Recent News

WEME project lead, Kirsten C. Uszkalo has recently been featured on television as an expert of early English prophetical witch, Mother Shipton. You can find the full television program, produced by Ruby Tree Films and shown on Vision TV here

Scholars of the early modern can now find us alongside the other excellent resources at the Connected Histories Project. Many thanks to Michael Pidd and Jane Winters for facilitating this important collaboration.

You can find the connected WEME here

I am pleased to mention that WEME has been getting crtical interest. See WEME mentioned at:

Tim Bryson. "Witches, prosopography, and network analysis" Digital Librarian Inititative. March 25, 2012

Darin Haton. "Witchcraft and Digital Humanities" February 26th, 2012

Rebecca Welzenbach. "On Witches." EEBO-TCP. October 28, 2011

Aaron McCollough "Bedfellows in Mass Digital Conversion: Ten Years of Text Creation Partnership(s)" New Knowledge Environments 1:1 (2009).

For Immediate Release

Date: October 10, 2011

Contact: Katherine Walter, co-Director CDRH, (402) 472-3939 or

Kirsten C. Uszkalo, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University, selected as a finalist in the Nebraska Digital Workshop; Professor Susan Brown joins Workshop faculty.

--Lincoln, Nebraska, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, October 10, 2011.

Kirsten C. Uszkalo, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Simon Fraser University, has been selected as a finalist in the sixth annual Nebraska Digital Workshop, sponsored by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (CDRH) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.  Her topic is titled: The Witches of Early Modern England (WEME) Project.

The goal of the Workshop is to enable the best early-career scholars (pre-tenure faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and advanced graduate students) in the field of digital humanities to present their work in a forum where it can be critically evaluated, improved, and showcased.

Applicants from institutions throughout North America and Europe competed for the Workshop.  Only three scholars were selected to present their work in digital humanities. 

Other finalists are:

Jentery Sayers, University of Victoria, How Text Lost Its Source: Magnetic Recording Cultures.

Colin Wilder, Brown University, Republics of Literatures: Considerations on How to Construct a Database with People and Texts in the German Enlightenment and Beyond

Under the auspices of the CDRH faculty and staff, the Nebraska Digital Workshop endeavors to foster a network of digital scholars who will come together across disciplinary boundaries to advance humanities computing.  For information about the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, see

The Workshop has invited two nationally-recognized scholars in digital humanities to participate and work with the scholars whose work is selected for presentation.  In 2011, the two digital humanists who have been invited to participate on the faculty of the Workshop are:

  • Susan Brown, Professor of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.  Professor Brown is a founding member of Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles, a project on Victorian women’s literature of the British Isles, available through Cambridge University Press, and leads the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory at the University of Alberta.
  • William G. Thomas, III, is the John and Catherine Angle Professor in the Humanities and Chair of the History Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Thomas leads a major digital project titled Railroads and the Making of Modern America, is the recipient of a Digging Into Data grant, and his book, The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America, was recently published by the Yale University Press.

The WEME project is pleased to announce it has just entered the 2050 person into our database, making this now the largest prosopography of early English witches online today. For more information on some of the 431 witches, 570 victims, and 130 examiners, as well as all those involved in witching, unwitching, watching, diagnosing, fretting, and accusing, please visit Throwing Bones / Reading Leaves. A quick breakdown of persons by type can be located at Brimstone.

Kirsten C. Uszkalo, the PI of the project, would like to take a moment on this auspious occasion to thank her excellent team, including Maica Murphy, Lauren Johnstone, Seyed Mir Taheri, Amy Drybye, and Colette Leung, for their ongoing efforts in making the Witches in Early Modern England such a rich and expansive scholarly resource.

Thanks Team!

Kirsten C. Uszkalo, lead of the WEME project, has recently returned from the 2011 Congress in Fredricton, New Brunswick, where she presented several of the new findings of the WEME project at the SDH/SEMI conference, to a very very positive crowd. Congress was a busy time for the other projects affiliated with WEME. Uszkalo presented at the CSRS conference, speaking on the medicalizaion of maleficium, part of the ongoing investigation into the role of physicians in witchcraft cases done as part of the WEME project.

