Download the zipped folder STCN.zip. The files in this folder contain metadata, exported from the Short Title Catalogue of the Netherland. The records are encoded using the MODS metadata standard. The STCN is a valuable source of information for research on these publishers. In this seminar, you will explore this type of data-driven digital humanities research.
For each book, you can find information about authors, the full title, the date of publication, the subjects, the language of the publication. Using this information, you can try to answer a number of questions about the history of publishing companies.
The questions above are only meant get you started; if you want to focus on other questions, this is of course encouraged. Try to conduct research on the MODS data, for which you will inevitably need an XSLT, to produce results.
You can create visualisations (line charts and bar charts) of the quantitative data that you produce using the stylesheets lineChart.xsl and barChart.xsl. If you have time, you could also think of aternative ways modifying the results into attractive presentations. Use any (digital or live) tool you need, such as MS Office (Word, Excel, Access), Oxygen, the Bookandbyte server, and/or the whiteboard.
Research questions (suggestions)
- Aspects of the incunable period: How many books were produced? What were the subjects of the books printed during the incunable period? What were the formats?
- Book production during the Dutch Golden Age: How many books were produced? What were the subjects of the books? What were the formats? Which companies were most productive?
- Book production during the 18th century : How many books were produced? What were the subjects of the books? What were the formats? Which companies were most productive? Which authors were most productive?
- Can you reconstruct the history of the Elseviers using the STCN? The following members of the Elsevier family are mentioned in the data set:
Elzevier, Lowijs (III)
Elzevier, Abraham (II)
Elzevier, Abraham (I)
- Can you reconstruct the history of the companies owned by ‘Aa, Pieter van der (I)’ or by ‘Blaeu, Joan (I)’. Can you see specific differences when you concentrate on the subjects of their titles, the formats in which they printed, or number of titles that they produced?
- How international was the Dutch book trade? Which languages are mentioned? Can you see historical developments during the period 1450-1800?