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Lou Burnard : The Day Job

What a smoothie

I am currently Manager of the Humanities Computing Unit at Oxford University Computing Services. This unit brings together a range of Humanities Computing activities at Oxford, most notably:

The Unit currently has 22 full time staff, of which half are directly funded by the University, and the remainder are supported by a number of external grants.

Our local activities are monitored by a Committee for Computing in the Arts, reporting directly to the University's General Board.

These and other services have developed over the last twenty years at Oxford, under the leadership of my illustrious predecessors Marilyn Deegan (1990-95) and Susan Hockey (1976-1990);

Research Projects etc.

Works in progress

Nothing in digital form ever gets finished. But some of the things I have stopped rewriting recently are in my work-in-progress directory.

Where is he now?

I get around rather a lot, but I try to write reports on where I've been. If you'd like to read my totally unbiassed and scrupulously accurate accounts of places I've been recently, and not so recently, check out my Visit Reports pages.

Text Encoding Initiative

I was invited to join the ALLC-ACH-ACL Text Encoding Initiative project as its European Editor in 1989. For the next six years I worked on dozens of committees, gave workshops, wrote articles, and generally droned on about the usefulness of the ISO Standard Generalised Markup Language (SGML ) in general, and TEI in particular. Here's a selection of my published works on these topics:

Such merits as these works may have is due to the collaborative effort of many TEI hackers world wide, and in particular to my esteemed co-editor, Michael Sperberg-McQueen il miglior fabbro, as much as to efforts of my own.

my role model

British National Corpus

Everything you need to know about this, the biggest TEI conformant document yet created, containing over 100 million words of modern British English both spoken and written, is available from The BNC Web Site. You'll be pleased to learn that we are now distributing this unique resource worldwide, and for a mere fifty quid you could have a copy of it on your own laptop.

As well as the corpus itself, you'll find information here about SARA (SGML Aware Retrieval Application) a client-server tool for searching large SGML text bases, which I helped develop for the BNC. You can also found out about The BNC Handbook which is a tutorial introduction to using the BNC with SARA, which I wrote with Guy Aston, and which you should now buy immediately, from Edinburgh University Press.

And finally...

I started to write a mostly true autobiography but it got dull. I also have an immense (but even duller) personal bibliography.

Humanities Computing Heads
If you're at a loose end, you might also like this photo, taken at the ALLC-ACH Conference in Paris, April 1994. It shows Three or Four Heads of Humanities Computing. That's Harold Short on the right, Willard McCarty on the left, and Bugs and me in the middle.