Case Studies

Recusancy in Reformation England

Susan M. Cogan

English Reformation Historiography

Matthew Milner

This case study examines the development of works on the English Reformation from the early twentieth century onwards using JSTOR’s Data for Research API. Its objective is to first compile a list of texts discussing and analysing the English Reformation, their authors, and dates of publication. Secondly, it will employ named entity recognition on the texts to extract individuals, places, and things mentioned in the texts, which will be imported into Nanohistory. Thirdly, it will explore the degree to which text-analysis tools might offer a way of topic modelling the texts, which can then be associated with keywords and Nanohistory’s built-in topic handling features.

For Nanohistory this case study aims to explore how historiographical themes and citations operate as a network, and ultimately how historians’ views of a large-scale event, such as the Reformation, might shift over a long period such as the twentieth century. More widely, it will act as the test case for thinking through the historiographical claims of Nanohistory as we hope to turn our attention towards automated event recognition. The ultimate objective is to allow scholars to extract events from texts, and see to what extent scholars of the English Reformation have presented or been preoccupied with the same events, or not.