Featured Tools and Prototypes

In addition to publications that situate INKE’s work within diverse knowledge communities, each group encodes their theories of the text in tools and prototypes for wider scholarly use.  This page features selected tools and prototypes created by the Modelling and Prototyping (now Development), Textual Studies, and Interface Design (now Development) teams: A Social Edition of the Devonshire Manuscript, NewRadial, Archbook, Workflow for Journal Editors/Workflow for Document Production, PaperDrill, Dynamic Table of Contexts, Bubblelines, CiteLens, TextTiles, dialR, and Multitouch Variorium.


Previous Modelling and Prototyping Prototypes

A Social Edition of the Devonshire Manuscript

The Social Edition of the Devonshire Manuscript is a Wikibook edition of the 16th century courtly verse miscellany the Devonshire Manuscript, a socially made and circulated text itself. By developing and hosting on Wikibooks, interaction and contribution from both academic and non-academic audiences alike are invited. The Social Edition of the Devonshire Manuscript includes 192 individual entries and accompanying facsimile images of the Devonshire Manuscript as well as a comprehensive textual apparatus with biographies, search function, genealogical charts, witness descriptions, XML encoded poems, detailed paleographic hand lists, and a lengthy bibliography. The open, online community-based Social Edition of the Devonshire Manuscript extends past the traditional academic sector and encourages cross-community collaboration in a distinctly digital context.


NewRadial is a web-based digital environment for humanities research and collaboration that encourages users to occupy, search, sort, and annotate database content in a visual field.  It has been designed to function as a workspace in which primary objects from existing databases can be browsed, gathered, correlated, and commented on by multiple users in a dynamic visual environment.  In addition, NewRadial offers a space in which secondary scholarship, exchange and debate can be centralized and mapped onto the primary data without deforming or destabilizing the original databases.

Previous Interface Design Prototypes

Workflow for Journal Editors & Workflow for Document Production (Orlando data)

The Workflow for Journal Editors is an innovative tool for journal editors engaged with interface design and project management. A flash based-application, this prototype flexibly, clearly, and accessibly lays out a productive and interoperable approach for editorial workflow. The Workflow for Journal Editors was developed in Flash/Air (AS3) and currently exists in three instantiations: Desktop/Air, Desktop/Web and iPad. The latest version, the edition for Desktop/Air, will ideally be used in multitouch surfaces, and work is currently being done on a gesture-driven version for iPad and larger surfaces. The Workflow for Document Production is an implementation of the Workflow for Journal Editors prototype using data from the Orlando project.


Wrkflux is a flexible tool for design visual workflows. This tool is an improvement on its previous version (Workflow for Journal Editors & Workflow for Document Production), and has enhanced the user experience and added a number of new functionalities in order to make it easy to use for a wider audience. The new features include: creation of personal profiles, ability to create and modify as many workflows you want, private workflows, flexible “stage” shapes, creation and modification of workflows items, possibility to customize flags, annotation tool (tags), and other management options. Wrkflux was developed in Flash/Air (AS3) and currently exists as a web-based application accessible from any browser or by its own standalone Air Application (Internet connection needed).

  • Tool: http://labs.fluxo.art.br/wrkflux/
  • Code: https://github.com/lucaju/Wrkflux
  • https://vimeo.com/100567627
  • Frizzera, Luciano, J. Montague, S. Sperhacke, M. Bernardes, Geoffrey Rockwell, Stan Ruecker, and the INKE Research Team. “Structured Surfaces for Digital Board Games: The DH Experience.” Presented at the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanités numériques (CSDH/SCHN) conference (at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2013). St. Catharines, Brock U. 28-30 May 2014.

Paper Drill

Paper Drill aims to automate the identification and assemblage of citation chains throughout collections of secondary scholarship. (Citation chaining is the scholarly activity of finding relevant resources via the reference list of an article.)  As with other similar tools, to use Paper Drill one must submit a seed article. Paper Drill differs from other tools in the field, however, by generating a report for the user that details both the article cited in the seed article as well as all of the articles that cite the seed article. In this way, Paper Drill enables both forward and backward citation chaining practices.

Dynamic Table of Contexts

The Dynamic Table of Contexts reflects on new digital allowances for developing digital texts and performing professional reading activities. Instead of porting a conventional table of contents into digital texts wholesale, the Dynamic Table of Contexts provokes readerly explorations and encourages a type of participation with a text that might not be available (or initially obvious) in more traditional, print-based forms. As an application, the Dynamic Table of Contexts will ideally be used to facilitate the browsing and parsing of a document. In the Dynamic Table of Contexts a traditional table of contents is supplemented with tools that allow for the manipulation of index items (via XML markup). Items can be added or subtracted, as the user sees fit. Moreover, all lines of the index are linked to the appropriate places in the document as a whole.

  • http://www.ualbertaprojects.info/dyntoc/dyntoc_v3_5/Main.html
  • Blandford, Ann, et al. “Designing Interactive Reading Environments for the Online Scholarly Edition.” Abstracts of Digital Humanities 2012, Hamburg, 16-22 July 2012. Ed. Jan Cristoph Meister. Hamburg: U of Hamburg P., 2012. 35-40.
  • Ruecker, Stan, et al. “The Table of Contexts: A Dynamic Browsing Tool for Digitally Encoded Texts.” The Charm of a List: From the Sumerians to Computerised Data Processing. Ed. L. Dolezalova. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. 177-87.


