About this Project

An exploration of how the methods of “big science” might elucidate and facilitate the humanistic understanding of music, speech, and other audio expressions, the one-year Audio Cultures of India project will deploy data mining and computational pattern analysis techniques common to the physical and biological sciences to produce a sonic history of modern India. Drawing on vast digital corpora already hosted at the University of Chicago Library, this project will bring together faculty and students from Music, Anthropology, the Computation Institute, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Library to identify and experiment with new methods for using scientific technologies to process large digital humanities databases. The dense performative culture that characterizes India will receive special attention in an attempt to develop a comparative framework for understanding historical interrelations in the aural world – a sound history of modern India.


The Humanities, Rebooted

April 14, 2014

Neubauer Collegium Catalyzes Digital Humanities Innovation at University of Chicago

Born in the Library: The Neubauer Collegium

November 18, 2013

The Neubauer Collegium kicks off its first programming year with Library collaboration.

Faculty, Library Collaborate on Collegium projects

March 18, 2013

Library contributes expertise, collections, technology, and spaces to support Neubauer Collegium global, humanistic research

Project Updates

Seeing Voices: Imaging Applied to Early Recorded
Sound Preservation

Thursday, October 23, 2014
1:00 -- 2:00 p.m.
Regenstein Library, Room 122

Carl Haber, Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Unlike print and latent image scanning, the playback of mechanical sound carriers has been an inherently invasive process. Recently, a series of techniques, based upon non-contact optical metrology and image processing, have been applied to create and analyze high resolution digital surface profiles of these materials. Numerical methods may be used to emulate the stylus motion through such a profile in order to reconstruct the recorded sound. This approach, and current results, including studies of some of the earliest known sound recordings, will be the focus of this talk, illustrated with sounds and images.