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James Cummings

Senior Academic Research Technology Specialist
James Cummings


Dr James Cummings is the Senior Academic Research Technology Specialist for the IT Services of the University of Oxford. He helps academics from the Humanities and Social Sciences plan research projects with digital aspects, and is the department's liaison for Digital Humanities at Oxford activities. James is the founding director of the annual week-long Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School. James often acts as a liaison between developers and researchers, sometimes taking on principal investigator or project management aspects of digital humanities projects. He still does some active coding and development on workpackages related to XML, markup, schemas and digital editions.

From 2005 has been an elected member to the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium's Technical Council, and was its Chair for a number of years. This develops new features and fixes bugs in the TEI Guidelines for encoding digital text, and undertakes other activities related to supporting this standard. James has a great deal of experience in teaching digital publishing concepts and XML-related technologies.

James completed a PhD in medieval drama from the University of Leeds, an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of Leeds, and a BA in Medieval Studies from the University of TorontoHis PhD investigates the archival survival of information concerning the performance of drama in medieval culture. It involved a significant amount of archival transcription.

In addition to the archival survival of information about early performance, the relationship of medieval manuscripts to their digital surrogates is one of his interests. From 2009-2012 he was the elected director of the executive board of the Digital Medievalist project which he'd been an elected member of since 2004. This project encourages best practice in the creation of digital resources for medieval studies, runs an open access journal, mailing list and other activities.


For research projects, see either his blog or the Digital Humanities at Oxford Site.