Bubblelines is a visualization tool for textual analysis practices integrated with the popular Voyant tool. Bubblelines visually represents word instances, repetitions, and frequencies, thus allowing users to compare search results across multiple texts. It depends on a basic visual literacy assumption—the larger the bubble, the more frequent the term.


CiteLens is a visualization tool for analyzing citation patterns in lengthy scholarly works like monographs or editions. Primarily, CiteLens is designed as an instrument for context analysis of citation. This type of citation analysis focuses on analyzing citations inside the citing text. The secondary purpose of the tool is as a reading aid to facilitate the understanding of and integration with text of complex critical apparati; for example, attempting to make monographs more user-friendly for undergraduate science students taking required humanities classes. This tool uses XML markup to highlight three levels of information: the relationship between citations and the citing text; the connection between citations included in the same footnote; and standard bibliographical information.

TextTiles Browser

The TextTiles browser is a prototype that facilitates research by providing users with display manipulation capacities. Primarily, TextTiles attends to the concept of rich prospect browsing—a more user-controlled type of browsing that promotes a persistent, manipulable, organizable display of items in a collection. TextTiles is primarily concerned with collections that consist of textual information. Each document corresponds with a small tile in the system, and this tile contains a list of relevant bibliographic elements. Users can, of course, manipulate and control the tiles as desirable.


As an application, dialR allows users to study repetition in texts using n-grams. dialR engages with many interface design questions pertinent to humanities work, especially concerning issues of affordances, information overload, research, and interaction. Essentially, dialR is a text analysis tool geared toward recognizing repetition in a text or a group of texts. The browsing tools consist of a series of radar screens, where the user can watch the system scanning through a document while it highlights the results in a set of transparent sheets that provide the document overview. The document interface encourages readers to select a variety of features, presupposing an ability to identify automatically appropriate n-grams. Intentionally, the user experience of dialR mimics a “text visualization lab,” where the text appears as a volume of space and the goal is experimentation.

Glass Cast

The Glass Cast is a 3D interface in development intended for the visualization of knowledge networks that takes into consideration parameters such as authorship, time, subject discipline and connections between documents in a corpus. The working metaphor is the sort of cast sculpture whereby the object of representation appears as a negative space within a block of clear material such as glass or plastic. Smaller versions of such sculptures invite physical interaction: viewers might pick them up and rotate them to gain different perspectives. In the case of modelling a knowledge network with this metaphor in mind, a top view presents connections between citations while a side view presents citations over time. Users may rotate the structure to gain different perspectives on the network, as well as zoom in or out to increase and decrease granularity.

MtV (Multitouch Variorum)

The MtV or Multitouch Variorum project is geared, primarily, toward navigating scholarly digital editions. Simply put, MtV is a prototype tool for interaction with text on multitouch surfaces. More specifically, this prototype is an experiment with alternatives to the standard mouse, keyboard, and monitor hardware platform. The technology for such interactions already exists, as the size of a multi-touch table allows for the display of multiple documents side-by-side. As well, the touch screen enables easy and intuitive operation, thus lessening the mental workload required to operate it and permitting user to focus more on the content. The system accommodates familiar gestures such as touch, pinch, and flick to let the user move, select, grab, and scroll through information on the screen. Collaborative work is facilitated through this technology, as more than one point of interaction is possible and multiple people are able to work on the material at the same time. MtV is still in an early stage and is being developed in Adobe Air using Open Exhibits multitouch library.

  • https://vimeo.com/91530996
  • Frizzera, Luciano, Sarah Vela, Dan Sondheim, Piotr Michura, Mihaela Ilovan, Geoffrey Rockwell, and the INKE Research Team. “Designing for Multitouch Surfaces as Social Reading Environments.” Presented at the Digital Humanities, Lincoln, USA: Digital Humanities 2013. http://dh2013.unl.edu/abstracts/ab-318.html
  • Vela, Sarah, Luciano Frizzera, Mihaela Ilovan, Piotr Michura, Dan Sondheim, Geoffrey Rockwell, and the INKE Research Team. “Manipulating Multiple Editions with the Multi-touch Variorum (MtV) Project.” Presented at the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanités numériques (CSDH/SCHN) conference (at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2013). U Victoria. 3-5 June 2013.

The DH Experience

The DH Experience is a serious game to promote awareness and interdisciplinary collaboration among the international DH community. In The DH Experience, players collaborate to collect data from around the world, perform research and complete their projects in order to succeed, competing against time and the system inherent to the game.

The complete, tested paper prototype uses a fixed number of real world inspired projects. However, in order to have an ongoing relevance to the DH community, the digital version that is now under development will allow participating organizations to contribute their own projects, making the experience of the game more familiar and meaningful for players. In attempting to increase awareness of contemporary research and interdisciplinary collaboration, this project explores the utility of games as a means of increasing effective interaction within a community of non-game players.

Textual Studies


ArchBook (derived from “Archtectures of the Book”) comprises an evolving collection of illustrated essays concerning design features in the history of the book, as well as a comprehensive bibliography, glossary, project blog, and open access image database. ArchBook aims to serve as a reference resource as well as a provocation for further meditation and interaction with book history and book futures.