The Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton has various inspiring projects. The Prosody Archive surveys a long history (1569-1923) in a digital, searchable database. This large gathering of materials “compels users to rethink the past and future of organizing, navigating, conceptualizing, and historicizing large amounts of data.” The data, though, is specifically geared toward the versification and prosody of a complex history of poetic forms.
These scholars contend that these “[h]istorical prosodic materials show how poets and critics theorized poetry, how it was taught in schools, and how debates about pronunciation were inflected with national discourses.” Additionally, the Princeton Prosody Archive promises to be a rich repository of material for “[s]cholars of aesthetics, of literary history, of the history of the English language, of linguistics, of education, and of comparative literature [who] will find that prosodic discourse reveals the genealogy of many critical concepts.” In short, this collaborative digital humanities project compiles a long history typically reserved for examination by English Language and Literature scholars, but the data driven orientation of the materials shifts the way we have previously historicized various writings. The search function allows scholars to focus their research as they comb through nearly 200 years of material.
Photo: Princeton CDH