DAGITAB: Summer School on Digital Humanities in UP Diliman

Last July started the second part of the Philperiodicals project with a Summer school in Manila on Digital Humanities. The workshop, Dagitab, is the first part of a two-workshops series and we hope that it can be echoed in different UP Campuses soon. A three-national team of DH practitioners (2 Philippine, 2 Belgian and 2 Spanish) coordinated by Dr Anna Sibayan-Sarmiento, delivered the sessions. Attendants included UP researchers from Diliman, Baguio, Iloilo, Cebu, and Mindanao.

The first part of the Philperiodicals project consists of the digitization of historical newspapers from the University of the Philippines Diliman library. Thus, the main aim of this workshop was making the most of those digitized materials with digital tools.

The materials of the sessions will be available in this Humanities Commons group: https://hcommons.org/groups/dagitab/.

The Latin American magazine collection of the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institüt from Berlin

Until May 31 all Berliners and visitors could see a wonderful exhibition on Latin American cultural magazines at the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institüt from Berlin.

This exhibition is a milestone for a project of digitization of Latin American magazines that has been going on since 2013. Its result can be seen here.

The magazines were published between 1860 and 1930 and are transdisciplinar. The exhibition highlighted some of their topics or features: women sections, the evolution of the image throughout the years, and the international transferences: journalists collaborating in magazines from different countries, cross-national concerns, magazines from one country talking about events happening in another country…

This cross-national predisposition seems to leave a gap for Philippine magazines in Spanish, which at that time were rather immersed in a Latin American virtual (or paper) communitiy. Events such as the press repercusion of the 1905 celebrations of the third centenary of the publication of Don Quixote in Latin America or the presence of Latin American poetry in the weekly Libertas since 1899 are a proof of it.

Ricarda Musser, the leader of the project and director of the library and the exhibition, has also underlined the presence of Philippine materials within their collections, for instance, of Filipino zarzuelas/ sarswelas.

Philippine Press and the Seminary of the Agustinians in Valladolid (Spain)

Seminary of the Agustinians in Valladolid, located in Paseo de Filipinos

Over the last few months, we have been twice in Valladolid scanning Philippine newspapers from the 1890s. After this statement, a good question to ask would probably be… Why are there Philippine newspapers in Valladolid? Agustinian friars have a long tradition in the Philippines. Four Agustinians arrived in the archipelago in 1565 with Andrés de Urdaneta, also an Agustinian friar and a sailor who happened to discover the route back to Mexico from the Philippines.  Actually, the Seminary in Valladolid (Spain) belongs to the “province” or Agustinian administrative division called “Santísimo nombre de Jesús de Filipinas” and is located in Paseo de Filipinos.

Ph-mm-manila-intramuros-san agustin church (2014).JPG
San Agustin Church. Intramuros, Manila.

After the Battle of Manila in World War II, one of the few buildings that managed to remain standing in Intramuros was the convent of San Agustin. From there, they have been bringing to Spain library holdings and periodicals that were preserved in their Philippine premises. Later, priests such as F. Isacio Rodríguez O.S.A., and F. Blas Sierra de la Calle, have been travelling to the Philippines and returning to their Valladolid home with the latest books from and about the Philippines. This is how they have managed to have one of the biggest Filipiniana collections in Europe, right next to an Oriental Museum which tells the history of the order in Asia.

Father Mielgo, who takes care of the library nowadays, tells us that not many researchers are interested in the old Philippine newspapers kept in boxes without cataloguing that crumble down between our fingers when we touch them. However, the library attracts a number of researchers on the Philippines every year, including Filipino friars such as Ericson Borre O.S.A. We hope that the digitization of some of those newspapers will provide them with visibility and contribute to their preservation. I was personally really glad to find there four issues of Domus aurea, a literary magazine in Spanish edited in Manila in 1908 that I had not found anywhere else. Here is the link to their new catalogue with thousands of works on the Philippines.

From London with Love: Digital Filipiniana at SOAS

During the last 5 years, different initiatives have started to digitize Philippine rare printed materials and gathering them in collections. Although most of these initiatives are based in the Philippines (we have already talked about the Digital Library of UST and their growing periodical collection), Spain or the US, there is one which is UK based. The School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London (SOAS) has created Digital Filipiniana, a collection of miscellaneous rare books on the Philippines. They have, among others, 95 holdings in English, 27 in Spanish, 22 in Tagalog/ Filipino, and 10 in Malay.

