Metadata Offer New Knowledge (MONK)

MONK is a digital environment designed to help humanities scholars discover and analyze patterns in the texts they study (see the table at the bottom of this page for detailed information on what is in the MONK datastore, and terms of availability). The MONK project has been generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, from 2007-2009, and InCommon integration has been supported in 2009 by the CIC Library Directors. All code produced by the project is open source. MONK has a publicly available instance with texts contributed by Indiana University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, and Martin Mueller at Northwestern University:

Other freely available products of this project include:

Access-restricted material (including EEBO, ECCO, and ProQuest 19th-Century Fiction) available to users from CIC institutions, provided under the InCommon authentication framework.

Information about the project is available here:

Reports, papers and articles about MONK:

"Library as virtual abbey." Robert Fox. OCLC Systems & Services. Volume 24, Issue 2, 2008. DOI:10.1108/10650750810875421

Visualizing Repetition in Text." Stan Ruecker, Milena Radzikowska, Piotr Michura, Carlos Fiorentino and Tanya Clement. CHWP A.46, publ. July 2008.

"Late Nights at the Scriptorium: Interim Results from the Interface Cell of the MONK Project." Sinclair, S., Macdonald, A., Bouchard, M., Plouffe, M., Giacometti, A., Kumar, A., Radzikowska, M., Ruecker, S., Michura, P., Fiorentino, C., Kirschenbaum, M. and Plaisant, C. Proceedings of the Canadian Digital Humanities Conference (2008)

"TEI-Analytics and the MONK Project." Martin Mueller. TEI Annual Members Meeting, 2008. Kings College, London.

"MONK project expands text analysis online literature archives." Sara Gilliam. The Scarlet, April 24, 2008. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"Dozens of Little Radio Stations: Getting Technologies Talking in the MONK Workbench." Andrew McDonald, Amit Kumar, Matt Bouchard, Alejandro Giacometti, Matt Patey, Milena Radzikowska, Piotr Michura, Carlos Fiorentino, Stan Ruecker, Catherine Plaisant, and Stefan Sinclair. 2008 Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science.

"'A thing not beginning and not ending': using digital tools to distant-read Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans." Tanya E. Clement. Literary and Linguistic Computing 2008 23(3):361-381; doi:10.1093/llc/fqn020

"Digital Shakespeare, or towards a literary informatics." Martin Mueller. Shakespeare, 1745-0926, Volume 4, Issue 3, 2008, pp 284-301.

"Using the Web as corpus for self-training text categorization." Rafael Guzman-Cabrera1, Manuel Montes-y-Gomez, Paolo Rosso and Luis Villasenor-Pineda. Information Retrieval Volume 12, Number 3 / June, 2009. DOI10.1007/s10791-008-9083-7.

"Text-Grid and MONK." Martin Mueller. DATA: Digitally Assisted Text Analysis, February 9, 2009.

"Have you heard of the MONK Project- for analyzing texts?" Writing Studies & the University Libraries, February 24, 2009.

"TEI Analytics: converting documents into a TEI format for cross-collection text analysis." Brian L. Pytlik Zillig. Literary and Linguistic Computing 2009 24(2):187-192; doi:10.1093/llc/fqp005

"What's Being Said Near "Martha"? Exploring Name Entities in Literary Text Collections," Vuillemot, R., Clement, T., Plaisant, C., Kumar, A., Proceedings of IEEE VAST, 2009

"The Story of One: Humanity scholarship with visualization and text analysis," Clement, T., Plaisant, C., Vuillemot, R. Proceedings of the Digital Humanities Conference (DH 2009).

"DH09 Tuesday, session 3: Use Cases Driving the Tool Development in the MONK Project" Digilib: The digital library blog at Boston University.

"Text-Mining and Humanities Research." John Unsworth . Microsoft Faculty Summit, July 2009. Redmond, Washington.

MONK Project Final Report to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, September 2, 2009.

Other Relevant Readings:

What's in MONK?









8.6 million


Early American Fiction



5.2 million





39.4 million

restricted until after 2015




34.2 million

restricted until after 2015

19th century fiction



39.4 million





0.9 million


Wright American Fiction 1850-75



23.5 million





151.5 million

If you have questions or comments about MONK, send them to Bugs in MONK software should be reported to

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