(Digital) Humanities

By Gertjan Filarski | Books, museums, arts & the humanities with steps into archeology. Classic and digital methods. Twitter: @GertjanF

1600: Explore American history in VR with the White House’s newest app

You only need a dollar to go to the White House. That is, if you’re willing to go in VR.<p>With naught more than a George Washington and a smartphone, …

Virtual Reality

Does Aleppo prove that westerners should keep the world’s antiquities?

The Aleppo room comes from a Christian home in the northern Syrian city, built in around 1600 it is probably the oldest surviving painted panelled …

Archaeology

‘Imaginary Cities’: Neural network generates realistic maps based on user doodles

In 1972, a novel called “Invisible Cities,” written by the the Italian author Italo Calvino, was published. The book features short prose poems …

Maps

Disputed Beethoven manuscript fails to sell at auction

Sotheby’s hits out at ‘irresponsible’ academic who publicly questioned legitimacy of work credited to Beethoven’s hand, despite not inspecting it in person<p>Sotheby’s has criticised an academic who questioned the authenticity of a Beethoven manuscript for sale, claiming that the ensuing row over its …

Ludwig van Beethoven

10 Creativity Apps I Used The Most in 2016.

I shoot my own videos, take my own photos, write my own books, and design apps. Here are the creativity apps I used the most in 2016 to do all of those, and why.<p>Your creativity is your ability to generate ideas that are novel and useful. Whether business ideas, artistic ideas, or others. However, …

Cameras

Should we even go there? Historians on comparing fascism to Trumpism

Recent events around the world have prompted debate about the historical parallels between our times and the period preceding the second world war<p>Last Thursday, an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor recorded a video which promptly went viral. She compared “the humiliation, the demonization of others” …

Fascism

In A First, Spain's Prado Museum Puts The Spotlight On A Woman Artist

Enlarge this image<p>Spain's national art museum, the Prado, has been around nearly 200 years and has one of the world's biggest collections of Renaissance and Baroque art.<p>But only now has it devoted a solo exhibition to a female artist: the 17th century Flemish painter Clara Peeters.<p>Not much is known …

Art

Add tech to a humanities degree to bridge the employment gap

Adapting to a brave new job world, schools offer flexible programs so students can add tech to their humanities focus, and vice versa<p><i>There are a</i> …

Employment

The Unsolvable Mysteries of the Voynich Manuscript

The word “ink” is a child of the Latin <i>incaustum</i>, which means “having been burned.” In the Middle Ages, people thought that ink burned its way into parchment, because iron-gall inks go onto the page pale, then darken. This is not what’s happening, physically, but it makes sense as a metaphor: a …

Medieval

How Well Can Computers Read Fiction?

Computational tools have the ability to analyze books’ emotional arcs, but it’s unclear what they can really find out about literature.<p>In recent years, literature has been getting attention from an unusual quarter: mathematics. Alongside statistical physicists analyzing the connections between …

Literature

There Are 6 Basic Emotional Shapes of Stories

In his autobiography, Palm Sunday, Kurt Vonnegut recalled the theme of a master’s thesis that got rejected by the University of Chicago. It was his …

Library of Congress gives Afghanistan digital treasure trove of historical documents

Abdul Bari Jahani only remembers one book from when he was growing up in Afghanistan: the Quoran. The religious text is sacred in the Muslim nation, …

New York Public Library: “Go forth and reuse” public domain photos, maps and more

The role of a library has long been to “collect and preserve cultural records and documents of our time here on earth as a civilization,” says Ben …

George Eastman Museum Launches Online Portal Where You Can View 250,000 Historic Images

The famous George Eastman Museum has created a new, public portal where you can view over 250,000 images and other objects from their vast …

Museums

Painting Sold By Jewish Couple To Escape Nazis Is Returned To Grandchildren

The 16th century painting found its way home 78 years later.<p>France returned a 16th century painting sold by a Jewish couple fleeing the Nazis, presenting the artwork to the family’s grandchildren in a ceremony Monday.<p>Henry and Hertha Bromberg sold the portrait, which has been attributed to the …

