Digital Research Center at Hofstra MENU

Digital Solutions to Problems in Scholarship and Learning

DRC Lab — Projects

DRC’s directors, programmer, and web designer work directly with Hofstra faculty to develop their research projects into interactive online sites that promote collaborative scholarship, critical thinking, and learning in their fields of study. In doing so, we also develop cutting-edge digital tools—such as TextLab, Itinerary, and Hofstra’s version of Annotation Studio—that can be adapted for use beyond the individual project. DRC’s eleven charter projects now under development are listed below.

The Digital Van Mander

The Digital Van Mander will offer the first authoritative English translation of Karel van Mander’s Grondt der Edel Vry Schilderconst (Foundation of the Noble Free Art of Painting). This translation will be in the form of an interactive website.

The Octoroon

This project will be the construction of an annotated, digitized text of the American and British versions of Dion Boucicault’s controversial 1859 melodrama of interracial relationships and plantation life in antebellum Louisiana, with an archive of materials on performance for scholarly and pedagogical use.

The Southeast Europe Digital Documentation (SEEDD) Project

Roman history has long been missing a chapter—a chapter that played out in the territory that is today Bosnia and Herzgovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. Birthplace of eighteen Roman emperors, home to no fewer than five imperial palaces, a critical military frontier, and essential player in the development of early Christianity—it was a vital zone of intercultural exchange between East and West throughout the Roman period and a de facto capital of the empire in Late Antiquity. Yet it remains largely absent from traditional Anglo-American narratives of Roman history. To counter historiographic and political forces that have contributed to the region’s unwarranted omission from the historical narrative, The Southeast Europe Digital Documentation (SEEDD) Project seeks to create an integrative database and teaching resource that expands access to archaeological information from this region and raises new questions of extant data. Its transnational and digital format will consolidate information customarily segregated by modern political boundaries, language, and source availability, thereby enabling scholars across the world to visualize and compare archaeological data from a range of sites in new ways.

'A Frightful Number': Mapping Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year

“A Frightful Number” uses data culled from Daniel Defoe’s “creative non-fiction” Journal of the Plague Year and from historical sources to track the spread of the 1665 London plague. Created with DRC’s innovative mapping tool Itinerary, the site annotates the epidemic’s progress month by month, parish by parish.

Reasoning Structures in Legal Texts

The Reasoning Structures in Legal Texts (RSLT) project is dedicated to studying the reasoning structures that we can find in legal texts, primarily in judicial and administrative decisions.

The Kalikow Center Online

The Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency hosts several panels on U.S. presidential leadership and policy making every semester that feature scholars, journalists, and policy makers. For students, faculty, and guests who are unable to attend, Hofstra’s Digital Research Center provides an opportunity to review the discussion. The DRC will host video coverage of Kalikow Center panels (including those in the Center’s symposia and conferences) to advance the Center’s commentary and analysis in multiple research agendas, for students, faculty, journalists, and others interested in presidential studies.

The Melville Electronic Library

The Melville Electronic Library (MEL) is a born-digital critical archive that features scholarly editions of all versions of all works by American poet and novelist Herman Melville (1819-1891). With MEL’s innovative “fluid text” editing tool TextLab, visitors to the site can track Melville’s revisions in writings in manuscript and the revisions made by him and editors in his print editions. With the projected tool, MELCat, users will also be able to compare images, sources, and adaptations to Melville’s originals in a workspace for creating essays, exhibits, and presentations. When completed, this NEH-funded “We the People” project will be the principal online center for Melville studies, research, and pedagogy.

George Sand Association

The mission of the George Sand Association (GSA) site is to unite scholars and aficionados of the 19th-century French author. We use the site to announce upcoming international conferences and panels at other conference programs; in addition we publish pertinent announcements and sometimes short documents concerning plans, projects, and publications concerning work on George Sand’s works.

Access Scholar

Digital scholarship presents a tremendous but far-too-often unrealized opportunity for physically challenged scholars and students.

Primary and secondary materials that are digitized can prove much more accessible than hard copies to print-disabled audiences; however, how these materials are digitized and published makes all the difference. Texts scanned as images, for example, are not accessible to screen-reading software, a crucial tool for blind and low- vision scholars undertaking sustained and high volume reading.

AMP: Journal of Digital Literature

As traditional print publishing continues on the downswing, a number of highly regarded literary journals are now published in online editions that supplement or complement their print volumes; some journals, especially those that publish innovative and experimental work, are now publishing exclusively on the Internet. Innovative and experimental texts lend themselves especially to the plasticity of the digital medium. A digital platform can offer exciting possibilities for open field forms and for text accompanied by images, sound or video.

Shadow Puppets of Kedah

This project exhibits the collection of Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets) that anthropologist David J. Banks acquired in northern Kedah, Malaysia in 1974.