Researcher for Witches in Early Modern England (WEME)

Witches in Early Modern England (WEME)

Over Summer 2011, I worked on Dr. Kirsten Uszkalo’s Witches in Early Modern England (WEME) Project in a research capacity.

As a researcher, I sought out and assessed historic references to alleged witchcraft-related events in Early Modern England. This often included transcribing historic documents that had been digitized, but did not include OCR, in addition to reconstructing text on documents that had been manually transcribed, but with substantial ellipses. Most documents were in Early Modern English, with period-typical typefaces, spelling and syntax. The print quality was often poor, requiring deductive reasoning and pattern recognition to decipher blurred text and missing letters.

For each document, I identified individuals, categories of events, relationships, sequence of events and supporting quotes. The process required me to quickly and accurately determine the most relevant details from each text, and summarize it succinctly for later analysis. This information was used to populate the database via the user interface built in the Django content management system.

I also contributed bug testing and reporting for the site, primarily focused on the Throwing Bones faceted browser.