Prague Talks on Digital Humanities – William Duba

The fourth in the series of the Digitizing the Past: Prague Talk on Digital Humanities talks, has been published on IP CAS Youtube channel.

William Duba (Université de Fribourg, Switzerland): Digital Fragmentology: Promises and Challenges (June 21, 2022, 3:30 CET, Academic Conference Centre, Husova 4a, Prague and on ZOOM)

The study of manuscript fragments has a history as old as the study of manuscript codices, and previous generations of scholars have been content to lump fragments together into the subject-matter of codicology. On this reading, the manuscript leaves that we find in the bindings of books, the illuminated initials pasted onto pages, the leaves from broken books for sale on the internet, all represent imperfect manuscript codices books, and, as such, can be investigated, although at greater expense of time and for less reward. Digital technologies and practices in the digital humanities have vastly changed the landscape, enabling approaches to fragmentary material to achieve new and exciting results. In particular, imaging technologies permit access to unreadable texts and the rapid reconstruction of pages, online databases facilitate the rapid location of fragments and their identification, and the networking effects of interoperability and virtual communities allow for the reconstruction of books, libraries and literary cultures, and the rapid dissemination of results. The sum total of these developments is the birth of a discipline, Fragmentology, that moves beyond just codicology to include diplomatics, early print, and the full range of historical sciences.