Matthew Lincoln

Graduate Assistant, Digital Humanities, Spring and Summer 2013
PhD (University of Maryland 2016), Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Art

Matthew Lincoln this semester intends to construct a map of Dürer's 1520-21 trip to the Netherlands, a trip the artist documented extensively in his diary. This detailed record includes a day-by-day account of every step of his journey, mentioning individuals and artists he met, as well as the artworks he gifted and sold, as well as those he received from Netherlandish artists like Lucas van Leyden. However, Matt intends not simply to plot points on a map and connect them, but hopes to make the diary itself a driver of not only geo-spatial mapping but of the visualization of other relationships in the diary that otherwise might be left behind in a map. In Matt's own words:

"While I could manually map all the places mentioned in the diary using Google Earth, the resulting map would only be useful as a map, and all the rest of the information contained in the diary would be inaccessible. While my present goal is to make a map of Dürer's journey, another scholar may be more interested in listing all the people who he mentions, or in charting which works he mentions most often. This means that the first starting point needs to be encoding text of the diary itself into machine-searchable data. Once this is done, I (and future, more talented or imaginative programmers) can automatically generate not just a map, but other interactive tools to access the information.

Why do it the hard way? This ensures that the data can be used for teaching, creating helpful visualizations of a traveling artist and the dissemination of his work. It also makes the data useful for research, allowing someone to search the diary quickly for particular artworks, places, and people, and even allow quantitative analysis - what artworks get mentioned the most? Where does he spend the most time?"