We are delighted to be able to offer internships for students in cooperation with CELT: The Free Digital Humanities Resource for Irish History, Literature and Politics. CELT (Corpus of Electronic Texts) is the world’s largest online site for Irish Studies source material at University College Cork in Ireland. Students can now apply for a four week internship with CELT. The internships will usually take place in summer, between June and August. Under the guidance and supervision of CELT manager Beatrix Faerber, students will assist in enlarging the corpus of electronic texts available online and enhance their digital humanities skills. Please see the website for more information on CELT: https://celt.ucc.ie//
Students will have to cover their own expenses for travel, accommodation, and cost of living. It is recommended to seek assistance from the Service Centre International Affairs at JMU to identify funding possibilities: https://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/international/startseite/
Students at the Department of Modern Languages who are pursuing the “Zusatzzertifikat Digitale Kompetenz in den Geisteswissenschaften“ can complete the “Praxismodul“ within this scheme. They should ideally have already attended “Modul 1: Einführungsvorlesung“ before the start of the internship. Please see this website for more details: https://www.neuphil.uni-wuerzburg.de/anglistik/studium/zusatzzertifikat-digitale-kompetenz/
Students who are pursuing a course of studies in English, and ideally also in Digital Humanities, can earn ECTS for the “Auslandspraktikum”. Some additional requirements apply. Please see this website for more details: https://www.neuphil.uni-wuerzburg.de/anglistik/studium/anrechnung-von-studienleistungen/
If you are eligible for an application (see above), please send the following materials
- letter of motivation
- curriculum vitae
- WueStudy grade overview
If you have questions about the ISWÜ internships, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Article: einBlick 22.11.2022
Marisa Ammersbach studiert in Würzburg Political and Social Studies mit Englisch im Nebenfach. Im Sommer absolvierte sie ein Praktikum am irischen University College Cork. Dabei arbeitete sie an einem über 380 Jahre alten Text.
Das Corpus of Electronic Texts, kurz CELT, ist die größte digitale Sammlung für Texte mit Bezug zu Irland. Beheimatet ist CELT am University College Cork (UCC) im Süden der Grünen Insel. Dort absolvierte Marisa im Juli und August 2022 ein Praktikum. Ihre Aufgabe: Einen frühneuhochdeutschen Text in ein modernes Schriftbild übertragen.
Marisa, die kurz vor ihrem Bachelor-Abschluss steht, war die erste Studierende der Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg, die die Möglichkeit für ein Praktikum bei CELT genutzt hat.
„Ich hatte gar nicht auf dem Schirm, dass man sowas beruflich machen kann“, erzählt sie und ergänzt, dass ihr „solche Textarbeit schon immer Spaß gemacht“ hat. Beim bearbeiteten Text handelte es sich um Erzählungen eines Militärkaplans, der während des 30-jährigen Krieges einen hochrangigen irischen Militär auf dem europäischen Kontinent begleitet hatte.
Marisa hatte Ende 2021 durch eine E-Mail des Fachbereichs Anglistik & Amerikanistik von dem Praktikumsangebot erfahren und sich auch deshalb beworben, weil sie aufgrund von Corona ein geplantes Auslandssemester nicht antreten konnte: „Eigentlich hatte ich eine Zusage für Genua mit Erasmus+, aber daraus wurde dann leider nichts.“
Auch wenn das knapp dreiwöchige Praktikum kein Ersatz für ein ganzes Auslandssemester war, genoss Marisa ihre Zeit in Irland: „An den Wochenenden habe ich Ausflüge gemacht und zum Schluss noch einige Tage in Dublin verbracht. Es ist ein tolles Land mit sehr lieben und hilfsbereiten Menschen. Das war besonders schön, weil ich allein unterwegs war.“
Bei CELT arbeitete Marisa eng mit ihrer Supervisorin Beatrix Färber zusammen: „Das hat perfekt geklappt. Die Arbeit mit einem alten Text war für mich neu. Beatrix hat mir viel Freiheiten gelassen, war bei Fragen aber immer für mich da.“
Die Arbeit bei CELT
Auch Beatrix Färber war mit der Arbeit ihrer Praktikantin sehr zufrieden: „Marisa hat das wirklich gut gemacht. Ihr Text hatte fast 340 Seiten, alles in Fraktur gedruckt und in einer ungewohnten Sprache. Sie hat etwa die Hälfte geschafft, das ist sehr beachtlich.“
Der Text kam aus dem Münchner Digitalisierungszentrum der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, wo er abgescannt wurde. Da die Software allerdings nicht in der Lage ist, ihn komplett anzupassen, muss er von Hand redigiert und in ein modernes Schriftbild gebracht werden.
