Honorary members

Jean Anderson

Treasurer 1998-2008

Jean Anderson was an active executive member of the ALLC Committee of Management for ten years. As well as looking after the accounts Jean took part in conference organisation and programme work.

She works as a Resource Development Officer for the School of English and Scottish Language and Literature and the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute at the University of Glasgow. She lectures in Literary and Linguistic Computing and in Humanities Computing and supports the creation of digital resources for the humanities. Jean was co-director of the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech project, and is now Principal Investigator for ENROLLER, a JISC-funded humanities and e-Science collaboration to create an enhanced repository of Scottish and English resources for research.

After graduating in Philosophy and Linguistics in 1983, Jean took a postgraduate course in Computing Science and worked for four years in commerce and local government as a systems analyst and programmer. In 1987 she found her home in literary and linguistic computing in Glasgow as programmer and then director of the STELLA Project (Software for Teaching English and Scottish Language and Literature). STELLA was one of the early Computers in Teaching Initiative projects in the UK. It produced computer-based teaching packages and advice on the integration of computing in teaching and research.

Jean was also a member of the Standing Committee for the UK Digital Resources in the Humanities and Arts conferences from 1997 to 2007 and was Chair of that Committee from 2004 to 2007. For contact details and publications see her home page ( http://www.gla.ac.uk/stella/staff/jeananderson/).

Father Busa (1913-2011)

Founder of Literary and Linguistic Computing


Roberto Busa was born in Vicenza on November 28th 1913. He was the second of the five children of Carlo, an officer of FF. SS. [the Italian National Railways], and Silvia Prior. He attended primary school in Bolzano and grammar school first in Verona, at the Institute "Scipione Maffei", and then in Belluno, at the Institute "Tiziano Vecellio". From 1928, in the Episcopal Seminary of Belluno, he attended high school and took the first two-year course of Theology with Albino Luciani, later elected Pope under the name Giovanni Paolo I. On September 11th 1933 he joined the "Compagnia di Gesü", where he got a diploma in Philosophy in 1937 and one in Theology in 1941 and where he was ordained priest on May 30th 1940. From 1940 till 1943 he was an auxiliary army chaplain in the National Army and later in the partisan forces. In 1946 he graduated in Philosophy at the Papal Gregorian University of Rome with a degree thesis entitled "The Thomistical Terminology of Interiority", which was published in 1949. He was full professor of Ontology, Theodicy and Scientific Methodology and, for some years, a librarian in the Faculty of Philosophy "Aloisianum" of Gallarate. In 1946 he planned the Index Thomisticus. In 1949 he started some experiments in linguistic automation at the New York and Milan head offices of IBM, where he was assured of the assistance of Mr Paul Tasman from New York. The "Centro Automazione Analisi Linguistica" (CAAL), the "Comitato Promotore" and the "Collegio d'Iniziativa" were founded in order to administer the information which came out of this. The operations were carried out in Gallarate and in Milan until 1967, in Pisa till 1969, in Boulder (Colorado) till 1971 and, for the next nine years, in Venice, where, from 1974 till 1980, the photocomposition of the 70,000 pages forming the 56 encyclopaedic volumes of the Index Thomisticus was accomplished using IBM computers. The stages of the international promotion of the methods followed are marked by the 110 conferences which Father Busa took part in actively in a period of forty years in three continents. In 1983 the new "Associazione per la Computerizzazione delle Analisi Ermeneutiche e Lessicologiche" (CAEL), which has its seat inside the Faculty of Philosophy "Aloisianum" of Gallarate, succeeded the CAAL. At the University of the Sacred Heart of Milan Father Busa founded the "Gruppo Interdisciplinare per le Ricerche della Computerizzazione dei Segni dell'Espressione" (GIRCSE), taught seminars on Thomistical Lexicography and Lexicology and currently teaches Linguistic Information Science. He also teaches Computer Analysis of Texts and Thomistical Hermeneutics at the Papal Gregorian University of Rome. He died on August 9, 2011.

