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

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

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

Visiting speakers: Colleagues from HathiTrust Research Centers at Indiana University and University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; Sayan Batthacharyya (UM Comp Lit PhD and HathiTrust Research Fellow)

Local speakers: Barbara Alvarez (UM Library), Jeremy York (UM School of Information), Michael Furlough (Executive Director, Hathi Trust), and Heather Christenson (Collections, HathiTrust).

This seminar will feature a hands-on, interactive workshop using tools developed by Translation Networks (an interdisciplinary digital studies initiative funded by an MCube grant at the University of Michigan) in ongoing collaboration across three HathiTrust sites in the midwest (Michigan, Indiana and Illinois at Champaign-Urbana), in order to enhance accessibility of materials related to languages of interest to the seminar participants, and to encourage exploration of HathiTrust as another site of translation.

While the HathiTrust Digital Library contains centuries-old digitized volumes in source languages such as Sanskrit and Chinese, along with numerous historically significant translations of these works, it has not yet developed tools for identifying the multiple connections between sources and translated works. This need is especially pronounced when source texts and translations are in non-roman writing systems, which are difficult to catalogue and especially to render searchable using OCR (optical character recognition).

  • See an example of the difficulties in accessibility to texts written in Non-Roman writing systems.

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