„Mögliche nächste Schritte wären dann eine Übersetzung in modernes Deutsch oder ins Englische“, erklärt Beatrix Färber.
Zusammenarbeit mit den Irish Studies Würzburg
Angeboten wird das Praktikum am CELT von den Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) der JMU. Professorin Maria Eisenmann, gemeinsam mit Professorin Ina Bergmann Initiatorin von ISWÜ, zeigt sich sehr erfreut über den geglückten Start dieser Kooperation: „Die Idee für das Praktikum entstand über den wissenschaftlichen Austausch mit Beatrix und anderen Historikern des UCC. Wir waren noch auf der Suche nach weiteren Angeboten für Studierende und fanden eine Kooperation mit CELT sehr gewinnbringend. Zusammen haben wir bereits verschiedene Veranstaltungen wie Gastvorträge, einen Studientag und ein Symposium realisiert. In Zukunft möchten wir diesen Kontakt noch ausbauen, wir streben zum Beispiel auch eine Erasmus-Kooperation an“, erklärt Eisenmann.
Informationen zum Praktikum finden sich auf der Seite von ISWÜ. Bewerbungen für Praktikumsplätze im Sommer 2023 sind noch bis zum 31. Januar 2023 möglich. Bewerben können sich alle Studierenden des Fachbereichs Anglistik & Amerikanistik.
Marisa jedenfalls kann das Praktikum „definitiv weiterempfehlen.“ Für sie war Irland eine durchweg positive Erfahrung.
Theresa Ries, Internship Report
My three-week internship at the Corpus of Electronic Texts (CELT) at the University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland took place from June 31st to August 18th. On my first day, Beatrix Färber received me cordially, showed me the campus, and, as well, explained to me what was expected from me during the weeks ahead. As I had been informed beforehand, my main task was to continue the work of last year’s intern and, thus, to further digitize the scans of a handwritten manuscript and itinerary originally composed in Germany in the seventeenth century. Contributing to the corpus was particularly intriguing for me, since large numbers of historical texts and documents are still inaccessible to many scholars and researchers as the manuscripts are more often than not available in non-digital forms only. Digitizing handwritten contemporary witnesses, therefore, allows for more thorough research, which enables a better understanding of history, languages, and cultures.
A first crucial step was to become more familiar with the font, Fraktur script, in which the text is written. Thus, Beatrix advised me to first begin with proofreading the segments of the itinerary that the intern of last year had already worked with and digitized. This was especially helpful for me because I was not only able to learn about the overall contents and topics addressed in the scans, but also about (historic) figures, that frequently appear throughout the text. Additionally, I became aware of several peculiarities of some of the manuscript’s characters. At times, the quality of the scans was rather low with, for example, the final letters of several lines being (partly) illegible, due to which a more detailed knowledge about potential regularities in the writing became increasingly helpful while digitizing independently during my second and third week of the internship. Despite having been confronted with Fraktur and Early New High German during my previous German studies already, I am sure that this first task, though time consuming, facilitated the subsequent ones a lot.
