Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research
at Columbia University

The Various Tagore: The Making Of A Database

LECTURE at 3-5pm on 06 Mar 2017
⌖ Butler Studio, 208b

In this lecture, Prof. Sukanta Chaudhuri will present Bichitra, the Online Variorum of the works of Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore’s works in Bengali and English run to 36 large volumes. He revised them extensively before and after publication: there might be a dozen or more versions of a work to take into account.

Bichitra contains images of virtually all his manuscripts (47,500+ pages) and major print editions (91,500+ pages), with transcriptions, reading texts, a hyperbibliography, a search engine cum hyperconcordance, and a novel three-tier collation program. Its file management system and its use of a non-Latin font also posed challenges. In fact, Bichitra provides a test case for virtually all the challenges of creating a large textual database, along with some major text-analysis programs. An account should interest all current and future makers of textual databases in any language. There will also be some reference to other Digital Humanities projects at the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University.