Friday, 12 November 2010

Worth Watching - the Muninn Project

An international, interdisciplinary project to investigate innovative uses of First World War Records, the Muninn project launched the web interface to its catalog on November 11, 2010.

As described here, the project aims to take as many digitized First World War records as possible to create a huge database, then extract the written data using advanced computer technology, and turn the resulting information into structured databases. Data from Library and Archives Canada is already ingested.

For genealogy the interest is in exploring computer extraction from handwritten records, initially from forms of which there were lots in WW1.

While you can search the database online the results to date are primitive.

Some of the research projects identified are:

  • Institutional Reconstitution – create a digital model of the armed forces
  • Social History Database – providing useful datasets for social historians of the early Twentieth Century
  • Modelling Infectious Disease – using medical records pertaining to the Spanish Flu and STIs we could model the transmission of infectious diseases through the armed forces
  • Crises and Medical Language – linguists would like to analyse the impact of medical emergencies on bureaucratic language.
This project involves the universities of Western Ontario, Cambridge, Waterloo, Hull, and Carleton and Brown Universities.

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