How do you show that the visual language in religious heritage changed in the early modern period? Finding that out is one of the main goals of the Digital Humanities project INVENIT² at the VU University. This project started earlier this year and the VU University Library is one of the partners.
The assumption is that Bible illustrations from different eras make use of different emotional categories. It seems that illustrations from the rationalistic 18th century tried to touch the reader in a different way than those from the Baroque during the 17th century, but how do you find that out? Answer: by mobilizing a crowd.
Not only did the VU University Library make high-resolution digitized images of the relevant illustrations, she also asked her network to comment on the biblical scenes. What emotions do they see? For instance: is Moses (see picture above) agitated or furious when he sees his people worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 32-35)?
The network of the VU University Library is especially equipped to answer such questions since it consists of people with an affinity with the protestant tradition. This crowd is supposed to be able to create an enriched dataset which is useful for research purposes. The first results are expected during the coming weeks.
Want tot know more about this project? Visit the INVENIT² website: http://invenit.wmprojects.nl/uncategorized/crowdsourcing/.