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Project Reports


Monthly Progress Reports

* October 1996 * August 1997
* November 1996 * September 1997
* December 1996 * October 1997
* January 1997 * November 1997
* February 1997 * December 1997
* March 1997 * January 1998
* April 1997 * February 1998
* May 1997 * March 1998
* June 1997 * April 1998
* July 1997

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October 1996

The project began on 1st October 1996 with the appointment of Paul Groves (formerly Assistant IT Support Officer at the Centre for Humanities Computing, Oxford) as Project Officer, with Dr Stuart Lee as Project Manager. The monthly activities included:

  1. Outlining a schedule for the deliverables due over the next 12 months.

  2. Setting up a steering group for the project. This now consists of:

  3. Establishing a web site (now at /jtap/)

  4. Establishing a discussion list under the Mailbase system. See http://noir.mailbase.ac.uk/lists/virtual-seminars/ for details.

  5. Meeting with the Imperial War Museum to discuss future collaboration.

  6. Meeting with the executors of the Wilfred Owen estate to agree use of material in the electronic archive.

  7. Two presentations outlining the project: HAN, Open University, Saturday 12th October (SL and PG); SIMA Colloquium, University of Manchester, Wednesday 23rd October (SL).

  8. Made contact with Public Records Office concerning WWI service records and access to other resources.

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November 1996

The monthly activities included:

  1. Following up PRO contacts by visiting the Kew building for research purposes. Found sevices records for Wilfred Owen and Ivor Gurney - made notes and photocopied relevent sections. Met PRO staff and discussed future collaboration

  2. Announcing project via appropriate mailing lists, newsgroups and registering with indexes (including Yahoo and Alta Vista)

  3. Making a number of contacts for testing first tutorial, both in the UK and abroad

  4. Making progress on copyright clearance and imaging fees

  5. Digitsation begun of 'The Hydra' originals from the Wilfred Owen archive at Oxford University's English Faculty for future use in project and preservation purposes

  6. Development of first tutorial - poets and poems selected, texts scanned-in and marked-up (HTML), bibliographic details of sources recorded, copyright clearance sought where appropriate, screens designed and tutorial structure developed, including thoughts about integration of email discussion

  7. Ideas for second and third tutorial fleshed out

  8. Research on integrating MOOs into project.

  9. Meeting with Richard Gartner (Bodleian Library) to discuss ways of using an SGML-aware search engine with SGML marked-up poems etc. for a later stage of the project.

  10. Jane Carmichael, Assistant Director, Collections, Imperial War Museum accepted position on Project Steering Group.

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December 1996

The monthly activities included:

  1. Further work on first tutorial caried out:

  2. Arranged with PRO to give talk there on 3 March 1997.

  3. Gave workshop on 'Using Internet Tools to Build a Virtual Classroom' in conjuction with CTI Textual Studies 13 Dec 1996.

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January 1997

The monthly activities included:

  1. Further Work on first tutorial:

  2. Finalising negotiations over rights to use images of manuscripts and other material copyright of the Owen estate (represented by Jon Stallworthy) in the second tutorial and for the digital archive.

  3. Arranged with David Cooper (of the Libraries Automation Service) for digitisation of Wilfred Owen manuscripts and other related material held at the English faculty Librabry Oxford.

  4. Arranged with John Fletcher for digitisation of Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum est manuscipts held at the British Library

  5. Negotiations continuing with University of Texas for digitisation of Wilfred Owen material held there

  6. FTP account set-up on the Hierarchical File Server, ready to recive manuscript images etc.

  7. Acquired Adobe Photoshop 4.0 and tested digital watermarking features for use when manuscript images are mounted.

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February 1997

This month saw the completion of the first tutorial and its availability for testing. Work began on designing and constructing the second tutorial (data for this arrived from the British library). On 13th February PG and SL attended the focused club meeting for the Groupware projects.

The workshop entitled 'Using Internet Tools to Build a Virtual Classroom' (originally held on 13 Dec 1996) was re-run on the 21st February attracting a further 20 delegates. Once again evaluation forms are available on request.

Negotiations were completed with the copyright owners of the material to be used in the electronic archive. In addition PG began work on a talk to be presented at a conference at the Public Record Office on the 3rd March, introducing the aims of the project.

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March 1997

The month began with a presentation by Paul Groves at the Public Records Office, as part of their one-day conference on the First World War (3rd March). The talk outlined the use of the Web for teaching purposes and the creation of a digital archive.

