Last week’s issue of Nature carried a fascinating article on the work of Venice Time Machine project at the Digital Humanities Lab, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). This initiative is one of the READ project partners and it is working to digitize, annotate and index a huge cache of documents from 1000 years of Venetian history.
The article explores the Venice Time Machine as a large-scale collaboration between archives, historians and digital humanities scholars who are applying digital techniques to process these records – including building a huge digital scanner that can digitise images that are as large as 4×7 metres! It also sheds light on how Handwritten Text Recognition technology from the READ project is being used to enable the processing and searching of handwritten text. The Venice Time Machine hopes to take us back to the past by reconstructing the events and networks of this enchanting city.