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Interactivity is a major component of our digital research

Our digital transformation of Ingamells' Dictionaryhas made us acutely aware of what this process entails in terms of the loss of rich materiality of the printed book. The digital affords immediate advantages, but we have come to believe that these reach their greatest potential if developed while continuing to ask: what do we loose when we are not anymore materially turning the pages or skim reading, nor we are longer ear marking the book, or gaging its volume by weight and sight?  With these questions in mind, we are dedicated to persistently push the boundaries of what 'turning the pages' comes to mean in the digital realm. In the Grand Tour Explorer--the interactive research resource we are creating to investigate the database we formed out of Ingamells' Dictionary--we experiment with various modes of interactivity, such as browsing, multidimensional searching, malleable listings, data visualizations, and downloading of research results. Work on the Grand Tour Explorer is ongoing, but you can see more about, and experience some of our existing experiments in interactive digital research here below.

Timechart of travels of eighteenth-century British architects in Italy. The bars represent the tours of the architects, showing (by hovering over the bar) the places they visited and the duration of their stays in each place. Click on the image abive to read more and interact.

This map shows which places architects visited and how frequently in the course of the eighteenth century, with a timespan filter that interacts with the mapview. Click on the image above to read more and interact. 

Graph showing how the architects who traveled to Italy in the eighteenth century were educated. You can filter the graph by architects' names, educational institutions and other dimensions. Click on the image above to read more and interact. 

This graph shows the funding sources for the architects’ tours of Italy. You can interact with the graph filtering to see who might have travelled thanks to private sposnors, fellowships, independent wealth etc. Click on the image above to read more and interact. See also graphs for architects' affiliations to societies and academies, and of their employments and occupations.


The data schema is a description of the author's data model. It is both a guide to understanding the values in a data set and a model that may be applied to other data sets. For example, the data schema for John Locke's correspondence network might also be applied to the correspondence of Thomas Hobbes or René Descartes. We consider the data schema an essential research product which, by itself, expresses the design of the research inquiry while also supporting effective data sharing, discovery and analysis.

The visualizations of the data tables on this page were created using Breve, a free, open source tool developed at Humanities + Design.