10.0576 early days of humanities computing

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 9 Jan 1997 13:40:43 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 576.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> (18)
Subject: History of humanities computing

[2] From: Giovanni Adamo <adamo@rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it> (17)
Subject: Re: 10.0555 Early days of e-text

Date: Wed, 8 Jan 97 09:52:22 CST
From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: History of humanities computing

My favorite history of computing is Stan Augarten, _Bit by Bit. An
Illustrated History of Computers_ (NY: Ticknor & Fields, 1984). If
Ballantine ever gets on the ball, my forthcoming book, _The Use of the
Computer in the Humanities_, has a chapter on the subject. If I mistake
not, Bob Kraft was writing on the subject; at least, he was gathering
material. I feel that Martin Joos' dissertation (U of Wisconsin, ca. 1940)
offers the first real use of the computer. He typed all of Gothic (he
borrowed some from Zipf), 54000 words, onto Hollerith punch-cards and
counted Gothic words and letters and even syllables by electronic means (if
you are old enough, you will remember the old newsreels with the picture of
the FBI cards being run through). Programming those things, done by means of
a breadboard, was not easy. Next would be Father Busa with the St. Thomas
project, etc. etc. How many remember those cute stories of ca. 1948/49
vintage? There was a machine translating the Bible and it translated "The
spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" as "The booze is good, but the
meat's gone bad." Or, one translating Russian translated "hydraulic ram" as
"water goat". Plus ca change.
Jim Marchand.

Date: Wed, 08 Jan 1997 10:48:24 +0100
From: Giovanni Adamo <adamo@rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it>
Subject: Re: 10.0555 Early days of e-text

Re: Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 555.

Dear Willard,

I would like to remind that in such cases may prove useful my

Bibliografia di Informatica umanistica,
(vol. 5 of "Informatica e discipline umanistiche"),
Roma, Bulzoni Editore, 1994, xv-420 p.

There are many references to the text analysis, from the very
beginning of what we call today "humanities computing";
there are moreover several references to the history and
computing, including the treatment of the historical sources.

Best greetings,

Giovanni Adamo

Dott. Giovanni ADAMO Lessico Intellettuale Europeo - CNR
Via Nomentana, 118 00161 ROMA (Italia)
Tel. +39-6- Fax +39-6-
adamo@rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it http://www.cnr.it/CSLIE/