Image credit: Bodleian Libraries

This Helsinki-based, Academy of Finland funded project combines intellectual history, book history and historical sociolinguistics. It analyses the rise of commercial society in eighteenth-century publishing networks. We study the structure of these networks, linguistically innovative individuals and groups, questions of publishing and readership, and interaction between social and linguistic change. We will chiefly focus on Scottish, transatlantic and French influences on British print media. We will use large bibliographic databases in our research that we have harmonised and enriched e.g. with background information on the individuals. We will link this data for the first time with full-text sources for linguistic analysis. Our methods renew the research culture in history and linguistics, and we will obtain new knowledge about the Enlightenment and the rise of commercial society. Instead of merely focusing on well-known authors, we will identify influencers in a data-driven way; these can also be printers or publishers.

RiCEP works closely with the HPC-HD project: this project uses High Performance Computing to detect discourses from large historical corpora of the eighteenth century (e.g., books, pamphlets, newspapers), and studies the interconnections and evolution of the detected discourses.