Project Arclight is building a web-based tool that enables the study of 20th century American media through comparisons across time and space. Interdisciplinary teams at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States, PI Eric Hoyt) and Concordia University (Canada, PI Charles Acland) are developing Arclight with the support of a Digging into Data grant with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (U.S.) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).
The Arclight app will analyze over two million pages of public domain publications derived from two repositories: the Media History Digital Library (MHDL) and the Library of Congress Chronicling America National Newspaper Program. Whereas the MHDL’s search platform Lantern allows users to run keyword searches within the MHDL’s corpus, Arclight reads more broadly for how entities trend across the corpus in comparison to one other.
We anticipate launching a beta version of the Arclight application in mid-2015. While we continue developing the app, we will be publishing results from our internal tests using Arclight’s process of Scaled Entity Search (SES) and sharing our work at conferences, including the IEEE Big Humanities Data Workshop, Film & History Conference, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, and the Arclight Symposium at Concordia University.