University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Summer Research Laboratory


Slavic Digital Text Workshop 2007

From Medieval Texts to Geo-Cultural Data (GIS):

Applications in Slavic Studies for Scholars and Librarians

Heritage Room and Rm 509
ACES Library for Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
1101 S. Goodwin Avenue

4 long blocks south-east of Illini Union
(location on campus map)

(printable campus map | parking map | parking information from ACES Library | UIUC visitor parking information)

For the past three years a Slavic Digital Text Workshop (DTW) has been offered at UIUC under the aegis of the University's Summer Research Lab on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia (SRL). For details see the 2004, 2005 and 2006 programs.

This year the DTW will be held Saturday June 9-Tuesday June 12, to coincide with the start of the SRL on June 11. It will follow immediately after Digital Humanities 2007 ( which will take place June 2-8.

The theme of the workshop is broad, and will introduce some basic techniques that underpin the application of technology in the humanities and social sciences. Humanists employ text encoding strategies, social scientists employ GIS (Geographic Information Systems), but these two approaches are increasingly intertwined. The workshop will attempt to introduce both current practice and future possibilities.

The workshop is structured in two parts: presentations (Days 1 and 2) and lab instruction/hands-on opportunities (Days 3 and 4). It will begin with general introductions to both approaches: text encoding and GIS. It will continue with more detailed presentations on encoding medieval texts in Slavic studies, during which registrants will learn about (1) Document analysis and DTD or schema design, and (2) selected applications. On the second day registrants will learn more about the notions underpining geographic markup and GIS in its various applications. The day will conclude with a brief survey of current text/GIS initiatives in Slavic studies of all periods, including medieval texts.

On the last two days registrants will move to a lab environment and receive more instruction and hands-on opportunities during which students will work with sample texts using a popular software package known as <oXygen/>. These sessions will include (1) (In-depth) Document analysis, (2) XML markup or encoding, and (3) Web publication techniques using XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations). Finally, additional GIS instruction/hands-on opportunities will also be available.

The workshop is open not only to scholars but also to librarians (who, as indicated by the expansion of GIS positions in libraries, are increasingly called upon to assist faculty in the application of these various methodologies...).

Prof. David J. Birnbaum (U. Pittsburgh) will again serve as main workshop presenter

Chair: Miranda Remnek (UIUC)

The workshop is to be held in two parts:

Days 1-2 (June 9-10): Presentations; Days 3-4 (June 11-12): Lab sessions (hands-on)



Saturday, June 9:

Heritage Room



9.30: " Encoding Medieval and Folkloric Texts in Slavic Studies: the Importance of XML" (David Birnbaum, Slavic, University of Pittsburgh)

10.45: BREAK

11.00: "GIS in the Study of Languages and Cultures" (Joel Goldfield, Fairfield University)

11.45: "Application: Geo-Cultural Applications in Slavic Studies: Using GIS to Study Health Issues in Central Asia" (Diana Cheng, Graduate Researcher, Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, UIUC)


1.45: "Introduction to XML Document Analysis" (David Birnbaum, Slavic, University of Pittsburgh)

2.45: BREAK

3.00: "Re-edition of an 1861 Russian Folklore Text Collection: XML-TEI: Creating and Using an XML-TEI text corpus" (Alexey Lavrentev, Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres at Science humaines, Lyon, France)

4.00: "Project Manuskript" (Victor Baranov, Roman Gnutikov, Philology, Udmurt State University, Izhevsk, Russia)


"Music Among The Vines," Alto Vineyard, Champaign. Performed by Candy Foster and the Shades of Blue

($4 cover, light fare available for purchase, transportion provided)

Sunday, June 10

Heritage Room


11:00: "Tagging Across Space and Time with the Ajax XML Encoder"" (Doug Reside, Assistant Director, Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH))


1.30 Introduction to ARC GIS (Yao Kouadio, Graduate Researcher, Geography, UIUC)

2.30 BREAK

3.00: "Humanities GIS: New Tools or New Discipline?" (David J. Bodenhamer, Director, Polis Center, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)

4.00: "Epilogue: Selected Current and Future GIS Applications in Slavic Studies: Social Sciences and Humanities" (Miranda Remnek, Library, UIUC)

7.00 GALA COOKOUT! At the home of Miranda & Richard Remnek. Transportation provided.

Monday, June 11

Rm 509


9.30-11.00: Digital Texts (Birnbaum)

11.00-11.30: BREAK (Morgan Caterpillar Rm, 1st floor)

11.30-12.30: Digital Texts (Birnbaum)

12.30-2.00: LUNCH on your own

2.00-3.30: GIS (Kouadio)

3.30-4.00: BREAK (Morgan Caterpillar Rm, 1st floor)

4.00-5.00: GIS (Kouadio)

Tuesday, June 12

Rm 509


9.30-11.00: Digital Texts (Birnbaum)

11.00-11.30: BREAK (Morgan Caterpillar Rm, 1st floor)

11.30-12.30: Digital Texts (Birnbaum)

12.30-2.00: LUNCH on your own

2.00-3.30: Digital Texts (Birnbaum)

3.30-4.00: BREAK (Morgan Caterpillar Rm, 1st floor)

4.00-5.00: Digital Texts (Birnbaum)


Registration and Housing Information

Registration: The workshop is limited to 20 participants. To ensure that space is available, participants should pre-register with Miranda Remnek ( The registration fee is $20 (includes optional cookout). Accepted forms of payment are cash or personal check (payable to the University of Illinois). Payment may be made on the first day, just before the first session.

Housing: Various housing options are available:

(1) If participants intend to apply for a housing grant (awarded for a maximum of 8 days), or seek to use Summer Research Lab housing ($42 a night at Illini Tower), they will be asked to register as associates of the Summer Research Laboratory and submit a research proposal with vita for a $35 fee. (See the application for more information). Application deadlines for housing grants are: for non-citizens, April 1; for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, April 15.

(2) Participants who apply for a grant will also need to submit a policy-relevant research proposal (see

(3) If no lab housing or library use is sought, it is not necessary to register for the Lab. The SRL provides information about other housing options, especially the inexpensive Hendrick House (

(4) Refundable housing deposit required: Participants (grantees and non-grantees alike) who arrange to stay at Illini Tower (closer to the center of campus than Hendrick House) will be asked to put down a housing deposit in the amount of $120:

If you arrive and leave as scheduled, the deposit will be refunded IN FULL.
BUT, if you depart early without having made prior arrangements through the Center, then you will be billed from the deposit for the remaining days.
In place of a deposit, you may call staff at the Center (217-333-1244) and give them a credit card number for them to hold and, if necessary, to bill should you leave early.