Institutionalizing and implementing the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project

panel / roundtable
  1. 1. Joel Berkowitz

    Digital Yiddish Theatre Project

  2. 2. Debra Caplan

    Digital Yiddish Theatre Project

  3. 3. Agnieszka Legutko

    Digital Yiddish Theatre Project

  4. 4. Aaron Rubinstein

    Digital Yiddish Theatre Project

Work text
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"Administrative Challenges of a Global Collaborative Research Group"
Joel Berkowitz, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
DYTP co-founder Joel Berkowitz will address administrative challenges facing a collaborative research group. These include the initial selection of group members, the division of labor within the group, articulating the group’s mission and objectives, keeping activities moving forward in a timely fashion, managing effective communication among group members spread across a number of cities on two continents, working with partner individual organizations, and funding the consortium’s work.
"Data and the 'Obscurity' of Yiddish Theatre"
Debra Caplan, Baruch College, City University of New York
DYTP co-founder Debra Caplan will describe the group's progress in creating a data model and database for a digital critical edition of a Yiddish theatre encyclopedia. Yiddish theatre data poses particular challenges, and our data model and database will need to accommodate relationships among individual actors, directors, and playwrights; hundreds of itinerant Yiddish theatre companies; thousands of geographical locations, often within rapidly changing national borders; a multilingual repertoire that often featured dozens of variants of a single play; literary trends in Yiddish drama; ticket prices and sale figures; cross-continental reviews; and other data related to the near-constant travels of Yiddish theatre artists across the globe. Caplan will discuss the potential of this data to document Yiddish theatre's broad impact on theatre history.
"Capturing the Ephemeral: The Digitization of Yiddish Theatre"
Agnieszka Legutko, Columbia University
Agnieszka Legutko will set the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project in a broader context of other Yiddish theatre-related digital attempts, often short-lived or only partially executed online projects created in the last decade or so. She will also discuss the unique potential of the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project resulting from its focus on specific content, collaboration of a diverse team of experts, and strategies for attaining social media presence.
"Creating a Yiddish OCR"
Aaron Rubinstein, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Data mining, the computer analysis of large corpora, is an essential tool in contemporary textual analysis. For the humanities, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has made this kind of analysis possible, rendering the text from printed, digitized works into a machine readable form. Though far from perfect, OCR has a high success rate recognizing roman characters but for researchers in the field of Yiddish studies, OCR engines that can recognize characters from the Jewish alphabet are still in the early stages of development. This presentation will discuss the current state of Yiddish alphabet OCR and a project that attempts to make use of existing tools and a variety of other strategies to provide machine readable access to a seminal Yiddish reference work.

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2016
"Digital Identities: the Past and the Future"

Hosted at Jagiellonian University, Pedagogical University of Krakow

Kraków, Poland

July 11, 2016 - July 16, 2016

454 works by 1072 authors indexed

Conference website:

Series: ADHO (11)

Organizers: ADHO