Visualising Raynal

This project is an experimental generous interface to three editions of Guillame-Thomas Raynal's Histoire des deux Indes. It visualises changes, additions and deletions in the text at multiple scales. Visualising Raynal was designed and developed by Mitchell Whitelaw and Geoff Hinchcliffe of ANU Design, and commissioned by Glenn Roe as part of his Digitizing Raynal project.

Digitizing Raynal is an international project led by Glenn Roe and supported by the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World at the University of Minnesota, the Centre for Digital Humanities Research at the Australian National University, Stanford University Libraries, and The ARTFL Project at the University of Chicago. In 2016 the project completed digitisation of the 1770, 1774 and 1780 editions of the Histoire. Notably the 1780 edition includes annotations marking those passages attributed to Diderot. A keyword search interface to these editions is available at ARTFL Chicago. This interface builds on those digital editions, aligning the three editions to show additions, deletions, transpositions, and the degree of similarity between editions:

We track changes across editions by computationally measuring the similarity of each paragraph with every other paragraph in that book. We use a similarity measure based on the Levenshtein distance, provided via fuzzyset.js. Paragraphs with a certain level of similarity are deemed to be matches. This process also identifies new additions (paragraphs without an earlier match), deletions (paragraphs without a later match), transpositions, merges and splits. A second script aligns and arranges the paragraphs across editions, and the resulting data is visualised in the browser using Angular.js.

Guillaume-Thomas Raynal

Histoire philosophique et politique
des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes

Additions

Deletions

1770

1774

1780

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Diderot

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