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Grant number like: HAA-255999-17

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University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)
William G. Noel (Project Director: January 2017 to May 2021)
Laura E. Aydelotte (Co Project Director: July 2017 to May 2021)

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper][Grant products]

$75,000 (approved)
$72,380 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

The Philadelphia Playbills Project

A proof-of-concept effort to transcribe and disseminate textual data from a collection of theater playbills documenting 19th-century American theater history.

The Philadelphia Playbills Project (PPP) takes materials from the archive and transforms them into Linked Open Data. The project will be based at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and collaborate with the New York Public Library and the Yale University Digital Humanities Lab. It will use a sample set of 19th century playbills filled with performance information from America's oldest theaters to test approaches to generating data from these materials, including publically crowdsourcing transcriptions using the Ensemble software produced by the NYPL. The PPP will then test workflows for transforming this data into RDF (Linked data). The project will produce a previously unavailable data set that will support new research about the American Theater, develop and refine methodologies for generating such data in the future on a larger scale with other playbill collections, and lay the grounds for future collaborative work with a conference on Performance History in the Digital Age.