Brian Pytlik Zillig is Professor and Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.
Brian has been involved in digital humanities for more than a decade, working on numerous projects, including the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online and the Walt Whitman Archive, and many others. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
For the Metadata Offer New Knowledge (MONK) Project, he created (with Stephen Ramsay, Martin Mueller) a command-line file conversion application, Abbot, which transforms variant TEI/XML texts into a common interoperable format called TEI-Analytics. As principal investigator for the Mellon-funded Abbot (2.0) Project, he provided project management and XSLT programming experience, as well as the skills and perspective of a professional academic librarian. His professional activities involve programming, prototype development, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), data animation, algorithmic XSLT code generation, and XML transformation.
He served as co-manager of the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities), and developed the first XML search and the XSLT stylesheets for that project. He created the XSLT stylesheets for various Walt Whitman Archive projects, including the American editions of Leaves of Grass, Horace Traubel's With Walt Whitman in Camden, and the Whitman periodicals project.
His most recent work has been to build a moviemaker application that creates movies of text analysis findings drawn from TEI text corpora. Individual frames from this work were printed onto fabric for the 2012 UNL Biennial Runway show, "The Power of Fashion." Twenty "text analysis" garments were created and featured before a sold-out audience. The runway show also featured his six-minute video "Attired in Beauty," which was created with his software. That video sought to explore and present new ways—-using color, motion, and opacity—-to represent word sequences drawn from texts provided by the Willa Cather Archive and the Walt Whitman Archive.
Brian is the creator of TokenX. TokenX is designed to provide an easy-to-use interface for text analysis and visualization. TokenX includes:
- Text highlighting based on patterns in words
- Showing keywords in context
- Replacing words with blocks
- Word concordances sorted alphabetically or by frequency
- Word usage statistics
- Word substitution
- User-selected replacement of words with images
- Creative exploration of texts
TokenX was licensed by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and made public in the fall of 2005.
Brian's current research is centered on text analysis, visualization of XML data, and scalable vector graphics. He lives in Lincoln with his wife, two children, a dog, and a collection of IBM Thinkpads.
- Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2013) Logging the Abbot: Reflection‐Oriented XSLT Programming for Corpora Conversion and Verification. Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative, (March).
- Lorang, E., Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2012). Electronic Text Analysis and Nineteenth-Century Newspapers: TokenX and the Richmond Daily Dispatch. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 54(3), 303-323.
- Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2011). TEI Texts that Play Nicely: Lessons from the MONK Project. Journal of the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science, 1(3), https://letterpress.uchicago.edu/index.php/jdhcs/article/view/81
- Bernholz, C., Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2011). Comparing nearly identical treaty texts: a note on the Treaty of Fort Laramie with Sioux, etc., 1851 and Levenshtein's edit distance metric. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 26(1), 5-16.
- Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2009). TEI Analytics: converting documents into a TEI format for cross-collection text analysis. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 24(2), 187-192.
- Bernholz, C., Pytlik Zillig, B. L., Anderson, C.G. (2008). The Words You Brought Us: Digital Lexicon of the Recognized American Indian Treaties. Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services, 32, 104-106.
- Bernholz, C., Pytlik Zillig, B. L., Weakly, L., Bajaber, Z. (2006). The Last Few American Indian Treaties. An Extension of the Charles J. Kappler Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties Internet Site at the Oklahoma State University, Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services, 30, 47-54.
- Barney, B., Ducey, M. E., Jewell, A., Price, K., Pytlik Zillig, B. L., Walter, K. L. (2005). Ordering Chaos: An Integrated Finding Aid and Online Archive of Walt Whitman's Poetry Manuscripts. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 20(2), 205-217.
- Leon, L., DeWeese, J., Kochan, C., Peterson-Lugo, B., Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2003). Enhanced Resource Sharing Through Group Interlibrary Loan Best Practices: A Conceptual, Structural, and Procedural Approach. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 3(3), 419-430.
- Tyler, D., Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2003). Caveat Relocator: A Practical Relocation Proposal to Save Space and Promote Electronic Resources. Technical Services Quarterly, 21(1), 17-29.
- Jewell, A., Pytlik Zillig, B. L. (2010). Counted Out at Last: Text Analysis on the Willa Cather Archive. In Amy Earhart, Andrew Jewell (Eds.), The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age, pp. 169-205. University of Michigan Press.