Roger Stritmatter, PhD is working with Buffalo State University’s CEDAR Forensic Handwriting division and with Carole Chaski, PhD — executive director of the Institite for Linguistic Evidence (ILE) — to determine the author of an 1846 document known as the Hydrachos Manuscript using ALIAS Technology linguistic-analysis software to determine document authorship. The single-page Hydrachos Manuscript contains several drawings and news commentary that may be an unknown work of nineteenth-century, Shakespeare-authorship doubter Herman Melville. An October 19 press release from ILE, available at Stritmatter’s Shake-speare’s Bible Internet site, says:
This collaboration between the Institute for Linguistic Evidence and Dr. Stritmatter will be the first time that author identification methods developed for the forensic setting, having repeatedly met legal standards for admissible scientific evidence, will be applied to a literary puzzle. This particular document is perfect for this new collaboration because it is brief, just like the typical threat letter or suicide note or nasty letter to the SEC.
Stritmatter said this type of scientific, forensic analysis may be applicable to the Shakespeare authorship question:
Dr. Chaski and I intend to develop a long term collaboration to apply ALIAS software to the examination of several pseudonymous or contested early modern texts. Some of
these — such as the prefatory materials of the Shakespeare first folio, which are signed by “John Heminges” and “Henry Condell” but have often been attributed to Ben Jonson — have direct bearing on the authorship question. We look forward to applying the sophisticated forensic linguistics of ALIAS technologies to such historical and literary questions.