Cultures of Knowledge Case Study

This Live Data case study is the result of a collaboration between the Live Data project team and Cultures of Knowledge to visualise a subset of 1695 biographical entries collected for Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) repository.

The visualisations were built by Martin Hadley, data scientist in the Academic IT Research Support team, using Shiny, RStudio’s interactive web application framework based on the programming language R. The visualizations were designed by the ‘Cultures of Knowledge’ Project Director Howard Hotson, Digital Project Manager Arno Bosse and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Robin Buning.

Cultures of Knowledge uses digital methods & interactive visualisations to reassemble & interpret the early modern correspondence network

These visualisations were built using R and Shiny, here's a basic overview of what Shiny is.

Dr. Arno Bosse approached the IDN to request their support in building an interactive visualisation of a subset of the Cultures of Knowledge letter correspondance network. We collaborated on two different views of the data, one Shiny app that shows the
entire network and another that allows the network to be explored by choosing to see the connections of user-selected individuals.

The visualisation makes use of the following charts:

  • Filterable graph network - useful for showing the overall connectivity of a dataset
  • Network graph of selected individuals - useful to explore a network from the viewpoint of a set of specified individuals

To replicate this interactive visualisation for yourself, refer to the IDN Shiny app template or else fork the actual code for the . You an also contact the IDN

Case Study Details

Department History

Arno Bosse (

Howard Hodson

Robin Buning

Division Humanities
Data Source TBD
Link(s) to code
Developer Martin Hadley (
List of site pages