Seminar 5 on Building Translation Networks in the Midwest with HathiTrust (February 18, 2022 and Fall 2022) – Translate Midwest

Seminar 5 on Building Translation Networks in the Midwest with HathiTrust (February 18, 2022 and Fall 2022)

Fall 2022

Please join us for our Fall 2022 Hybrid Events: 

November 11
2:00-3:00 PM
Language Resource Center, 1500 North Quad

Game Drop! Learn to play the educational game Tower of Babel: HathiTrust Edition that fosters discovery of fun finds across languages in the digital library. The first hour (2-3 PM) members of the development team will introduce the game to players in person at the LRC and online and they will stay until 5PM to answer questions and cheer you on! There will be snacks and drinks and opportunities to meet other players and form teams to compete in the Multilingual Midwest Challenge! Rules of the challenge will be announced at the Game Drop and prizes will be awarded on Dec. 8, Game Night! 

Watch the recording of our November 11 game drop of “Tower of Babel: HathiTrust Edition” here!

December 7
4:00-5:30 PM & 6:30-8 PM
Space 2435, North Quad

Invited speakers Carolyn Shread, Nathan Langston, Christopher Warren and Rini Bhattacharya Mehta will discuss their own experiences working on projects of translation and/or digital networks in the arts and humanities (such as Telephone Game and Six Degrees of Francis Bacon), as the Translation Networks team members consider possibilities for future development.

For more information on the December 7 Panel, see the Translation Networks page:

Register here for the December 7 Panel (whether you are attending in person or virtually):

December 8
4:00-5:30 PM
Space 2435, North Quad

Game Night with South Asian Studies faculty! Prizes awarded for the Multilingual Midwest Challenge! Play chess in a South Asian language, our new digital game Tower of Babel: HathiTrust Edition, or a new adaptation of an old South Asian favorite! 

For more information on the December 8 Game Night, see the Translation Networks page:

Register here for the December 8 Game Night:

Winter 2022

Seminar 5 coordinator: UM Professor Christi Merrill (Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature)

Co-organized with: Barbara Alvarez (UM Library), Jeremy York (UM School of Information), Michael Furlough (Executive Director, Hathi Trust), and Heather Christenson (Collections, HathiTrust), who will be speaking at the webinar on February 18, 2022).

Speakers will also include: Sayan Bhattacharyya (Singapore University of Technology and Design), Leigh Billings (UM Library) and Glen Layne-Worthey (HathiTrust Research Center), as well as partners from Google Books involved with the digitization project. 

The February 18th zoom event will also include lightning talks by researchers and instructors describing their engagements with specific examples in the HathiTrust repository written in non-European languages, and in non-roman writing systems, such as Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Ladino, Panjabi, Persian, Russian and Urdu.

We will get behind-the-scenes looks at what led to the development of the HathiTrust Digital Library, with a particular focus on materials in languages taught at the University of Michigan. Presenters will reflect on the particular challenges of working with source texts and translations in non-roman writing systems, which are difficult to catalogue and especially to render searchable using OCR (optical character recognition).

The follow-up seminar in Fall 2022 will feature tools developed by Translation Networks (an interdisciplinary digital studies initiative funded by an MCube grant at the University of Michigan) and how they might be used with HathiTrust sources, in collaboration across three HathiTrust sites in the midwest (Michigan, Indiana and Illinois at Champaign-Urbana). Together we aim to make these materials more accessible to a broader range of users,  and to encourage exploration of HathiTrust as another site of translation.

For those who wish to explore materials in languages available in HathiTrust before the event on February, please considering registering for the following event organized by the area studies specialist librarians:

Introduction to HathiTrust 
February 16, 2:00–3:00 pm
Learn how to best navigate and use HathiTrust, the digital repository featuring millions of documents. In particular, we’ll focus on searching for materials in non-Latin scripts.

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Click here to find out!

Check out these other short blog posts about texts on HathiTrust:


11:00-11:15 Introductions, overview of the seminar by Christi Merrill

11:15-12:45 History of HathiTrust and the Google digitization project

Ben Bunnell, Google Books
Mike Furlough, HathiTrust
Heather Christenson, HathiTrust
Reeve Ingle, Google Books

This video has been edited to protect Google’s proprietary information.

12:45-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-2:45 Lightning talks followed by Q&A

Marina Mayorski on Hebrew scholarship about Ladino examples
Swarnim Khare on colonial grammars in Hindi, Urdu and Hindustani
Pinderjeet Gill on teaching Punjabi in two scripts
Syed Ali on teaching a decolonized Hindi and Urdu
Jaideep Pandey on Urdu and Persian poetry referencing Arabic and English sources
Xiaoxi Zhang on a Chinese translation of Bengali prose poems via English
Olan Munson on Korean women’s writing in hangul and in hanja
Ali Bolcakan on a single Armenian-Turkish author listed multiple ways (including in modern Turkish)

2:45 – 3:00 Break

3:00 – 4:30 Using HathiTrust for Research: Practicalities and Possibilities

Barbara Alvarez & Leigh Billings, University of Michigan Library
Sayan Bhattacharyya, Singapore University of Technology and Design
Glen Layne-Worthey, HTRC
Jeremy York, School of Information, U-M

4:30 Announcement of an online game bringing together HathiTrust and Translation Networks

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