In order to optimize the speed, functionality, and security of the WEME project resources, WEME has entered into a collaboration with Dr. Guy-Vincent Jourdan and his Software Security Research Group (University of Ottawa). The Software Security Research Group consists of students and faculty at SITE, University Of Ottawa collaborating with IBM for research related to software security. Their current main focus includes research on the latest security attacks/vulnerabilities as well as their implications with regard to rich internet applications. Jourdan and his team have chosen to work with the WEME project's online resources because their structure and intensive usage of Ajax makes them an ideal benchmark to evaluate and compare Ajax crawling engines.

We are pleased to announce that the Witches in Early Modern England project has just recorded its 1313th event! This auspicious number represents another small milestone in the continued creation of this posopography of early English withes, a tapestry which, in its detail, is beginning to trace out alternate representations of what witchcraft was and what made a witch. Many thanks to Lauren Johnstone, Maica Murphy, and Seyed Mir Taheri for their continued work on the project.


We are pleased to note that we have a preliminary tutorial up for the WEME project. Please do have a look and let us know if we can be of more assistance in helping you discover the WEME project.

WEME talk and Witch Tools Browser Preview

WEME was very pleased to be invited to present a panel at this year's PNRC in Victoria. Lauren Johnstone, Seyed MirTaheri, and Kirsten C. Uszkalo were the representative WEME crew in attendance. Johnstone explained the practical how and the scholarly why of the data assertions, Mir Taheri explained the inner workings of the workings of the WEME system, and Uszkalo bracketed their talks with a history  and philosophy of the project a demonstration of the resources available through WEME, including the prototype for the Witch Tools Browser which encourages concurrent use of all of the WEME resources.

We would like to thank Erin Kelly for her invitation to participate in the 2010 PNRC. 

We are pleased to announce that the Throwing Bones protoype can now be found on the website. Although this visualization tool is still under construction, it can now be accessed for testing. Please try it out and let us know what interpretations and predictions you can come up with when you throw bones!

The Searching Witches function, created by Amit Kumar from GSLIS at UIUC is now live. This function let users key word and proximity search the WEME corpus. If users are on their university network, and their university if a TCP partner, it will also take them directly to the text referenced, providing a custom witch text search engine. Many thanks to John Unsworth and Amit Kumar for thier support in this work.

WEME is proud to note that quickly following the release of the first live database, the Mapping Witches Wet Alpha Prototype Visualization is up. The Visualization allows user to see witches over space and time. We are very grateful to Seyed Mir Taheri (UBC) for his excellent work on getting this map functioning. As with everything on the WEME site, the map is a work-in- progress, and as such, should be used with pleasure and with caution. Please contact us to let us know if you find any bugs during your testing.

and...many thanks to Darren James Harkness for the jazzy tweaks to the look of the WEME webpages.

The WEME team is pleased to welcome Maïca Murphy to the WEME project. Maïca comes to us from University of Alberta's English Department, where she is completing her MA. Maïca will be writing the discourses of the database. To do this she will be making sure the assertions are formatted, she will be making sure the locations are normalized in the assertions, proofing, copy editing, double checking, and helping Lauren with interpretation and entry. She will create a style current and future WEMEains will follow.  We are all delighted to welcome her to the team.

With great thanks to Lauren, Trevor, and Seyed, we have pushed the WEME database online. The WEME-DB is part back-end to the mapping tool, part prosopography, and part spreedsheet. What you see online is the developmental version, and as such should not be considered stable, proofed, or concise. Use with pleasure and caution.

WEME is pleased to welcome Seyed Mir Taheri to the team. Seyed comes to us from UBC's Department of Computer Science. Seyed will be the new lead programmer on the WEME project, working with Kamal Ranaweera and Kirsten C. Uszkalo to get the various programming needs for the project done.

All site content copyright © Uszkalo except where noted. Images courtesy of the Wellcome Collection.