Art

Google made an insanely high-res camera to preserve great works of art

In its first five years, the Google Cultural Institute scanned and archived 200 works of art in super-high-resolution gigapixel images. Now in just the past few months, it has managed to scan another 1,000.<p>The sudden expansion is thanks to a new camera developed by Google, simply called the Art …

Google

Researchers uncover algorithm which may solve human intelligence

If we have the algorithm, we also have the key to true artificial intelligence.<p>The key element which separates today's artificial intelligence (AI) …

Computer Science

The best history books of 2016

<b>Penny Corfield</b><br>John R. Gillingham’s <i>The EU: An Obituary</i> (Verso) may be a gritty neo-liberal polemic, but it is based upon in-depth historical research. …

History

30 Medieval Texts Translated in 2016

From biographies of the leading warriors to the grumbling of a government official, here are thirty medieval texts that have been translated in 2016. …

Middle Ages

In Northern Iraq, ISIS Leaves Behind An Archaeological Treasure In Ruins

Enlarge this image<p>When archaeologist Layla Salih was a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Mosul, Iraq, she visited the ancient site of Nimrud for the first time on a field trip, led by a guide past the remnants of temples and roads to the ancient palace of Ashurnasirpal II.<p>The king of the Assyrian empire, …

Archaeology

Spectacular bronze age gold torc unearthed in Cambridgeshire field

Gigantic item found by a metal detectorist is among recent finds in England and Wales reported to archaeological authorities<p>A gigantic gold torc, so big one expert thinks it may have been worn to protect a pregnant woman, has been found by a metal detectorist in a ploughed field in Cambridgeshire. …

Archaeology

Photographs of historic England 'challenge Downton Abbey myth'

Images of 19th- and 20th-century England show reality of rotting houses and poverty amid grand old buildings<p>Images of factories, schools, universities and civic buildings rising among old streetscapes – but also of rotting houses, barefoot children and faces pinched with poverty – have been …

Downton Abbey

The keeper of Disney's legacy, archivist Dave Smith spent 40 years preserving the history of an American icon

Dave Smith couldn’t believe his luck. He was visiting Disneyland with his family about a year after its opening and spied Walt Disney strolling down the park’s Main Street.<p>In his later years as a serious autograph collector, Smith would go on to acquire the signature of every person who signed the …

Archives

Lip reading AI smashes humans at interpreting silent sentences

One of the most memorable parts of Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece <i>2001: A Space Odyssey</i> is a plotline in which two members of the <i>Discovery One</i> …

Computer Science

In their own words: 6 of history’s most fascinating letters

Containing more than 80 letters, postcards and telegraphs written by historical figures including Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine Howard, Karl Marx and …

History

Prayer to Thoth for Skill in Writing

The <i>Prayer to Thoth for Skill in Writing</i> is a literary piece dated to c. 1150 BCE from the latter period of the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1570-1069 …

Writing

Google Artificial Intelligence Whiz Describes Our Sci-Fi Future

A top Google researcher talks about increasingly intelligent computers.<p>The next time you enter a query into Google’s search engine or consult the company’s map service for directions to a movie theater, remember that a big brain is working behind the scenes to provide relevant search results and …

Illegal treasure hunters damage ancient hill fort on South Downs

An ancient hill fort dubbed "one of the jewels in the crown" of the South Downs National Park has been damaged, police have said.<p>Illegal metal detecting is believed to be behind the disturbance to the ground at the 5,000-year-old Cissbury Ring site near Worthing in West Sussex.<p>Described by the …

Archaeology

“Digital Humanities are … Digital Humanities is … ??”*

<i>“We don’t even know if it is plural or singular!” Prof. Gregory Crane said in his presentation at the DARIAH Winter School suggesting that Digital</i> …

Humanities