Tom Corns


Email: els009[at]bangor.ac.uk

Thomas N. Corns was educated at Brasenose and University Colleges, Oxford, and the Maximilianeum Foundation, Munich. His doctoral work was a computer-aided study of Milton's prose style. Principal publications include The Development of Milton's Prose Style (1982), Milton's Language (1990), Uncloistered Virtue: English Political Literature, 1640-1660 (1992), Regaining Paradise Lost (1994), Milton: The Prose Works (1998). He is currently lead researcher on a major AHRB-funded project to examine aspects of De Doctrina Christiana, attributed to John Milton. He was for many years honorary secretary of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing. He is professor of English and head of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Wales, Bangor.

John Dawson

Secretary 1978-83

Editor of the ALLC Bulletin 1978

Email: jld1[at]cam.ac.uk

John Dawson was a founder member of the ALLC, a Committee member 1976-1978, and Secretary 1978-1983. He edited the ALLC Bulletin during 1978.

He has run the Literary and Linguistic Computing Centre at Cambridge University since 1974, and is author of numerous articles on humanities computing subjects.

He is co-editor of A Concordance to John Gower's 'Confessio Amantis'; Concordance des œuvres de François Rabelais; AConcordance to the Complete Poems and Plays of T. S. Eliot; Facsimile, Transcription, and Concordance of The Hague MS 128 E 2, with Finding Lists; Concordance to 'Erotokritos', with Finding Lists; and History of the Origin and Progress of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames, vol. IV.

Gordon Dixon

Editor, Literary and Linguistic Computing 1986-1997

Editor, ALLC Bulletin 1983-1986

Susan Hockey

Chair 1994-1997

Editor of the ALLC Bulletin, 1979-82

Committee Member, 1974-84

Email: s.hockey[at]ucl.ac.uk

Susan Hockey has been an active member of the ALLC since its foundation, as a Committee member, Editor of the ALLC Bulletin, and as Chair from 1984-97, when she oversaw the startup of Literary and Linguistic Computing with Oxford University Press. She is the author of Electronic Texts in the Humanities: Principles and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2000), SNOBOL Programming for the Humanities (Oxford University Press, 1996) and A Guide to Computer Applications in the Humanities (Duckworth, 1980) and as well as numerous articles on text analysis computing, encoding issues and digital libraries for the humanities. She is Emeritus Professor of Library and Information Studies (SLAIS) at University College London (UCL), having retired from the Directorship of SLAIS in summer 2004. Her research at UCL concentrated on the intersection of humanities computing and digital libraries and archives including LEADERS (Linking EAD to Electronically Retrievable Sources) for which she was Project Director. Prior to joining UCL in 2000, she was a Full Professor in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, and a co-investigator on the Orlando Project. From 1991-97 she was the first Director of the Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities at Rutgers and Princeton Universities, where together with Willard McCarty, she founded the CETH Summer Seminar on Methods and Tools for Electronic Texts in the Humanities. She spent 1975-1991 at Oxford University Computing Services where her responsibilities included teaching computing in the humanities, the development of the Oxford Concordance Program (OCP), and serving as Director of the Computers in Teaching Initiative for Textual Studies and the Office for Humanities Communication (OHC). She was one of the two ALLC Representatives on the Steering Committee of the Text Encoding Initiative, 1987-99.

John Roper

Committee member 1986-1994

Treasurer 1988-1994

Honorary Membership ALLC 1995

Email: j.roper[at]uea.ac.uk

ohn Roper has been associated with ALLC since the late 1970s. He was educated at the universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne. After an introduction to such early computers as Edsac, Pegasus and Atlas in the early 1960s, his main professional interest was in the development of general computing services in a university environment and was, until his retirement, Director of the Computing Centre at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Despite a natural aversion to mathematical rigour within the humanist culture, he worked to demonstrate the possibilities of the rapidly developing computing techniques to an audience, which although initially sceptical later became enthusiastic. ALLC was the obvious vehicle for such work owing to its international membership.

He was a committee member from 1986-1994 and Treasurer from 1988-1994. During that time he oversaw the takeover by the Oxford University Press of the day-to-day management of membership subscriptions at a time of appreciable increase in membership of ALLC.

