Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities
Senior Researcher, KITLV
Areas of interest
data visualization, network analysis
In Leiden there is a proud tradition of transcribing, translating and analyzing Indonesian texts. Kathryn Wellen hopes to take this to a new level. She is currently preparing a research project that will use digital technologies to analyze indigenous Southeast Asian sources. The project will entail extracting quantitative and geographical data from indigenous texts and combining it with digital information sources to shed new light on the early modern history of Southeast Asia. Participants in this project will be afforded the opportunity to pursue their individual research interests within the context of a synergistic group.
In her previous career as a librarian, Kathryn Wellen was involved in numerous digital projects such as identifying content for the World Digital Library and the 2009 Indonesian General Elections web archive. She also served of the Library of Congress strategic planning focus group for digital scholarship and participated in a digital history workshop at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. In her new career as a historian at KITLV, she became interested in using computer-assisted methodologies to ask new questions of old sources. Her interrogation of Bugis texts using QGIS eventually led to the location of the lost country of Cina, in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. This paradigm-shifting discovery has taken on a life of its own outside the field of digital humanities but left Dr. Wellen with a heartfelt belief in the value of using digital methods to interrogate indigenous Indonesian sources. She is especially interested in mining qualitative sources for quantitative and geographical data.