PBL lab

The Polish Literary Bibliography – a knowledge lab on contemporary Polish culture 

Project funded by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities (May 2015 – May 2018); NR 0061/NPRH3/H11/82/2014

Coordinators: Maciej Maryl, Piotr Wciślik

ICT Partner: Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center

ICT Coordinators: Marcin Werla, Michał Kozak

Materials: PBL lab poster  and presentation (presented at the “Big Data in a Transdiciplinary Perspective” conference, Hannover March 25-27 2015)

This project transposes the tried and tested methodology of the Polish Literary Bibliography into the world of big data analysis. The cooperation of bibliographers, researchers and IT professionals enables the remediation of the traditional form of reference book into a powerful research tool: instead of looking up the data we can analyse the connections and relationships between them.

The aim of the project is to transform a vast database of Polish Literary Bibliography (PBL) into a fully operational, digital research infrastructure for the study of Polish literature and culture of 20th century.  The project entails retrodigitisation and transformation of the existing records into a coherent database as well as the development of data analysis tools for literary researchers.

PBL is a specialized bibliography containing records  about various types of materials concerning literature and literary scholarship (e.g. literary works, books, journals, magazines, articles, documents, dramas, movies, TV programs, converences, awards, etc.), which are annotated in the unique semantic framework. In that respect it is similar to other national projects such as ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature).  PBL has been developed in the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences since 1954 and today covers the period 1944-2000.

Such bibliographies have been used by scholars as source of reference. Yet, this projects aims at transforming the traditional bibliography into a research tool that will allow for uncovering unobvious connections between the data through computer assisted data analysis (automated reasoning, data mining and visualisation with the use of semantic technologies). In the course of the project (through digitalisation and transfromation of the existing data) the database will cover the years 1939-2009, i.e. app. 4 million annotated records concerning Polish literature.  Such a vast database together with data mining tools will enable researchers to analyse complex relationships between the objects of literary life: writers, publishers, places, etc. Moreover, the data will use the Linked Data model, which would allow for enriching bibliographical by connections with LOD cloud’s elements (e.g. VIAF, DBpedia, GeoNames).