Collecting, analysing and visualising documents in the political domain

Update: We are happy to finally be able to catch up with Dr Tonelli’s talk online that was originally scheduled for March 2020 to take place in Belval.

Dr. Sara Tonellli, Head of Digital Humanities research group at FBK
1 Oct 2020 | 14:00 Online Lecture | Registrations welcome under following email address:


In this talk, I will present the main challenges in dealing with documents in the political domain, discussing how agreement and disagreement between two opponents can be automatically captured. The task is particularly challenging when data are not in dialogical format and when the goal is to understand the political position of two opponents starting from monological corpora. I will present the experiments carried out using machine learning and linguistically-motivated features on the documents of Kennedy and Nixon presidential campaign in 1960.

I will also introduce two projects dealing with Italian digital archives in the political domain: Alcide De Gasperi’s collection of public documents and the digital edition of his letters. I will describe the pipeline adopted, from digitalization to data exploration, the annotation of the corpus and some preliminary analyses of the content of the archives. I will also present the architecture created to transcribe the letters, perform quality control and publish them online on the project portal. Our analyses show how distant reading can complement close one by comparing the content of the two collections and providing new insights into De Gasperi’s life.

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