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Toy Chest Candidates

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 11 years, 10 months ago

Digital tools, services, and other resources suggested here are candidates for inclusion in the Literature+ course Toy Chest of online or downloadable, free or low-cost (or with free trial-period) tools that can be used by humanists (especially, but not exclusively, literary scholars) to create interesting projects. After being researched/vetted, candidate tools may be added to the Toy Chest.

     Students are encouraged to add candidate tools here and to draw from this list items for their Annotated Bibliography assignment. 


Other Tool Indexes or Guides
click on column headers to sort
Name (embed URL in link) Description Suggested By Date Suggested
Digital Research Tools Wiki

Well-stocked, briefly annotated lists of tools kept by Lisa Spiro, director of the Digital Media Center at Rice University‚Äôs Fondren Library and also keeper of the Digital Scholarship in the Humanities blog.  Tool categories include:




Citation Management

Collaborative Authoring

Collection Building

Communication Tools

Comparison Tools

Data Collection

Data Mining

Data Visualization

Find Research Materials

Image Editing

Linguistic Tools



Mobile Devices



Organize Research Materials

Qualitative Data Analysis


Social Bookmarking

Statistical analysis

Staying Current with Research

Text Analysis



Visual Search Tools

Writing Tools


Alan 2010-01-06
Gateway to Corpus Linguistics annotated collections of concordancing, annotation & tagging/markup/parser, and other text analysis tools Alan 2010-01-06
Heurist list of various tools Alan 2010-01-08


Other Tool Indexes or Guides
click on column headers to sort
Name (embed URL in link) Type Description Suggested By Date Suggested
text analysis "a user-friendly text exploration and analysis program"; supports word frequencies, KWIC (Keyword in Context), cooccurrence and distribution lists, comparison, etc. (Free, web-based) Alan 2010-01-06
ICTA (Internet Community Text Analyzer) text analysis, social network analysis  "ICTA is a web-based system for automated text analysis and discovery of social networks from electronic communication such as emails, forums, blogs and chats." Alan 2010-01-06
MONK pattern recognition, data mining "includes approximately 525 works of American literature from the 18th and 19th centuries, and 37 plays and 5 works of poetry by William Shakespeare. . . .  MONK provides these texts along with tools to enable literary research through the discovery, exploration, and visualization of patterns." Alan 2010-01-06
MorphAdorner text analysis "a Java command-line program which acts as a pipeline manager for processes performing morphological adornment of words in a text. We use the term "adornment" in preference to terms such as "annotation" or "tagging" which carry too many alternative and confusing meanings. . . . Currently MorphAdorner provides methods for adorning text with standard spellings, parts of speech and lemmata. MorphAdorner also provides facilities for tokenizing text, recognizing sentence boundaries, and extracting names and places. . . . Our efforts to adorn English texts covering a period of over four hundred years must deal with the fact that the English language has changed significantly even since the start of the early modern period around 1470 A.D. ... Spelling was not at all standardized...."

Includes the following functions:      Language Recognizer,          Lemmatizer, Name Recognizer, Parser (parses English text into phrases), Part of Speech Tagger (assigns parts of speech to words in English text), Pluralizer (finds plural forms of nouns), Sentence Splitter (splits English text into sentences), Spelling Standardizer (standardizes archaic English spellings), Text Segmenter (segments text into cohesive subtopics), Verb Conjugator, Word Tokenizer.
Alan 2010-01-06
Power Text Solutions: iResearch Reporter data mining "iResearch Reporter multi-document summarization technology allows to summarize web search results on the fly, thus saving your time by performing automatic research job at your request. Instead of directly accessing the relevant documents provided by the search engines, users get the well-structured pertinent information extracted from these documents" Alan 2010-01-06
Power Text Solutions: TRIMs data mining "TRIMs structure the data according to the automatically identified key aspects of user's research theme, and hence provide a multi-perspective, panoramic view of information in your research area. Each TRIM can be reused repeatedly - just load it with a fresh portion of documents." Alan  2010-01-06
SEASR (Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research) data mining "SEASR enhances the use of digital materials by helping scholars uncover hidden information and connections. SEASR supports the study of assets from small patterns drawn from a single text or chunk of text to broader entity categories and relations across a million words or a million books. SEASR will support numerical, categorical, text, and audio-based analysis and will continue to evolve to include processing of images and other multimedia data formats." Alan 2010-01-06
Visual Thesaurus (used for literary analysis)   See this example of the Visual Thesaurus used to analyze a Sherlock Holmes story: http://www.visualthesaurus.com/wordlists/22497 Alan 2010-01-06
Versioning Machine text versioning, comparison, edition-making

"The Versioning Machine is a framework and an interface for displaying multiple versions of text encoded according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines. While it provides for features typically found in critical editions, such as annotation and introductory material, it also takes advantage of the opportunities afforded by electronic publication to allow for the comparison diplomatic versions of witnesses, and the ability to easily compare an image of the manuscript with a diplomatic version.
     The Versioning Machine is also a tool for textual editors, providing an environment that allows editors to immediately see the consequences of their editorial decisions. The Versioning Machine can be used locally on a Mac or a PC, or it can be mounted on the WWW for public access. The documentation provided with the software not only provides information about the use of the software, but builds upon the Critical Apparatus chapter of the TEI Guidelines to give further guidance to those who wish to use this method of encoding."