Harold Short

Chair (1997-2010)

Harold Short was chair of EADH for thirteen years and he was one of the prime movers for the creation of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, where he continues to serve as a member of the Admissions Committee.

Harold a background in the Humanities and in Mathematics, Computing and Systems. At King’s College, he was Director and Head of the Department of Digital Humanities (formerly Centre for Computing in the Humanities) until his retirement in September 2010. During this time, he was involved in the development of three MA programmes in the Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities, Digital Culture and Society and Digital Asset Management. He worked with Willard McCarty and other colleagues in developing the world’s first PhD programme in Digital Humanities, launched in 2005.

At King’s he also played a major role in a number of large-scale inter-disciplinary research projects, and his continuing research focus is on the collaborative space at the discipline boundaries. He is also keenly interested in the institutional structures to support such collaborations, and in the development of a truly global community of digital humanities scholars and activities.

Joan Smith

Co-Founder of the ALLC

Secretary 1973-78

Chair 1978-84

Editor of the ALLC Bulletin 1973-77

Born in London on 19 April 1933, Joan’s work with computers dates from the mid-1950s at Avro’s where the Ferranti Mk1* was used for scientific applications, including those for the Vulcan aircraft. In 1970 she joined the staff of the University of Manchester Regional Computer Centre (UMRCC), and promoted the use of computers for language processing. This led to her co-founding the ALLC, becoming its first Secretary and Editor of the ALLC Bulletin, of which copies were sent to members in many different countries, mainly in Europe but also in Hong Kong, China, the United States, and Canada, for example. Annual conferences were held abroad as the concept was taken up by scholars worldwide; the ALLC also provided a central point for communication for pioneers already working in the field, scholars in Italy, The Netherlands, Israel, and Germany hosting conferences. She co-edited the Proceedings of the ALLC conference held in Birmingham. Joan became ALLC Chair in 1978, and was appointed an Honorary Member in 1984. During this period she wrote many reports and papers on the subject; she was a corresponding editor for Computers and the Humanities and a founder member of the Executive Council of the ACH (1979-81).

She had joined the staff at the National Computing Centre (NCC) in 1983, where she concentrated her efforts on the development of standards for structured information processing, notably leading UK input to the international (ISO) standard for the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), ensuring that work on the standard for character sets and information coding was taken into account so SGML could be applied for all languages worldwide. She authored several books and numerous papers on the subject, and set up an international organization known as the SGML Users’ Group, and later the CALS in Europe Special Interest Group for defence applications. She gave presentations in Europe, the United States, and Australia, especially on defence requirements. Following publication of the standard (ISO 8879), she became chairman of SGML Technologies Limited, a European group of companies, a key application of the group being the budget of the European Communities, allowing for all the diverse languages of its constituent members.

In 1998 she became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT), of which she was later a Liveryman and a member of Court. She was its Honorary Archivist and Honorary Historian, and authored History of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, 1985-2006, and A History of the Information Technologists’ Hall. (A copy of the former was presented to Prince Edward at the banquet celebrating the granting of the Royal Charter to the Company.)

More recently she wrote an account of The Role of FJ Hooper in Scott’s Expedition to the South Pole, published to celebrate the sailing of the Terra Nova from London on 1 June 2010. Working with Sefton Council she was instrumental in the provision of a blue plaque to commemorate Hooper in Southport, which was unveiled on 17 January 2012, the centenary of Scott’s party reaching the South Pole.

She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS), a Chartered Information Technologies Professional (CITP), a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD), and Profesor Honorario of the Escuela Polytecnica Superior del Ejercito in Madrid. A Freeman of the City of London, and a Member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London, she is also a Liveryman of the WCIT.

Roy Wisbey

Co-Founder of the ALLC

Chair 1973-1978

Honorary Membership ALLC 1979

First President 1980-83

b. 13 June 1929. MA (Cantab.), Dr Phil. (Frankfurt am Main), Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge 1959-71, Fellow of King's College London (KCL) since 1985. Holder of the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz erster Klasse) 1987, and the Großes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich (1988).

