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Grant number like: HD-51728-13

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Northeastern University (Boston, MA 02115-5005)
Ryan Cordell (Project Director: October 2012 to April 2015)

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Digital Humanities

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$59,805 (approved)
$59,805 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2013 – 12/31/2014

Uncovering Reprinting Networks in Nineteenth-Century American Newspapers

The development of models, using tools from computational linguistics, to help track the spread of prints and reprints of poetry and short stories throughout 19th-centry newspapers, using the sources found in the Chronicling America database of digitized newspapers.

Uncovering Reprinting Networks in Nineteenth-Century American Newspapers seeks to develop theoretical models that will help scholars better understand what qualities--both textual and thematic--helped particular news stories, short fiction, and poetry "go viral" in nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines. Prior to copyright legislation and enforcement, literary texts as well as other non-fiction prose texts circulated promiscuously among newspapers as editors freely reprinted materials borrowed from other venues. What texts were reprinted and why? How did ideas--literary, political, scientific, economic, religious--circulate in the public sphere and achieve critical force among audiences? By employing and developing computational linguistics tools to analyze the large textual databases of nineteenth-century newspapers newly available to scholars, this project will generate new knowledge of the nineteenth-century print public sphere.