     For a powerful example of what Versioning Machine can produce, see Tanya Clement's In Transition: Selected Poems
by the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Alan 2010-01-06
wildernessPuppets video/film improvisation and annotation software

[need help figuring out what this software does]


From Whitney Artport site: 

"Barbara Lattanzi creates software for video improvisation and annotation, as well as other works of interactive media. Her work has been screened at venues such as the 2003 Ann Arbor Film Festival, the 2002 European Media Art Festival, and Robert Beck Memorial Cinema. Her experimental software "C-SPAN Karaoke" received an Honorary Mention at Transmediale 2005, the Berlin-based international media art festival. Her interactive media works have been exhibited at the 2003 Version>03 Digital Arts Convergence, Chicago; the 9th New York Digital Salon; Electronics Alive II Invitational; the 4th Seoul Net and Film Festival; and Turbulence.org. The production of her multimedia applets and software has been stimulated in part by the open structures of net-based venues such as the online software art archive runme.org and Rhizome's "Artbase," where her work is included. An essay about Lattanzi's software in relation to 1970s experimental film appears in Millenium Film Journal Nos. 39/40. She currently teaches at Smith College in Massachusetts. More information about Lattanzi's work can be found at www.wildernesspuppets.net"

Alan 2010-01-06
Sophie 2.0   Tool developed by Institute for the Future of the Book and USC to allow "users to create complex networked multimedia documents without specialized training" Alan 2010-01-06

Matthew Jocker's post to the Humanist list:


       Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 05:50:28 -0800
       From: Jockers Matthew <mjockers@stanford.edu>
       Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.566 finding software, or perhaps not
       In-Reply-To: <20100114061256.5D62F46714@woodward.joyent.us>

Richard makes a number of very good points here.  I wonder if our "tool-building" efforts have been a bit misdirected in favor of GUIs and web-based applications.  We might learn from the NLP-oriented linguists, statisticians, and others (including even the Drupal community) who have moved in the direction of open-source solutions and user-contributed modules.  Two such "tools" that I use daily include R (the stats package) and NLTK (the Python-based Natural Language Toolkit).   Both R and NLTK are just programming languages for which a number of methods/functions/tools/

packages have been developed to address the sorts of challenges those communities encounter.  Many (perhaps most) of these methods/functions/tools/packages were developed not because some programmer thought to himself, "hmm, I bet the folks could use a ____ tool."  But rather because some researcher needed to overcome a particular challenge in order to complete some research goal.  Some modules in R and NLTK and other such "apps" are hardly ever used, others are bread and butter. Though I do send newbies to the wonderfully easy to understand projects such as Tapor, I find I require a more malleable workbench.
Matthew Jockers
Stanford University
TAToo Flash-based text analysis tool

[From Humanist list posting of March 10, 2010]:

I'm writing to share the latest version of TAToo. Find it athttp://ra.tapor.ualberta.ca/~tatoo/

TAToo is an embeddable, Flash-based text analysis tool.  Paste a shortcustomized snippet of code into your website, and you're off! It'sdirected toward casual web use, to give your online visitors a tasteof text analytics, with a word cloud, frequencies, concordances, andcollocates. It was developed at the University of Alberta under thesupervision of Geoffrey Rockwell and Stan Ruecker, with gratitude toTAPoR and our early morning research group.

With this release, we've sped up processes and fixed bugs (with thanksto reports from the Humanist community). There is also an experimentalWordpress widget and a simplified homepage more in the spirit of theproject. We welcome additional feedback and suggestions. Currently, weare polishing the code, so that it can be easily borrowed by others.If you can't wait, though, the source *is* already available.

I'm also curious where people stand in regards to such casual tools.Is there a value in combining analytics with a text for the incidentalreader to see, or is text analysis something that is primarily usefulfor those that seek it? Between this project, certain facets of StefanSinclair's Voyeur, and the work of Brian Pytlik Zillig atNebraska-Lincoln, it's definitely an area that's being considered indifferent ways.

Peter Organisciak


Alan 2010-03-11



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