Mapping the Encyclopédie:Working Towards an Early Modern Digital Gazetteer

McDonough, Katherine and van de Camp, Matje (2017) Mapping the Encyclopédie:Working Towards an Early Modern Digital Gazetteer. In: GeoHumanities'17. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), New York, NY, pp. 16-22. ISBN 9781450354967

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Historians investigating evidence with spatial significance increasingly rely on gazetteers to identify the location of geographical features/places. Existing digital gazetteers cater to twenty-first century or discrete historical geographies (the classical world, for example). Early modernists (ca. 1450-1750), particularly those who work on non-Anglophone cultures, represent a major scholarly community with no temporally-appropriate gazetteers available. In this paper, we introduce a project that fills this research infrastructure gap. Mapping place names in the canonical eighteenth-century Encyclopédie is a case study for semi-automating the identification, classification, and location of places and spatial relations in historical geographic reference works printed in French. We demonstrate the challenges of using existing geoparsers and introduce our plan for new tools and protocols for working with historical French texts.

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16 May 2023 12:50
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 03:39