Lecturer in the universities of Durham (1956-58) and Cambridge (1958-71), then Professor and Head of the Department of German at King's College London (1971-1994). Dean of the Faculty of Arts, 1977-79, and again in 1980. At King's, his initiatives outside computing included: the establishment and continuation of the Medieval German Study Group (1972-1992), addressed over the years by most of the leading international scholars in the field; co-founder of the annual, national German Students' Drama Week (co-organizer from 1981-86; founder-chairman of the Organizing Committee, 1984-1991); co-founder, in 1987, of the Language and Communication Centre, KCL, after years of preparatory work as Chairman of the exploratory committee; founding director from 1989-94 of the interdisciplinary Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies. This organizes specialist lectures, research colloquia and international conferences, coupled with a publications series entitled King's College London Medieval Studies. From October 1985 to September 1989, he was Hon. Director of the Institute of Germanic Studies, University of London. His tenure began with a full-scale peer review (which led to UGC special-factor funding of the Institute) and ended with the 1989 Research Selectivity exercise and the founding of ULIAS (the University of London Institutes of Advanced Study). In addition to maintaining the Institute's traditional programme of lectures, colloquia and symposia, he inaugurated in 1987 a National Postgraduate Colloquium, which has since been a regular twice-yearly event (the 32nd colloquium was scheduled for November 2002).

His principal field of research has been that of medieval German literature, beginning with a thesis on the legend of Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages (Frankfurt am Main, 1956), followed by articles and collective works, above all on Middle High German literature from 1170-1230: Gottfried von Straßburg, Tristan, Hartmann von Aue, Wolfram von Eschenbach Parzival, Walther von der Vogelweide. The compilation of twelfth-century word material led in 1960 to his initial work in humanities computing, following the example of Roberto Busa, and to attendance that autumn at the Tübingen colloquium on the mechanization of literary analysis and lexicography. The same year saw his proposals for the Literary and Linguistic Computing Centre (final name) at the University of Cambridge, inaugurated in 1964, and directed by him until 1971. The digital archive of medieval literary texts he established there provided fifteen of the twenty volumes of electronic texts published in 1990 by Manfred Thaller (Göttingen). Work on these texts had led from the sixties to numerous articles (the earliest 1962), as well as several concordance and index volumes, to the Wiener Genesis (1967) and other biblical epics, to the Vorau and Straßburg Alexander poems, and to the Rolandslied (1969). Some of these were published in the series COMPENDIA (Computer Generated Aids to Literary and Linguistic Research; 13 vols, 1968-1991) which he founded and edited. From the international symposium on 'The Computer in Literary and Linguistic Research' which he organized at the LLCC in March 1970 (published by C.U.P., 1971) there is a direct link to the present conference series of the ALLC/ACH and to the foundation of the ALLC in 1973. He was Visiting Professor in Computing Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the summer of 1967. During his years at KCL, his advocacy and popularization of the new methods by courses, meetings and workshops contributed much to the climate in which humanities computing could become one of the main focuses of the KCL Computing Centre itself. He was co-founder and, until ca. 1988, co-organizer (with colleagues from Westfield) of the intercollegiate Seminar on Humanities Computing. He has given innumerable lectures on humanities computing, above all in this country, but also in Europe, the United States, and Southern Africa.

In addition to the above, he served from 1963-2001 as Hon. Treasurer of the Modern Humanities Research Association (since 1997 a charitable company limited by guarantee), with financial responsibility for a growing number of periodicals and bibliographies (the Modern Language Review, theAnnual Bibliography of English Language and Literature, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, the Yearbook of English Studies, the Slavonic and East European Review, Portuguese Studies, and three book series (Publications of the MHRA, MHRA Texts and Dissertations, and MHRA Bibliographies). With his participation, the periodicals, and the Annual Bibliography, are now available online as well as in print. A number of the MHRA's annual Research Associateships, one of many initiatives made possible by strong financial reserves, have been awarded to projects involving humanities computing. Honorary Life Member MHRA 1984; President 2003.