PhilPeriodicals referenced in a Digital Humanities journal

Revista de Humanidades Digitales is the first journal devoted completely to Digital Humanities in Spanish . This journal, edited and managed from Madrid by UNED (the main Spanish Open University), published its second number in December 2018. There we can find an article by Amelia Sanz Cabrerizo, a professor in French Studies and Comparative Literature at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, cited the presentation of the VLIRUOS project done in Mexico. This citation aimed to illustrate how new projects on digitization are bringing the focus on marginal materials (as it is Philippine textual culture in Spanish). The article highlights the didactic methodology of the project (p. 6). Its title is “Digitized periodical press: Digital tools and methods for a research at scale” and it can be read (in Spanish) here.

Heading of the paper in which the VLIRUOS project is mentioned

Summer Course on Digital Humanities in Antwerp

Between September 3 and 7, Mr Chito Angeles (UP head librarian), Mr Val Crisostomo (IT service UP main library), Dr Ramon Guillermo (UP CIS) and Dr Sir Anril P. Tiatco attended the summer course on Digital Humanities held at the University of Antwerp. The title of the first edition of this summer course was “Processing and Analysing Images”. It was devoted to the construction of repositories and the implementation of IIIF manifesto, which is to be implemented in the PhilPeriodicals repository as well. Their attendance was totally funded by the VLIRUOS project “Strengthening Digital Research at the UP system”.

Some of the sessions were actually delivered by Mike Kestemont, the PI of this project.

Group attending summer course in Antwerp in September 2018, including Dr. Ramon Guillermo, Mr Chito Angeles, Mr Val Crisostomo, Dr Mike Kestemont, Prof. Dirk Van Hulle and Dr Rocío Ortuño

DH 2018: PhilPeriodicals in Mexico City

Logo of the annual conference of Digital Humanities. The 2018 edition took place in Mexico City in July

Last July, we had the chance to introduce the PhilPeriodicals project in the annual convention of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), which took place in the Sheraton Reforma in Mexico City. This year the main topic of the conference was Puentes/Bridges. The subtitle in Spanish was not coincidential: there was an emphasis on Digital Humanities done in other languages than English, and in non-European/US countries. In that sense, PhilPeriodicals fit perfectly: one of the big challenges of the project is the use and management of multilingual resources, including periodicals in Spanish, Tagalog, Cebuano, Hiligaynon or Chinese, among others.

The paper, entitled “Philippines at the Crossroads: Enhancing Research on Philippine Periodicals”  was presented by Rocío Ortuño in the morning of the last day of the conference, in the context of the panel “Perspectivas Digitales y a Gran Escala en el Estudio de Revistas Culturales de los Espacios Hispánico y Lusófono” (Digital and Large-Scale Perspectives in the Study of Cultural Magazines of The Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Spaces) organized by the project MapModern.

Here you can find the abstracts of all the talks. As you can see, there was further representation of the research group ACDC and the Universiteit Antwerpen in the conference: Mike Kestemont, the Belgian PI of PhilPeriodicals, and Enrique Manjavacas delivered a workshop on text-mining, “The re-creation of Harry Potter: Tracing style and content across novels, movie scripts and fanfiction”.

First slide of the presentation on Philippine Periodicals in the DH2018 Conference


A visit to Universidad de Santo Tomás and their Digital Library

5 years ago, UnionBank and Universidad de Santo Tomás de Manila started the project Lumina Pandit II, to digitize the archive and rare filipiniana holdings at Universidad de Santo Tomás. Today, the archive is impressive and keeps on growing. It can be consulted here. We felt that we had quite a few things to learn from them, due to their previous activity with digital archives in a Philippine context, and a visit was organized.

Although our objectives are different, and we have different concepts on how our repository is going to be, the tips and advices provided were very welcome. They have uploaded an impressive amount of documents already, and they also have a rare periodicals section. We are hoping to be able to engage with their repository from ours. Keep tunned, more information coming soon.

Takeoff from Manila.

In January 2018 the Belgian part and the Filipino part of the project met for the first time since the approval of the project in Manila.  The work started in the library, assessing the state of the periodicals to be reproduced, and creating a catalogue for the digitization. Here are some pictures of the rare periodicals and the IT section at the Library of the University of the Philippines

There we could get a good idea of the collection and its composition. Here we have some ideas about what we have to be scanned:

Languages of the periodicals


Periodicals by year

The full catalogue will be coming soon.