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Author Jones, Steven E.

Title Roberto Busa, S.J., and the emergence of humanities computing. The priest and the punched cards / steven E. Jones
Published Basingstoke : Taylor & Francis Ltd, 2016
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (178 pages)
Contents Priest walks into the C.E.O.'s office : November 1949, the meeting between Father Roberto Busa, S.J. and Thomas J. Watson, Sr. of IBM -- Oracle on 57th street : 1948-1952, the IBM SSEC large-scale calculator, representations of computing, and the role of the adjacent possible -- The mother of all humanities computing demos : June 27, 1952, the first public demo of Busa's and Tasman's punched-card method of "literary data processing" at IBM world headquarters, New York -- Centers of activity : 1954-1956, the founding of CAAL, the first literary data processing center, in Gallarate, Italy -- Computing philology : 1957-1959, the Dead Sea Scrolls: "a quality leap and new dimensions."
Summary It's the founding myth of humanities computing and digital humanities: In 1949, the Italian Jesuit scholar, Roberto Busa, S.J., persuaded IBM to offer technical and financial support for the mechanized creation of a massive lemmatized concordance to the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. Using Busa's own papers, recently accessioned in Milan, as well as IBM archives and other sources, Jones illuminates this DH origin story. He examines relationships between the layers of hardware, software, human agents, culture and history and answers the question of how specific technologies afford and even constrain cultural practices, including in this case the academic research agendas of humanities computing and, later, digital humanities
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Busa, Roberto.
Busa, Roberto 1913-2011
Busa, Roberto.
Index Thomisticus
Computational linguistics -- Research -- Italy -- History -- 20th century
Computational linguistics -- Research -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Humanities -- Research -- United States -- Data processing -- History -- 20th century
Text processing (Computer science) -- History -- 20th century
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1138186783