Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Mining the material archive: balancing sensate experience and sense-making in digitized print collections

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Stefania Forlini, Uta Hinrichs, John Brosz

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Large-scale digitization appears to put literary collections at one’s fingertips, but, as some critics warn, the books themselves are increasingly out of reach as university libraries continue to shift from being ‘physical repositories’ to becoming ‘access portals’ to digitized materials (Stauffer, 2012). People who are drawn to print books often find that digital surrogates ‘lack feeling’ (Piper, 2012). Digitized texts preserve linguistic content of print works but not their many meaningful physical features that fundamentally shape interpretation (McGann, 1991) and contain valuable historical traces of print technologies, markets, and readerly interactions (Stauffer, 2012). Changing how we physically interact with texts also changes how we sense and make sense of them. How can we harness the potential of digital media to better represent and analyze print collections? How can we accentuate their unique historic, aesthetic, and material qualities while also allowing rich linking supported by computer-assisted content analyses? How can design critically engage with the sensory differences between reading print materials and on-screen reading in order to promote different modes of meaningful textual engagement? Addressing these questions, we introduce synesthetic visualization as a speculative approach to creating digital on-screen and tangible representations of print collections that translate — not replicate — sensory experiences of interacting with print collections by coupling visual representations with cues for other sensory modalities (e.g, sonic, tactile) that are routinely engaged by print texts. Drawing insights from aesthetic theory, book history, reception studies, literary studies, information visualization, human computer interaction (HCI), and digital arts, we propose possible ways to experiment with digital on-screen and tangible representations of print collections that explicitly aim to translate — not replicate — sensory and sense-making experiences inherent in interacting with print collections. We illustrate this through our own ongoing work with the Bob Gibson Anthologies of Speculative Fiction, unique hand-crafted booklets composed of science-fictional items culled from popular periodicals published between 1844 and 1992.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalOpen Library of Humanities
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2018

    Research areas

  • Digital humanities, Cultural collections, Multimodal interaction, Visualization, Synaesthesia, Materiality, Synesthesia, Aesthetics

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Investigating the effect of sensory concurrency on learning haptic spatiotemporal signals

    Carson, I., Quigley, A., Clarke, L. & Hinrichs, U., 29 Mar 2021, In: Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies. 5, 1, p. 1-30 30 p., 6.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Externalizing transformations of historical documents: opportunities for provenance-driven visualization

    Vancisin, T., Orr, M. & Hinrichs, U., 25 Oct 2020, Proceedings - 2020 IEEE 5th Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities, VIS4DH 2020. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., p. 36-42 7 p. 9308105. (Proceedings - 2020 IEEE 5th Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities, VIS4DH 2020).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. Tied in knots: A case study on anthropographic data visualization about sexual harassment in the academy

    Elli, T., Hinrichs, U., Bradley, A., Hills, Z., Collins, C. & Kelsky, K., 25 Oct 2020, Proceedings - 2020 IEEE VIS Arts Program, VISAP 2020. Brunvand, E., Han, Y. C., Hull, C. & Lantin, M. (eds.). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., p. 29-44 16 p. 9307965. (Proceedings - 2020 IEEE VIS Arts Program, VISAP 2020).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  4. Lexichrome: text construction and lexical discovery with word-color associations using interactive visualization

    Kim, C., Hinrichs, U., Mohammad, S. M. & Collins, C., 3 Jul 2020, DIS '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference. Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, p. 477–488

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  5. Construct-A-Vis: exploring the free-form visualization processes of children

    Bishop, F., Zagermann, J., Pfeil, U., Sanderson, G., Reiterer, H. & Hinrichs, U., Jan 2020, In: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 26, 1, p. 451-460 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Open Library of Humanities (Journal)

    Rose Harris-Birtill (Editor)

    2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Uniting the nation through transcending menstrual blood: The Period Products Act in historical perspective

    Bildhauer, B. M., 16 Nov 2021, (Accepted/In press) In: Open Library of Humanities.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 in the context of menstrual politics and history: an introduction

    Bildhauer, B. M., Rostvik, C. M. & Vostral, S. L., 4 Nov 2021, (Accepted/In press) In: Open Library of Humanities.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The future of the Open Library of Humanities: milestones, governance, and sustainability

    Eve, M. & Harris-Birtill, R., 12 May 2021, In: Open Library of Humanities. 7, 1, 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

  4. Interweaving dystopian and utopian spaces, constructing social realism on screen: Bakita Byaktigato/The Rest is Personal

    Sen, S., 8 Feb 2019, In: Open Library of Humanities. 5, 1, p. 1-27 14.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 256552828

Top