How to Build a Macroscope: Text Mining the Humanities


A macroscope is designed to capture the bigger picture, to render visible vastly complex systems. Large-scale text mining offers researchers the promise of such perspective, while posing distinct challenges around data access, licensing, dissemination, and preservation, digital infrastructure, project management, and project costs. Join our panel of researchers, librarians, and technologists as they discuss not only the operational demands of text mining the humanities, but also how Ontario institutions can better support this work.



Friday, March 15, 2013
10 a.m. – 3 p.m
503 Scott Library.   

York University


10:00 – 10:15am         Introductions

10:15 – 12:00noon      Research Roundtable: Panelists engaged in text mining discuss their work and identify operational challenges.

Colin Coates & Jim Clifford (York)
Sheila Embleton (York)
Christopher Green (York)
Ian Milligan (Waterloo)
Andrew Ross (Guelph)

12:00 – 1:00pm           Lunch (provided)

1:00 – 2:45pm            Operations Roundtable: Panelists discuss local and consortial solutions to identified challenges. 

Alan Darnell (Scholars Portal)
Janet Friskney (York)
Steve Marks (Scholars Portal)
Nick Ruest (York)
William J. Turkel (Western)

2:45 – 3:00pm            Wrap-up & Next Steps


 Scott Library is building number 25 on the campus map

  • If taking public transit, you will likely enter Vari Hall (building 30), pass through Central Square, and into the Scott Library
  • If driving, try to avoid the construction on the southeast corner of campus (Keele & Finch)
  • Arboretum Lane Parking (80 on the campus map) is the best option for parking
  • Once in Scott, Room 503 can be reached by a number of ways:
    • Take escalator to second floor atrium, then take stairs to your right up to 5th floor.  503 will be directly in front of you.
    • OR walk across the atrium and take the escalators all the way to 5th floor. Turn right and walk through stacks almost all the way to end, then right again, through a double set of doors, 503 will be on your left.
    • OR you can take the elevator all the way to 5th floor and again, turn right, all the way to end of stacks, turn right, through double doors…


Timothy Bristow, Digital Humanities Librarian  416-736-2100 ext. 33731