000 pages. Based on an analysis of the archive’s content, register and history so far, this project explores how a digitisation of the archive can contribute to the research of Grundtvig’s published and unpublished texts. The aim of the project includes a full digitisation of the archive.

Today, we are in the middle of a transition, as we mass digitise our textual cultural heritage. This affects not only the accessibility of a writer’s archive, but also the archive’s historical classification, register and potential for interpretation. The digitisation has the potential to change the archive, but what constitutes the digital archive compared to the physical archive?

This Ph.D.-project explores questions such as these and uses the Grundtvig archive as a foundation for its research.

The project is carried out by Ph.D.-student Jon Tafdrup. 

”Vist nok” = definitely

Commentary in the digital age – mapping and exploring philological comments in digital scholarly editions.

Is it still relevant to provide explanations of difficult words, when additional information is only a click away? Moreover, is it possible to generate automatic commentary using artificial intelligence (AI)? These are some of the main questions of my Ph.D.-project; at first glance, these questions appear simple but they require a new historically informed description, systematic user analyses, as well as rigorous mapping of methodical approaches – three aspects that are yet to be explored in a Danish philological context.

By mapping the use of commentary in digital scholarly editions, this project aims to investigate the status of critical commentary today and to explore the use of computational methods in editorial philology. Finally, the project seeks explore how AI may contribute to the publications of scholarly editions

The project is carried out by Ph.D.-student Kirsten Vad.