Mr Brian Aitken
- Research Officer (English Language & Linguistics)
I am the Digital Humanities Research Officer for the School of Critical Studies., and I’m responsible for developing, implementing and supporting the School’s extensive collection of digital resources, principally those developed through externally and internally funded research projects.
I am the website and database manager for The Historical Thesaurus of English and A Thesaurus of Old English, and I also developed the visualisations and interface for the Mapping Metaphor project. I was responsible for developing the online resource for the Dictionary of the Scots Language, the iOS and Android app for the Scots Schools Dictionary and for the redesigned versions of the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech and the Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing.
I am a technical advisor for the Survey of Scottish Place-Names and have developed the data structures and online interfaces for a number of place-name projects, such as the Place-names of Fife, the Scottish Words and Place-names project and the Recovering the Earliest English Language in Scotland project.
I have developed online resources for several projects within Scottish Literature, such as the website for the Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century project, which included a series of interactive historical maps of Burns’ walking tours, a site dedicated to choral settings of works by Burns, an interactive map of Edinburgh’s enlightenment, a digital edition of the radical late 18th century newspaper the Edinburgh Gazetteer, and the website and database of poems for The People’s Voice project.
I also serve as Resources Director for the STELLA project and have been responsible for creating iOS and Android apps from existing teaching materials, such as ARIES: Assisted Revision in English Style, The Basics of English Metre, English Grammar: An Introduction, Essentials of Old English, and Readings in Early English.
I created the technical infrastructure for the Digital Humanities Network and the Medical Humanities Network websites, developed the website and bibliographical database for the Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities project, and I created a digital edition of a Virginia Woolf short story for the New Modernist Editing project.
There are several ongoing projects that I am involved with, including the Scots Syntax Atlas, Linguistic DNA and Speech Across Dialects of English.
In addition to supporting current and legacy digital resources across the School, I am also available to advise any member of Critical Studies staff who is in the process of submitting bids for projects that feature a digital component.
An extensive list of the projects I have been involved with can be found on the Digital Humanities Network website, and I also write a weekly blog that discusses my ongoing work and has been online since 2012.