After completing the process of proofreading, I began digitizing myself and, after a brief introduction to the very basics of coding by Beatrix, I was also able to include some minor code elements, marking chapter boundaries, headlines, page and line breaks, lists as well as comments regarding other structural or content-related peculiarities in particular. During my second week of the internship, Paula Streube, a fellow student from JMU, joined Beatrix and me. Due to her background in digital humanities, Paula could provide me with some more insights into coding, which I greatly appreciated. As a team, we also familiarized ourselves with the program Transkribus, that can be used for text recognition and is especially utilized when working with handwritten historical texts and documents, since Beatrix had hoped for the platform to accelerate and facilitate the process of digitization. We quickly learned that Transkribus, that also has a relatively clear and manageable user interface, can indeed be functional and helpful as soon as it has been trained to decipher the characters of the scans of a document. This, however, is a rather lengthy process and quite difficult to achieve, as the program requires a large amount of prior input that it then can incorporate and use to optimize its performance. Therefore, we decided in consultation with Beatrix to use one of the language models already trained and available in Transkribus that delivered results that were, except for a few minor mistakes, quite accurate. Letters that continuously caused issues were, due to their similarity in writing, <v>, <n>, and <u>, as well as the Fraktur version of German <ß> that we were supposed to transcribe as <sz>. Ultimately, I decided against working with Transkribus because digitizing the scans manually suited me and my skills better.
In my third week, Paula and I were both still busy with digitizing the itinerary. In order to minimize the potential for error, we agreed to exchange our transcriptions regularly to check them for spelling mistakes or content-related misunderstandings. In the end, we unfortunately did not manage to finish the process of digitization while I was still in Ireland. I was happy to hear from Paula the other day, however, that she and Beatrix were able to begin with more detailed coding after finishing transcribing the scans.
In summary, my responsibilities during the internship covered reviewing and digitizing a handwritten Early New High German manuscript in order to enhance its legibility and accessibility, creating a transcribed version of the text after selecting and by using appropriate tools and programs, and, also, working together as a team to increase and ensure the accuracy and reliability of the final result.
While I was only able to spend three weeks working at CELT, the internship allowed me to improve my hard as well as my soft skills. Due to the text focusing on the Thirty Years’ War, I could acquire more knowledge concerning medieval war events of that time period and the war’s overall correlations as well as information regarding seventeenth century society, such as the importance of religion, faith, and loyalty. Also, digitizing the handwriting enabled me to enhance my skills in reading and understanding texts in Early New High German since comprehending the content of the scans was necessary to close some minor gaps as soon as the quality and legibility decreased. The work improved my attention to detail and accuracy when working with texts, as being as exact as possible was crucial while transcribing. The brief insights into the basics of coding were similarly profitable for me personally because it has sparked my interest in further exploring the field to continuously improve my skills. Apart from that, I appreciated the chance to work autonomously and independently while Beatrix was always available as soon as I stumbled across potential inconsistencies or had any questions.
Collaborating with Paula, on the other hand, further schooled my ability to work in a team and to reasonably distribute tasks in accordance with an individual’s personal strengths and fields of interest. Finally, Beatrix was also eager to answer all our questions that arose besides the internship. She always encouraged us to ask her whatever we wanted to know about Ireland, the country’s culture, or her own experiences as a German living on the Emerald Isle. Therefore, thanks to her, I could also improve my intercultural competence and overall understanding of the Irish way of living, which I still greatly appreciate. Working with and learning from her was a real pleasure and an entirely positive experience.
In conclusion, my internship at the Department of History at University College Cork has been a profitable, educational, and enriching journey, personally as well as professionally. I am immensely grateful that the Irish Studies department of the University of Würzburg and the University College Cork have provided me with the opportunity to travel to Cork and to contribute to CELT there. Everyone I got into contact with before and during the internship has added to the three weeks becoming a through and through fulfilling experience, which allowed me to fall in love with Ireland and its rich culture and history even more. Therefore, I very much look forward to and hope for further possible collaborations in the future. The internship has not only enriched my journey in academia, but also taught me valuable lessons for successfully mastering future challenges, so thank you very much to everyone who was directly or indirectly involved.
