OTAP News: Number -
From email@example.com Tue Apr 22 09:25:38 2003
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 07:19:09 -0700
From: Walter Andrews
Subject: Number 10 - Newsletter 4-18-03
Dear OTAP group,
We have been waiting for some time to send out another newsletter, hoping
to have some positive news about our funding request from NEH.
Unfortunately we were not funded, apparently for several reasons which I
will refer to indirectly below. But first our progress report.
- We are continuing to add texts to our archive. The Bilkent staff has
been working diligently on several texts including, for example,
Ca'far Celebi's "Hevesname" and a collection of fetvas. You can see
samples from this work in progress on our website.
- We are now able to include Unicode-based Arabic script passages in
transcribed texts. Check the latest version of the Kunhu'l-Ahbar
selections. [We are still working on corrections of that text.]
- Our Research Assistant, Didem Havlioglu has been working with the
TACT suite of text analysis software and will be adding a
demonstration to our website very soon. This software is free and
readily available to scholars who wish to do concordancing and
statistical analysis of electronic texts.
- Work on the database and screens for the Ottoman Historical
Dictionary has progressed to the point at which we should have a
working sample visible within a month. Keep looking at the website
to see what we have accomplished.
The problem we face now is that our funding will be running out this
spring. This does not mean that the projects will come to an end, it
just means that we will need to spend more time seeking support and less
time actually working on the archive and dictionary. We will, however,
take a close look at the project and decide if it has enough support in
the scholarly community to make it worthwhile continuing to develop it.
Among the things we (and you) need to think about are these:
- The texts we have are all contributed by literary scholars. Was
it a mistake for us to broaden our scope to include history, social
science, etc.? Should we go back to being an archive of art literature
and a literary dictionary? Are there enough^×or any^×historians, etc.
out there willing to transcribe and contribute texts, parts of texts, or
- Is there enough interest in such a project on the part of public
and private funding sources in Turkey to keep the project alive?
- Is there any general interest in our long-term goal of making
Turkey and Turkish culture more visible and accessible outside of
Turkey? Will this interest be expressed in terms of financial support?
- Are there scholars who could do a better job of developing the
projects and attracting financial support? Could we turn the projects
over to someone who will do a better job?
- The projects need not be terribly expensive. However, at the
first stage we will need major funding for technical development. Is it
realistic to assume that we can find this?
- If we do not get more people to offer texts, if web publication
is not seen as a viable alternative or adjunct to print publication, are
we wasting our time?
We would very much appreciate hearing from you on any of these topics.
At this point we need the help and support of everyone who has any
interest in seeing this project succeed.
Our best wishes to all of you,
For the OTAP Staff
Walter G. Andrews
University of Washington
Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
229 Denny Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-3120