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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Pico Project

Collection Date: Dec. 18, 2008
Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Massimo Riva
  • Email:
  • Title: Professor of Italian Studies
  • Institution/Organization: Brown University
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor: Italian Studies

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name: Elli Mylonas
  • Email:
  • Title: Associate Director, CIS (Scholarly Technology Group)
  • Institution/Organization: Brown University

Notes on Methodology:

Please briefly describe the collection methods used (eg. "self report", "questionnaire", "ethnographic interview")

The Brown University Local Bamboo Group met and discussed various actual scenarios for research and scenarios. The participants in this discussion were two faculty members and 4 CIS staff members from the Academic Services Group.


The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this story apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes? A group of researchers
    (e.g. "just this scholar", "many people in the scholar's field of inquiry", "all academics", etc.)
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar? research in a collaborative context
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals? No
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated? Annotation facilities


Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

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2. Suggested keywords: Does this story contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:

4. Related Stories: Are there parts of the story that relate to other collected stories? Please provide title(s) and link to the story page. 


Please include the text, documents, media, or other material which comprise this story

Scenario: Pico della Mirandola is a 15th century Italian philosopher who wrote some important texts of renaissance humanism. His writings are difficult and written in Latin, and the circle of Pico scholars is relatively small; there may be 50 or 60 Pico scholars in the world. These scholars work on various aspects of Pico's work: translations, different sorts of commentaries, philosophical analysis, for example.

A group of Pico scholars at the University of Bologna and Brown University formed an online project in order to work on Pico's text collaboratively, and to create new translations and commentary. They put some of Pico's Latin texts online, and collaborated through the website and via email. There are several, successive versions of Pico editions, representing developing technology and technical skills. See [ ] and

A great deal of the interaction takes the form of locating and annotating a point in the text of Pico, in order to add either a translation, or a philosophical, grammatical or other annotation. Readers of the text can then read the text and view the annotations. This model is of most benefit either to scholars who are familiar with the text and want to read other's commentaries, or with scholars who are studying the text and are using the commentaries to understand it better. It is not as well suited to someone who is unfamiliar d with Renaissance humanist philosophy and cannot read Latin.

Recently a new group of Mexican Pico scholars joined the project, and have begun to use the annotation system to develope a translation into Spanish, which has never been done before.

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