Future Directions

Distant Reading

This is primarily a web site, so it isn't necessarily well-designed to do full-on distant reading statistical analysis or whatnot. That said, it's possible that some of the connections between different kinds of data could lend themselves to some form of distant reading. For example, I should be able to grab out data on things like average speech length (in lines or words), and correlate that amount of scholarship on those lines.

To talk more, please join the Distant Reading Group.

More information / metadata about the scholars

The view of scholars that we get here is only based on the data derived from the NVS XML data. It would be nice to do things like include a picture an biography. If the data import didn't miss anyone, there are 674 of them. I'd be happy to talk to anyone who would like to contribute information like that about giving some editorial access to make that possible. Same goes for more information about the characters, bibliography entries, and editions. Broad descriptive text and images there would liven things up nicely. Omeka is good at metadata, and it's a bit short in many respects here.


Similar to adding more information / metadata about individual scholars, there could be very fun work to use Omeka's exhibit builder functionality. As I see it, this is the other thing Omeka is good at -- building a narrative around items as "exhibits". Here, this could take the form of writing a brief history of some aspect of Shakespeare scholarship, as told around the items here -- Roles, Scholars, Editions, and Bibliography Entries. Again, if anyone is interested in getting editorial access to the site to build something like that, let me know.

More bibliography and scholars

To really make some of the teaching and research ideas work, it would be great to let people contribute more scholars and bibliography relevant to their own research or course, with the same kinds of background links to passages and topics as they appear as sections of the bibliography.


This site currently contains information derived from Comedy of Errors. There's little to no reason that it couldn't, in theory, be extended to include all the data MLA has released about plays. Each play would be considered a collection in Omeka, and that'd just be a new field on each piece of textual data brought it.

I confess to worries about the import process -- there was a lot of detail-hacking on bringing in the data from Comedy of Errors. It felt like bespoke tasks. And, it's impossible to know ahead of time what bespoke solutions might be required for bringing in the data from the various other Shakespeare plays/data that the MLA has made available. But it might be worth playing.