wikipedia: philology

The philology research community is on the verge of a breakthrough in productivity facilitated by the availability of powerful research tools that can be applied to electronic versions of texts. There are literally thousands upon thousands of medieval and renaissance texts for which authorship and provenance are not known. Without this information these texts cannot be used by historians in their research. More sophisticated tools for identifying similarities and differences between texts could theoretically be used to determine the author and date of writing of many of these texts. However, there are several obstacles to realizing this goal. First, many of the texts on which philologists would like to work are not available in electronic form or are only available electronically for high license fees and through restrictive interfaces. Second, tools that allow sophisticated types of queries about the texts have yet to be developed. Although a complete electronic corpus of electronic texts with such research tools available for it is a common goal of philologists, the task of producing both the corpus and the tools appears insurmountable to any small group of researchers.

This message from Rnesson, my daughter Rebecca, who signs email

Rebecca Nesson
Candidate for Ph.D., Computer Science
Harvard Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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