the day before the day of digital humanities

the day before the day of digital humanities 2010 was st patrick’s day.


my bicycle is broken. so i took the dart today from blackrock to pearse station in the city centre. i arrived at the academy in dawson street (between st stephen’s green and trinity college) at 8.20 am.


royal irish academy, 19 dawson street, dublin 2while having my first in a series of terrible instant espressos in the kitchen i have a chat with paul brady, the receptionist. topics: yesterday’s events and the miserable state of the irish catholic church (latest news: cardinal seán brady, primate of the catholic church in ireland, expressed shame that he had been involved in a cover-up of two cases of child abuse by a priest some 35 years ago).

the office

my desk is in the long room on the first floor. this fine hall has been converted into an office i share with my colleague eoghan ó raghallaigh from the doegen project,  sophie evans who is cataloguing pamphlets from the library, peter harbison, a celebrity among irish scholars, and some office holders of the academy. there is a lot space for all of us but the long room is not quite as long as the long room of trinity college library just down the road from here.

a perfect start

ideally the first hour i would have been revising my ph.d dissertation, the digital edition of william of auxerre’s treatise on liturgy, but usually other activities prevent me from doing so. today: the set up of the day of humanities blog.


at about 9.30 am sophie and eoghan arrive. after a while karl vogelsang, library assistant, comes along to execute his daily task of checking if some cases in the long room are properly locked up. this gives us the the welcome opportunity to exchange some german salutations (despite his family name, inherited from his german grandfather, karl started to learn german only recently): ‘wie geht’s?’ – ‘oh, danke, sehr gut. und selbst?’ – ‘doch, doch …’ – ‘hatten sie einen schoenen st patrick’s tag gestern?’ …A. Radclyffe Dugmore, A Study in Natural History, 1903

the line of approach

having had another terrible instant coffee the line of approach this morning is clear:

1. email correspondance amounted to double the usual because most of my colleagues ignored st patrick’s day as a public holiday. there are several projects ongoing in collaboration with my german colleagues at the institut fuer dokumentologie und editorik (ide). at 9.28 am i received a mail from susan schreibman announcing that the registration for a tei workshop to be held in galway this april is now open. susan is the director of the digital humanities observatory which is itself a project of the royal irish academy and the most valuable facilitating partner of the project i am in charge of, the  saint patrick’s confessio hypertext stack project. at our last project meeting susan suggested that possible candidates for this summer’s internship should be encouraged to participate in this workshop in advance. i am thus forwarding the announcement to some partner institutions .

incipit of staint patrick's confessio in the british library manuscript testimony2. encoding page and column breaks of the ms london, british museum, cottonianus nero e.1. this is one of eight mansucript testimonies of st patrick’s writings. the project aims to build up a comprehensive digital research environment to make accessible to academic specialists, as well as to interested lay people, all the textual aspects of st patrick’s own work. the facsimiles have just arrived from london.

shamanism and a bicycle repair shop

during my lunch break i went to collect my bike from a repair shop in a basement in temple bar. for the fifth time in a row i was told to come back tomorrow. by then it will be fixed. what can you do …

photograph by kevin bubriski, shamanism exposition in douglas hyde gallary at trinity college dublini took the chance and paid a short visit to the gallery of photography at meeting house square. on my way back i popped into the douglas hyde gallery to collect a poster of the previous photo exhibition: kevin kubriski – nepalese shamanism.

the two patricks

the two patricksthis afternoon i am going to run an xslt script my dear friend patrick sahle wrote for me in order to revise, modify and refine all references given in the apparatus criticus of the ‘canonical’ edition of st patrick’s writings, created by ludwig bieler in 1950/51 and recently encoded on behalf of the project.

after that i will revise the project’s road map according to the agreements anthony harvey, editor of the dictionary of medieval latin from celtic sources and the project’s overseer, and i found with the designated specialists of the digital humanities observatory, my superb colleagues kevin hawkins (covering dot porter who is on maternity leave until may), paolo battino & shawn day.

today’s final task will be executed probably tomorrow: the it department needs my travel laptop back and thus i have to copy to my office laptop all my personal data stored on it during my recent journeys to berlin (ide spring school on digital editions) and rome (corso di edizione critica al computer con tex/latex).

dun laoghaire

dun laoghairei am leaving at about 5.30 pm. later tonight  i will go to the cinema in dun laoghaire. a single man by tom ford, starring colin firth and julianne moore.