The Open Knowledge Practicum puts networked open social scholarship into action by inviting members of the community, as well as university faculty, staff, and students, to pursue their own research projects in the ETCL. The lab supports fellows by providing access to various resources, library materials, and archives; offering consultation and guidance; and pairing fellows with specialists in the field, among other project-specific assistance. The Open Knowledge Practicums is a step toward more publicly engaged scholarship that supports research proposed by its fellows.

Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) project

INKE is a large, collaborative, targeted research intervention exploring the digital humanities, electronic scholarly communication, and the affordances of electronic text. The international INKE team involves over 42 researchers and consultants, 53 graduate research assistants, 4 staff members, 19 postdoctoral fellows, and 30 partners and associates. A recent accomplishment of this group, further, has been to partner with the Federation, UVic and its Library, and the ETCL to appoint Christian Vandendorpe as UVic’s Honorary Wikipedian in Residence – an act that has served to bridge both academic communities on campus and, notably, the university and the communities it serves beyond the campus. INKE is directed by Ray Siemens and supported by the ETCL team.

Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI)

Now in its sixteenth year, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute is an annual event hosted by the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at the University of Victoria. We offer a series of workshops that range in subject matter from text encoding basics to strategies for large project management. The event attracts participants from all over the world for a time of intensive coursework, seminar participation, and lectures. We aim to provide an environment in which faculty, staff, and students from the Arts, Humanities, Library and Archives communities as well as independent scholars and participants from areas beyond can share ideas and methods, and can develop expertise in applying advanced technologies to activities that impact teaching, research, dissemination and preservation.

Iter Community

Iter Community facilitates and supports communication, collaboration, and digital project creation for research communities of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It is a social knowledge creation environment: a space to connect with others in the field, to create and host a digital humanities project, to develop a research community, and to collaborate and intellectual endeavours. This project is currently under development and is led by Bill Bowen (Iter, U Toronto Scarborough), Ray Siemens, the ETCL team, and others.

Renaissance Knowledge Network (ReKN)

The Renaissance Knowledge Network (ReKN) is a major initiative to create an integrated online research environment tailored to the needs of scholars studying the Renaissance. ReKN is situated within Iter, a not-for-profit partnership dedicated to the advancement of learning in the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700) through the development and distribution of online resources. Integrating three usually discrete activities vital to scholarly work – research, analysis, and production – will allow ReKN to address the growing challenges of diverse, isolated, and siloed digital resources, a bewildering number of tools and platforms devoted to textual analysis, and the increasing number of ways scholarship is produced and disseminated in particular research communities. This initiative is in development and led by the ETCL team in collaboration with Iter and the Advanced Research Consortium.

A Social Edition of the Devonshire Manuscript

The Devonshire MS is a poetic miscellany — a “courtly anthology,” as Raymond Southall has called it, or an “informal volume” as Paul Remley has urged — consisting of 114 original leaves, housing some 185 items of verse (complete poems, fragments, extracts, and annotative rebuttals). It contains a mix of courtly poetry by the canonical early Renaissance poetic figures Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey (“O Happy Dames”); the work of, or transcriptions of the work of others by, prominent court figures Mary Shelton, Margaret Douglas, Mary Howard, Thomas Howard and, perhaps, Anne Boleyn (as per Southall); and transcribed extracts of medieval verses by Chaucer, Hoccleve, and Roos. Physical evidence dates the MS between 1525 and 1559; internal evidence narrows those dates slightly, and suggests that the period in which it saw most intense activity (“writing and circulation”) was the mid-1530s. The Devonshire MS encompasses far more than the work of Wyatt, and reflects a dynamic group of men and women operating in and around Queen Anne Boleyn’s court in the mid-1530s. As a consequence, this edition of the Devonshire MS is not restricted to representing Thomas Wyatt, but instead is part of a larger project exploring the dynamics of that group itself as represented textually in the MS. The social edition of the Devonshire MS can be found at

Iter: Renaissance Bibliography

In partnership with Iter (Bill Bowen, U Toronto;, the ETCL carried out a one-year study focusing on the collation and description of scholarly online resources for the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The report has been submitted to Iter.

Personas for Open Peer Review

The Personas project envisions an online, open, networked peer-to-peer review environment where “open review articles” get published (after a minimal review process between editor and author and document preparation for online publishing) and can be reviewed by anyone with access to the article or with permissions to contribute comments on the article. Editors, reviewers, and authors can see each other’s comments, respond to them, and engage in conversation. An article can be reviewed at an article level (through a review form) or in the margin (i.e. with Open Annotator). This project is currently under development, led by Nina Belojevic and the ETCL team and in collaboration with the Public Knowledge Project.

z-axis research

z-axis research is a critical making project that transforms archival maps of modern cities into 3D-printable versions that enable literary interpretations of novels set in those cities. To create these literary maps, the project uses geographic data taken from modernist novels to warp and deform historical maps in 3D. This project is currently under development, led by Alex Christie and the ETCL team and in collaboration with Implementing New Knowledge Environments and the Modernist Versions Project.

