DH Projects Analysis

The Newton Project

1. What kinds of files, data, objects are being used in the project in question?

The Newton Project contains images and transcribed text versions of both the published and unpublished works of Isaac Newton in the fields of theology, physics and mathematics, among others. It also contains secondary sources concerning Newton and his work, but not written by him personally, including miscellaneous journal articles, newspaper articles, and other publishings. The Newton Project has made many works available that were previously unobtainable by the public. The project presents users with an image or an original work alongside a transcribed and translated version of the text.

2. What’s the project research question? Or, questions?

The project’s main research question is to provide a centralized location to interpret, transcribe, encode, and publish Newton’s works with the sole purpose of evolving the modern understanding of the work of Isaac Newton. Newton’s extensive discoveries in math and science, and those discoveries’ effects on modern math and science, make his theories worth studying today. The Newton Project presents its users with an opportunity to provide their own interpretations and help aid in the overall understanding of Newton’s works. The access to unpublished works granted by the Newton project is meant to assist other academics, as well as the general public, in learning more about Newton’s life and studies.

3. What tools are being used? Created?

The tools being used to create the Newton project are various programs, including MathML, TEI-P5, and HTML, used to transcribe the text from images of original manuscripts and documents. Those images are then placed alongside the text in the Newton archive that is being created.

4. What methods are being undertaken?

The archivists are employing several methods in creation of the Newton project. The creators must first establish the materials that will be added to the archive. Then, the original documents must be procured from their owners and related to Newton’s work. Once the documents have been uploaded, and digitally included into the project, the text is transcribed using the aforementioned software. Once transcribed into a text file, the document is tagged with all relevant (searchable and study-able) information to connect it to the rest of the archive.
Cooper Halpern and Zach Kleinbaum