The project was approached by Jenny Haigh, an MA student in Library Studies at University College, London. After a short meeting it was agreed that Ms Haigh would be allowed access to the details of the project in order for her to write a lengthy dissertation on the creation of the digital archive as part of her MA. In return the project would receive the completed report for distribution on the Web.

Members of the project also met up with Ian Firlane from the Graves archive (mainly held at St John's College). They are currently embarking on a digitisation project of the archive's holdings and we agreed to co-operate in the future exchanging information where appropriate.

Digital images of all four 'Dulce et Decorum est' manuscripts were received from the British Library and the English Faculty Library at Oxford. These images were then prepared by Paul Groves for use in the second tutorial. The structure of which was refined and the process of designing pages began.

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April 1997

Printed copies of the report 'Existing Tools & Projects for On-line Teaching' were received from Tom Franklin and are currently being distributed. These were also given out at the CTI Forum (21-22 April) in which the report had been recommended in a talk by a member of the Netskills team.

The JTAP project was used as part of a poster session at the Hypertext'97 conference in Southampton (6-11 April). This attracted quite a few visitors and contact was made with people working in similar areas.

The interface for tutorial 2 was refined, MSS transcriptions proof read for errors and then prepared for use with perl scripts.

The Javascript and Perl scripts for tutorial 2 were coded, tested and debugged. A few security refinements are in progress. The Search engine interface (to Glimpse) for 'Virtual Seminars' Web site was implemented. It is now also possible to search just specific areas e.g. links, tutorials, reports etc.

Preparation for a visit and lecture-tour by Paul Groves to the US began. In addition, requests of interest for a JTAP session at this year's Digital Resources in the Humanities Conference (Oxford, September) were solicited.

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May 1997

The majority of this month was spent on the continuing development of the four tutorials. Tutorial 1 and the revision of tutorial 2 were completed and work was begun on Tutorial 3. Manuscript images from the British Library were collected and put into a frame design to facilitate comparison. On the 6th May Stuart Lee delivered a talk at King's College, London, as part of their seminar series organised by the Centre for Computing in the Humanities. This outlined the development of the tutorials so far. Correspondences began between John Bradley of King's and the project, to establish how useful TACTWeb would be for Tutorial 4.

On the 16th May project members attended the one-day colloquium entitled 'Beyond the Library' at Jesus College, Oxford (organised by the Humanities Computing Unit). Flyers and information on JTAP were made available.

On the 20th-23rd May Paul Groves and Stuart Lee travelled to Belgium to collect material for the digital archive part of the Virtual Seminars project. Video, audio, and still images were taken at the Somme, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, the Sambre Canal, and various cemeteries. Some of this material was used in Tutorial 1 but most of it (as it is all copyright free) will go into the archive.

On the 27th May the first meeting of the project's steering group took place. All representatives of the group were there. The format for the meeting was an introduction to the projects and then a discussion of various points. The agenda for the meeting was as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Progress Report
  3. On-line Tutorials
  4. On-line Digital Archive
  5. Finances
  6. Discussion

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June 1997

The majority of this month was taken up with a trip to the USA by Paul Groves. This began at the University of Texas at Austin, where he opened up negotiations with the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre to use a selection of letters from their Wilfred Owen collection. Whilst there Mr Groves delivered a talk to librarians and faculty publicising the JTAP tutorials. In addition, Mr Groves visited Columbia University to investigate the possibility of using their collection. He also gave a talk for the Humanities Computing Group at New York University.

On the 27th June Emma Riley and Catherine Brown visited the project from Craiglockhart Hospital, Napier University. They were shown the tutorials (as developed), given a tour of the Bodleian Library, and taken to the Wilfred Owen collection at the English Faculty. Negotiations began on collaboration between the JTAP project and the War Poets display at Napier.

In this month Stuart Lee published 'Wilfred Owen Manuscripts on the Internet' in the Wilfred Owen Association Newsletter 17 (June, 1997), pp. 4-5

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July 1997

Work carried on with Tutorial 3 and Tutorial 4. Project members helped organise the Text Encoding Summer School (TESS) held at the Humanities Computing Unit, Oxford. This four day series of workshops introduced basic concepts of SGML encoding, with reference to the TEI. On the 25th June Jenny Haigh (MA Student at University College, London) visited the project. Her Masters thesis is centred on the design and implementation of the tutorials.

