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'Six Degrees of Francis Bacon'

Georgetown University reported Monday that "Six Degrees of Francis Bacon, which recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), is a digital project established by Georgetown and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) that recreates the British early modern social network."

Daniel Shore, a Georgetown English professor along with Christopher Warren and Jessica Otis at CMU have mapped the network by mining 62 million words in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

"Like Facebook, you enter a name such as William Shakespeare in a space on the website and up pops that person and all his or her “friends.”

But since this is serious scholarship, there are no selfies or videos of kittens attacking balls of yarn."

“Six Degrees is, naturally, aimed at academics, scholars of the literature and historians of the period,” Shore says, “but also we have quite a few of what we call citizen scholars, who are, for example, interested in the court of Henry VIII and are able to take advantage of our site and contribute knowledge.”

The site is already being used in classrooms at both universities.

Read more here.