Creating a Literary GIS of the English Lake District

Taylor, Joanna and Gregory, Ian (2021) Creating a Literary GIS of the English Lake District. Research Methods: Primary Sources . Adam Matthew Digital, Marlborough.

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This article offers a beginner’s guide for undertaking Geographical Text Analysis (GTA), a method of integrating unstructured written works with geographical research questions. We focus here on one collection of texts: the Corpus of Lake District Writing, an 80-text collection developed by Lancaster University that incorporates poetry, novels, and non-fictional prose. It was compiled based on selections from a bibliography of Lake District writing, and spans the years 1622 to 1900 (although the majority of the texts are from the years, after c.1750, in which the Lake District became a popular tourist destination). It includes canonical works by authors including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and John Ruskin, as well as lesser-known texts by the likes of Harriet Martineau and Edwin Waugh. Here, we will walk through how we transfigured this corpus from unstructured text into machine-readable, and mappable, data. We hope it will be useful both for literary students (and other scholars working on unstructured texts) looking to investigate the spatial elements of a text or corpus, and for geographers interested in enriching their understanding of an area’s human histories.

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15 Nov 2021 14:50
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19 Oct 2023 10:30