The Shakespeare and Company Project

lightning talk
  1. 1. Natalia Ermolaev

    Princeton University

  2. 2. Rebecca Koeser

    Princeton University

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The Shakespeare and Company Project is one of the longest-running projects at the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton (CDH). Based on archival materials from the Sylvia Beach Papers at Princeton’s Firestone Library, the project recreates the world of the Lost Generation by detailing what members of Beach’s lending library read and where they lived. The full site launched May 2020, and data on library members, books, and events will be published soon.The Shakespeare and Company Project is an exemplar of CDH’s commitment to critical adoption of best practices (Koeser, 2019) and innovation in custom software. Our process leverages rigorous testing, including unit testing (over 95% coverage for Python code), automated accessibility testing with pa11y, and manual feature and usability testing. As a project with both popular and scholarly appeal, we’ve designed a site that foregrounds the complex detail and idiosyncrasy of Beach’s record-keeping practices, but is welcoming and accessible, and also fully responsive on mobile devices. Through collaborative and iterative data modeling, we developed a relational database that allowed the research team to aggregate data , which helped to identify and disambiguate members, and to associate events from different archival sources. This project also includes a sophisticated solution for storing and querying partially-known dates in a SQL database (Koeser, 2019).Our lightning talk will demonstrate aspects of the public interface as well as the administrative backend, provide a brief overview of the published data, and discuss some of the scholarly and technical challenges we encountered.

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2020
"carrefours / intersections"

Hosted at Carleton University, Université d'Ottawa (University of Ottawa)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

July 20, 2020 - July 25, 2020

475 works by 1078 authors indexed

Conference cancelled due to coronavirus. Online conference held at Data for this conference were initially prepared and cleaned by May Ning.

Conference website:


Series: ADHO (15)

Organizers: ADHO