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August 1997

Professor Jon Stallworthy (part of the steering group) visited the project on the 5th August. He gave some critical input into the design of the tutorials, in particular the texts to be used in Tutorial 4. Negotiations were finalised with Chatto and Windus for use of the poems from Wilfred Owen: The War Poems. Tutorial 3 and 4 were finished. These were then checked for copyright clearance and proof-read. Copyright holders were identified and written to.

From the 1st-12th August the Library Automation Service at Oxford University digitised material from the Wilfred Owen collection at the English Faculty Library at the request of the JTAP Project. All of the poetical manuscripts and the full run of The Hydra were digitised and stored on the University's Hierarchical File Server.

In this month Stuart Lee published 'Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature: First World War Poetry on the Web', Computers & Texts 15 (August, 1997), pp. 25-26.

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September 1997

At the beginning of the month the URLs (and passwordas) for the four tutorials were issued to everyone who had volunteered to test the sites. Throughout the month their evaluations and corrections were put into the tutorials. All copyright on the tutorials was cleared.

From 14th-17th September members of the project attended the Digital Resources in the Humanities Conference at St Anne's, Oxford. Stuart Lee and Paul Groves organised a JTAP Session with members of the JTAP Project ECSTASY at Ravensbourne College, and the JTAP Corpora project at the University of Essex. In addition, Stuart Lee and Paul Groves presented in the session entitled 'Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature'. In addition, Stuart Lee had a meeting with Michael Healey of Chadwyck-Healey to discuss the application of the Web to teaching literature.

On the 24th September Paul Groves and Stuart Lee met with representatives of the Oxford Text Archive, and Richard Gartner of the Bodleian Library, to discuss how best to use SGML for the delivery of the digital archive. It was decided that for the time being work would begin in exploring a combined use of TEI and the EAD for encoding the archive.

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October 1997

On the 1st October 1997 the four tutorials on First World War poetry went live, and were freely available to the public (password protection was removed). These were advertised on numerous relevant discussion lists and newsgroups (such as news:humanities.misc). Also numerous individuals who had in the past expressed an interest in the project were contacted directly.

In addition, details of the Virtual Seminars were submitted to numerous search engines (such as Alta Vista) and indexes (such as Yahoo!) via Submit It! as well as directly to the ones missed out by Submit It!, such as the Matilda Search Engine, Apollo and Starting Point.

Furthermore, notification was sent to TLTSN, ALT, NCET, The Times Higher Education Supplement, and The Guardian On-Line. By the 22nd October links to the various bits of the site from external sources (according to Alta Vista) stood at:



/jtap/ - 146

/jtap/tutorials/ - 3

/jtap/links/ - 2

Direct to Tutorials


/jtap/tutorials/intro/ - 2

http://info.ox.ac.uk/oucs/humanities/rose/ - 32

/jtap/tutorials/manuscript/ - 0

http://paulg.oucs.ox.ac.uk/tactweb/ - 0



/jtap/reports/ - 40

/jtap/reports/teaching/ - 47 

http://www.man.ac.uk/MVC//SIMA/rosenberg/toc.html - 1

On Monday 20th October Paul Groves attended the JTAP Workshop on Dissemination at the Univeristy of Manchester.

On Tuesday 21st October Stuart Lee used the four tutorials in the MA course at Oxford Brookes University on Electronic Media. On the 23rd and 30th October they were used in the MSt Prolegomena on Twentieth-Century Literature at Oxford University.

Work continued throughout the month on the digital conversion of the manuscripts captured by the LAS at the English Faculty and further exploration of the use of SGML. Also more feedback resulting from the tutorial announcements was responded to.

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November 1997

Work began in earnest on the Document Type Definition to be used for the SGML marking-up of the catalogues in the digital archive. Members of the JTAP team consulted Lou Burnard, and the Oxford Text Archive on this. It was decided to proceed by using the TEI-Lite DTD but with modifications. Mr Burnard agreed to work on modifying the DTD.

Mr Groves attended the TEI 10 conference at Brown University, Rhode Island.

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December 1997

Work continued on modifying the DTD. Investigation began on the possible use of existing web tools to aid in the path creation scheme.

