By June 9, 2016
This is the inaugural post of a new series we are calling Digitizania! In this series, we will be highlighting new digital collections from a variety of repositories throughout the world related to Mormon Studies. We hope this will provide a useful service to new and seasoned researchers alike. Today, we take a look at recent digitization activities at the L. Tom Perry Special Collections within the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. The following collections have been released digitally in the previous two months.
By May 17, 2016
You may have heard about Google Books Ngram Viewer or perhaps even dabbled with it at some point in the recent past, but I will dive a bit deeper into using the tool for the purpose of historical textual analysis.
An Overview of Ngrams
In the field of computational linguistics, an n-gram is an adjoining chain of n items in a sequence of speech or text. N-grams are extracted from a corpus of speech or text and are ordered as sets. An n-gram of size 1 is a unigram (“binders”), size 2 is a bigram (“many binders”), size 3 is a trigram (“binders of women”), and greater sizes are referred to as four-grams (“binders full of women”), five-grams (“many binders full of women”), and so on.
The corpora accessible via the Google’s Ngram Viewer includes American English, British English, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, and Italian processed between 2009-2012. The text within this corpora is derived from Google’s massive Google Books digitization endeavor, which is still ongoing. They note on their website that they have only included those books with sufficiently high optical character recognition (OCR) percentages and serials were also excluded from this corpora.1 If you are at all curious, you can download the dataset here.
The Google Books Ngram Viewer is optimized for quick inquiries into the usage of small sets of phrases (or n-grams as described above). The following embedded queries are to help us get more familiar with what is possible using this tool.
By May 10, 2016
Yesterday, the Joseph Smith Papers Project released their latest volume: Documents 4 (April 1834?September 1835). I am looking forward to diving into the volume in the coming days, but for now here are my notes from the release event:
By August 7, 2015
Join the project!
I wanted to make a quick public notice of a new project at the Juvenile Instructor. We have begun the process of mapping every initialism/pseudonym in the issues of the Woman’s Exponent to their respective authors. This process is time intensive and will require a lot of work, but we figure opening the resource (a Google Doc at this point) to the public and our readership will encourage collaboration. Ultimately, this list will prove useful to many scholars as they study the lives of the women who crafted this publication and the world they shaped.
Join the project
By March 29, 2015
There is much to highlight, so let’s get started:
110th Translation of the Book of Mormon Published (LDS Church Growth)
?Kosraean is the 110th language into which the Church has translated the Book of Mormon. Other translations of the Book of Mormon that have been completed within the past seven years include Malay, Slovak, Serbian, and Yoruba.? See also: Kosraean language
By January 7, 2015
Columbia University, New York, April 9 – 10, 2015
Deadline: Jan 23, 2015
Call for Papers: Materialities of American Texts and Visual Cultures
Hosted by: Columbia University?s Department of Art History and Archaeology and Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New York, NY. Co-Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School, the Bibliographical Society of America, and the American Print History Association.
By September 20, 2014
The newly redesigned Harold B. Lee Library website is a great resource. Having spent a good deal of time with the site I thought it would be useful to highlight resources and (generally) overlooked goodness at BYU’s libraries and archives for your Mormon Studies research.
L. Tom Perry Special Collections
You know what it is, but did you know the Special Collections provides RSS feeds for the following?
The feeds can be a bit spotty, but the collection highlights are at least monthly and very helpful. One blog recently featured the excellent Newel K. Whitney Papers, which were digitized not long ago by the staff there. A few more highlights include: a direct link to search the Special Collections’ finding aids: http://findingaid.lib.byu.edu/, Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846?1869, and a web map that shows all geocoded (items with a geographic location) collections (over 3900 items!).
By July 27, 2014
This article is a few months old, but the recently founded Polynesian Football Hall of Fame has found a home at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Hawai’i. “PFHF honors the sport?s greatest players, coaches and contributors from Polynesia.” This is an interesting development considering the history of the PCC and Mormonism throughout the region.
Primarily targeted at pioneer stock Mormons, this microsite “is FamilySearch’s attempt at comparing the list of pioneer companies to those listed in your Family Tree. We recognize that it may not be comprehensive or completely accurate historically. We hope you enjoy this information.” I’ve included a screen grab of my results for those who likely won’t have many connections:
By April 12, 2014
I thought I’d write up a quick note on the status of the growing Dictionary of Mormon Biography (DMB). We have welcomed a few more editors in the last few months and our database continues to expand.
By November 17, 2013
This week brings us a diverse assortment of news and research for your perusal.
Study explores impact of early returned LDS missionaries
A recent study conducted by UVU professor of psychology and behavior science Kris Doty examined the effects of returning home early from a mission due to circumstances such as failing physical health, mental health issues, or indiscretion can have on individuals. The study involved survey responses from 348 early returned missionaries. Unfortunately, there is no link to the study anywhere on the Web.
Utah Division of State History, Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, Senior State Historian
A new job listing went up this week at the Utah Division of State History for a Senior State Historian-Digital Editor. “This person will co-manage the Utah Historical Quarterly operations with a Senior State Historian-Print Editor. Together the co-managing editors will run the day-to-day operations of the Quarterly.” Check it out yo!