Interfaces for the Study of Folklore and Literature at Scale

Timothy Tangherlini
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Scandinavian Languages

Numerous challenges exist for the study of cultural materials at scale. In this paper, we present three challenges from the fields of folklore and literary study, and propose several interfaces that allow users to navigate complex collections as part of their process of discovery. The first interface, The Danish Folklore Nexus, presents a multi-faceted approach to a highly curated collection of 19th century Danish folklore materials. Predicated on a new “Historic-Geographic” method for the study of folklore, the unified interface presents multiple approaches to navigation, search and discovery on a folklore corpus. The second series of interfaces, WitchHunter, Ghostscope, and ElfYelp, provide users access to analyses of an underlying folklore corpus, extending significantly the geographic knowledge that can be derived from the corpus. The final interface, Subcorpus Topic Modeling, focuses on the study of literature at scale. The system allows a user to upload, preprocess and model a corpus of literary works. This curated topic model can then be used to find passages of interest from a larger, unlabeled corpus of literary works.

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