Multimedia: Sound of Silk

Multimedia and the History of Science / Sound of Silk film project

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Screen Shot Webmaker Editor

The "multimedia journal" is a five-year project initiated by Dagmar Schäfer. The project examines ways of creating scientific articles—editorially and technically—through multimedia. Articles are being prepared in the history of science, history of technology, and cultural conditions of science. This new approach to publication in our research field goes beyond the limits of classical print media, video, image, audio, and visualization in time, 2D and 3D. For the initial article Dagmar Schäfer's "Peripheral Matters: Selvage/Chef-de-piece Inscriptions on Chinese Silk Textiles"; in: UC Davis Law Review. Vol. 47 (2) 2013, 705–733, is being reproduced using multimedia to provide evidence through electronic sources. The first step concentrates on the production of silk bolts in the Qing era to bring together empirical and historical evidence with electronic data: text, images, topographical information, archeological references, administrative and political, to underlay the history of the production of silk bolts in the Qing era and analyze the complex influences that affected marking practices on silk textiles.


The editorial software used is the program Mozilla Webmaker. As an editorial workspace and for the purposes of long-term storage this software has been installed at the institute and adapted to our needs. As a framework for articles in the journal and for the administration of the electronic media of the articles (metadata, rights-management, access restrictions) we are using a java development environment for data assets, Magnolia, based on the industry standard Apache Jackrabbit as a persistence layer in XML format and modern server-client libraries for the user-interface from Google and Vaadin. The editing environment will soon be open to scholars in our institute to make further tests and provide feedback from other researchers we can incorporate into our development process.