“Social Knowledge Creation: Three Annotated Bibliographies”

In 2012-2013 an ETCL team led by Ray Siemens, Alyssa Arbuckle, Nina Belojevic, and Matthew Hiebert, in collaboration with Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE), developed three annotated bibliographies under the rubric of social knowledge creation. The items for the bibliographies were gathered and annotated by members of the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) to form this tripartite document as a resource for students and researchers involved in the INKE team and well beyond, including at digital humanities seminars in Bern (June 2013), Leipzig (July 2013), and New York (September 2013).

A Study of Professional Reading Tools for Computing Humanists

Siemens, Willinsky, Blake, et al.

Much of the current research on online information resources focuses on information retrieval, particularly the use of search engines to locate desired information. Far less attention has been paid to how the found materials are read and how critical engagement can be enhanced in online reading environments. This paper reports on a study examining whether a set of well-designed reading tools can assist humanities computing scholars in comprehending, evaluating, and utilizing the research literature in their area.

Thirteen computing humanists were interviewed regarding their experience using the reading tools. They were asked which tools, if any, contributed (and to what degree those tools contributed) to their comprehension, evaluation, and interest in utilizing the work they read. Reactions varied widely among users but their responses indicate that the reading tools have the potential to increase readers’ engagement with scholarly material by leading them to a variety of supplementary resources. The reading tools were deemed to be an exceptionally good resource for students or beginners in the field. Participants also identified several issues with the tools themselves, and the web as a whole, that affect the online reading and research experience. (864 pages) View Publication »

The Exeter Manuscript

An early seventeenth-century scribal manuscript of Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) has just come to light, discovered in the summer of 2005. Consisting of sermons and lectures from 1598, this manuscript contains much material that has never been printed. It shows the development of Andrewes’s theological ideas, and provides further evidence of the brilliant language and thought of one of the greatest thinkers and writers of the period. A complete digital facsimile of the manuscript was carried out by the UVic Electronic Textual Cultures Lab in the summer of 2005.

Canadian Society for Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanités numériques (CSDH-SCHN) website

Formerly COCH/COSH (Consortium for Computers in the Humanities / Consortium pour ordinateurs en sciences humaines), this society has recently undergone a name and format change, requiring an overhaul of the previous website. Ongoing challenges include updating content and making the site compliant with the University of Victoria web standards.

A Knowledge-base Toward an Edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

We’ve embarked on creating an electronic knowledge-base that will allow the navigation of critical materials published on Shakepeare’s sonnets from 1972 to the present. Stage 1 of the project has involved the building of a comprehensive bibliography of criticism online, followed by a second stage of collecting and scanning article-length criticism to be compiled as a full-text and image database. Stage 3, currently in progress, involves gathering online resources to add to the database, and the encoding of all materials collected. The resulting knowledge-base, which will be responsive to full-text electronic searches, will both be a useful scholarly resource in itself (allowing those involved in our project to uncover swiftly, for example, all references to a particular sonnet in a large critical corpus) and a prototype for larger electronic resources; the techniques we uncover should be adaptable to the requirements of various scopes of different research areas.

While the full text database can’t be shared as a resource, we will be exploring a number of output formats that could be shared with a larger research community. One major output area will be the generation of indices and concordances of the critical texts; we can, for example, make a dynamic index, which could access the full text database and output citations with reference to the articles. Since many end-users will come from home institutions with online access to many of the journals, and with library access to others, these indices will serve as a strong jumping-off point for further research.

PReE: Professional Reading Environment

Currently at a proof-of-concept stage, the Professional Reading Environment project is an attempt to develop an interface for professional reading across large, varied-format data sets, using textual analysis as an organisational principle.

Book and Manuscript Projects (Various)

The ETCL is set up to digitise manuscripts, books, and documents for archival purposes. Manuscripts and early printed books that exist in single or few copies can be scanned or photographed and stored on our systems. Possible future uses of these manuscripts include not only preservation, but also dissemination of and access to materials that might not otherwise have been available for research and educational purposes.

UVic oriented:

Nuts & Bolts series

The ETCL Nuts & Bolts series is now in its fifth year, and is led by Matthew Hiebert. The Nuts & Bolts series invites all of those doing or interested in digital humanities work at UVic to meet at several points in the term to discuss praxis and pertinent trends and issues.

DH Discussion Groups

The ETCL sponsors annual on-campus discussions groups that cover a range of topics and have involved nearly 100 researchers, graduate students, and affiliates since 2012. Discussion groups are open to all.

Brown Bag lunch series

The ETCL Brown Bag lunch series is now in its fifth year, and is led by Jana Millar-Usiskan. The Brown Bag lunch series feature local, national, and international speakers to present on their research, projects, and initiatives. To date, the Brown Bag lunch series has featured 25 scholars and practitioners.