Dear Screen-L list members,
Charles Acland and I are happy to announce the public launch of Arclight (http://search.projectarclight.org), a data mining and visualization tool for film and media history.
Arclight graphs how terms and entities trend across the nearly 2 million page collection of the Media History Digital Library (MHDL, http://mediahistoryproject.org), which includes lengthy runs of Variety (1905-1948), Broadcasting (1932-1963), Sponsor (1946-1964) Motion Picture News (1913-1930), Motion Picture Herald (1930-1948), Motion Picture Daily (1931-1964), and Photoplay (1915-1943), among many, many other publications. Arclight is integrated with the MHDL's search platform, Lantern, to allow for toggling between distant and close reading.
You can find suggestions about how to use Arclight for research and teaching on our blog: http://projectarclight.org/arguments/
This project was developed by teams at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Concordia University and sponsored by a Digging into Data grant from the U.S.'s Institute for Museum and Library Services and Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Additional support came from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Concordia University's Media History Research Centre.
Like nearly all software projects, Arclight is a work-in-progress. We are working on enhancing the journal filtering options and creating more tutorials for our users. We are also editing a forthcoming open access book anthology in which scholars reflect on the affordances and limitations of digital tools for media history. In the meantime, we hope you will go ahead and give Arclight a try. We would love to hear what you think.
Eric Hoyt and Charles Acland
PIs, Project Arclight
Assistant Professor of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Hollywood Vault: Film Libraries before Home Video (University of California Press, 2014)
Media History Digital Library
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite