Automated tools that pick up on so-called obvious information are easy to dismiss. We say – oh, it can’t tell us anything more than we already know. What we forget is that sometimes we’re looking for exactly this sort of information: stuff that is obvious… but that we don’t know yet.
Historians seem to use text in two ways, the first is to get an idea of what’s out there, the same way all researchers use the literature in their fields. The second is as evidence – what traces might have an event, personal characteristic, impression, or anything else, have left in textual records from around that time?