The project consisted of exploring pre-existing categories and contents belonging to works related to travels made in Portugal, written by Anglophone explorers during the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.
Exploring Portugal through their lens, being able to discover what fascinated them at the time, and which geographical points they travelled to was quite interesting.
Most of the data was collected into two databases, which I extensively worked with and researched on. Learning how to work with the information collected from these works throughout several decades turned into one of my longest, yet most rewarding projects I have ever contributed towards.
With the help of my advisor, Luciano Moreira, I learnt how to work with the databases in “R” programming, creating interactive maps of Portugal and the world, so that we could visualize and trace the most sought travel routes used by those anglophone travellers between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.
If someone would have told me before I started at CETAPS that I would one day be able to apply programming onto projects related to literature, I would have thought that the idea was funny, but now I understand how useful it can be.
By embarking on this project, I gained a deeper understanding of Digital Humanities, learning new concepts and discovering very compelling debates about topics within social sciences. I was also able to work with impeccable colleagues, each with their own fascinating and engaging backgrounds. Although my official position within the Digital Lab was as a collaborator, I felt very integrated in the group, and I hope I will still be of help, whenever I am needed.
This time has also helped me decide what it is I actually want to do in the future, as I was unsure if I wanted to either pursue a Masters in Literature, or try something outside of my comfort zone. I am very glad to say I ended up going with my second option, as I decided that in a society that is becoming more and more “digital”, my interests lie within how communication will be affected by this.
For these reasons, I decided to enroll (and ended up being accepted) into a Master’s programme in Communication, Culture and Technologies of Information at the ISCTE University (University Institute of Lisbon), which will begin in September (https://www.iscte-iul.pt/course/13/master-msc-in-communication-culture-and-information-technology ).
Even though departures are sad, I am grateful I had this time to evolve academically, and that I was able to work in a challenging and excellent environment.