Paula Steube, Internship Report
My internship at CELT at University College Cork (August/September 2023) My four-week internship at CELT (Corpus of Electronic Texts) took place during August and September 2023. CELT is a Digital Humanities project belonging to the History Department of UCC (University College Cork) in Ireland and the biggest educational Text Corpus online of Irish interest and a resource mainly for Irish History, Literature and Politics. The internship was under the supervision and guidance of CELT manager Beatrix Faerber.
I found the internship on the website of the Irish studies last year and applied for an internship for during the time of the summer of 2023. My visit in Cork and the internship was able to take place due to an international collaboration between the School of History at UCC and ISWÜ. Its aim is to help students gain insight into the Digital Humanities and gaining experience in TEI-XML encoding as it is done at CELT.
My main tasks were focused on working on the digitization of an originally 17th-century manuscript and itinerary written by a military chaplain accompanying high-ranking Irish soldiers to mainland Europe during the time of the Thirty Year’s War. I was mainly involved in the digitization of the scans of the original manuscript, which was started by last year’s intern from JMU as well as a fellow JMU student this year, as well as the encoding of the resulting digital text version as preparation for the publication online by CELT.
During my stay in Cork, I worked closely with Beatrix and she gave me helpful insight into the organization of larger Digital Humanities projects and the CELT corpus. She was also eager to answer all questions which arose about topics besides the internship, and we were encouraged to ask about Ireland, Irish culture and her own experiences of living and working as a German in Cork. Learning from and working with Beatrix was an entirely positive experience and due to her I was further able to get into contact with other faculty members at UCC and gain knowledge about Irish culture and history.
During the internship I worked both independently on tasks assigned by Beatrix as well as in a team with either her or the fellow JMU student staying in Cork. At the beginning of the internship, we worked with the program Transkribus, which is a program that uses trained AImodels for text recognition in images and is used in working with handwritten and printed historical documents. One of the reasons why this internship particularly intrigued me, was the contribution to a digital corpus as a large number of historical documents are still not easily accessible to many researchers and scholars as only non-digital versions exist. The digitization of these documents therefore allows for a vastly wider availability and the possibility of more thorough research for a variety of field concerned with historical documents. Further, I was able to practice some of my digital humanities skills, which I gained during the studies of my minor Digital Humanities at the University Würzburg and use them on a project. With the help of Transkribus and after thorough proof-reading we were able to get a good base digital text version of the scans of the manuscript, which we afterwards started encoding according to TEIXML conventions. It was helpful for me to already have a background and some knowledge in the Digital Humanities, but I believe the internship to still be highly interesting for students without prior encoding knowledge. Beatrix also provided me with some further information and workshop notes to expand my knowledge and was always very open to questions.
During my time in Cork, I was, of course, able to practice my English-speaking skills in an environment with native speakers and as I rented a room at a local’s house, I was able to get into direct contact with her and some other UCC students staying with her during the semester. I enjoyed talking with them and getting the opportunity to get in direct contact with people living in Cork rather than staying at a hostel. After getting the confirmation for my internship Beatrix helped me with organizing this opportunity to rent the room and gave me some tips for setting up my bus journey from Dublin to Cork and how to work out public transport in Ireland. This support facilitated the organization of an internship abroad immensely. It is also possible to directly fly to Cork from Germany but there are also a multitude of busses to easily travel within Ireland. I was also able to visit Cobh, a seaport town on the south coast of County Cork, and the fellow JMU intern staying in Cork also visited other cities such as Kinsale, Dublin and Limerick during her time in Ireland. The internship allowed for enough time to organize such trips on the weekends and in the evenings after the internship we were able to do some sightseeing in Cork.
Everyone I got to meet during my internship was very kind and helpful, which enabled me to learn more about Ireland as well as Digital Humanities and have a very educational and fulfilling time in Cork. I am very grateful for everyone who helped me get the chance and opportunity to work at CELT and travel to Cork and can recommend everyone interested in an internship at CELT to apply.