Dr Lee visited the Imperial War Museum and met Jane Carmichael, Philip Dutton, Margaret Brooks, Bridget Kinally, and Roger Smithers. The expertise at the IWM was invaluable for providing a list of the items that wou ld go into the digital archive. Dr Lee spent time in the photographic archives and drew up a list of the images required (c.250 in total). These were subsequently ordered.

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January 1998

The modified DTD was presented to the project by Mr Burnard. Work began on cataloguing the digital archive beginning with the manuscript catalogue. Photographs from the IWM arrived, as matt images, and were scanned in on a 300dpi flat-bed scanner ( saved as TIFF and JPEG formats, 640 x 480).

Dr Lee began selecting screen shots from the videos taken of the battlefields and cemetaries of the Western Front in 1997. Around 250 images were selected. He also identified appropriate video clips that were to be used of the modern footage.

Dr Lee visited the Fawcett Library, Guildhall University, to look at material related to womens' roles in WW1.

Mr Groves gave two presentations at the workshop 'Computer-Assisted Text Analysis: From TEI to TACT' at University of Hull on the 15th January. The first was a walkthrough the Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature Project, outlining the processes involved in digitizing texts, marking them up in TEILite, and feeding them into TactWeb, followed by a quick demo. The second was an introduction to TACT, TACTWeb, and SGML2TDB.

Mr Groves gave a presentation on the use of the Web for teaching in general and the Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature project in particular at Oxford Brookes University on 21st January. Slides for this talk can be found here.

The project was visited by Adrian Barlow on the 29th January. Dr Barlow is currently writing a new book for teachers and students of WW1 poetry and it was agreed that both projects would benefit from collaboration.

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February 1998

Work continued on cataloguing the manuscripts. In addition we began to explore the use of Smart Image technology for The Hydra. It was agreed that the service on offer by Ramot Digital Resources seemed entir ely appropriate and negotiations began. It was noted that the conversion of the high resolution TIFFs of The Hydra to bitmapped images needed by Ramot Digital Resources could not be done automatically by any UNIX-based program. Negotiations began with Enh anced Algorithms Ltd. to produce a utility that would automatically do this (hereafter called WiseScan).

Dr Lee consulted the audio catalogues provided by the IWM and ordered copies of several interviews with WW1 veterans. These would arrive as audio CDs. He also selected appropriate video clips from the 1916 films The Battle of the Somme and The Battle of the Ancre: The advance of the Tanks.

Dr Lee used the fourth tutorial in teaching a course on 'Creating, Analysing, and Using the Digital Text' hosted at OUCS. Dr Lee and Mr Groves began attending the lecture series on the literature of the First World War run by Prof. Jon Stallworthy at the English Faculty at Oxford.

Dr Lee presented a talk at Oxford Brookes University on the 27th February to undergraduates studying Electronic Publishing on production and copyright issues associated with the project.

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March 1998

Work was completed on cataloguing the manuscripts in SGML held at the English Faculty in Oxford.

Dr Lee completed the initial digitization of all the selected audio clips from the interviews with the WW1 veterans. These were digitized using SoundEdit Pro on a Macintosh and saved as AIFFs. The audio was then converted to RealAudio format by Paul Groves. All of the video files selected were digitized at Oxford's Educational Technology Resource Centre by Peter Robinson and Stuart Lee.

Mr Groves attended the Windows '98 show at Olympia, London on 12 March.

Mr Groves attended the one day conference 'Teaching European Literature and Culture with C&IT' at Oxford Brookes University 18th March, distributed flyers about the project and gave demos of the online seminars created for the project.

Mr Groves attended the SGML UK Chapter meeting on Stylesheet langauges ('Putting on the Style!- DSSSL, CSS 2, XSL...' in Swindon on 31st March

Dr Lee attended the UCISA conference in Southampton (30th March - 1st April) and distributed flyers about the project.

All of the material ordered from the PRO (relating to Owen's personal and file) arrived as Bromides and were scanned in.

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April 1998

Mark-up of the catalogues relating to IWM photographs, IWM audio, IWM video, modern photogrpahs, modern video was completed after some minor adjustments to the DTD were made. Tests continued on using WiseScan for The Hydra. Agreements were reached and cheques raised to cover copyright use of material from the IWM and the Wilfred Owen Estate. In addition we received notification that the University of Texas had agreed to allow us to use a selection of Owen's letters held in their collection.

Dr Lee presented the project at the M25 Librarian's Digitisation colloquium held at Birkbeck college on the 22nd April.

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