Archive for the 'Digital Humanities' Category

Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies Seminar 2013

By Simon Mahony, on 2 May 2013

Digital ClassicistThe programme for the Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies Seminar 2013 is now published (the abstracts will be added very soon). This year we will be recording video and so presentation slides, audio and video files will be available.

These seminars range far beyond an interest in the ancient world. Each paper must have an innovative digital component and incorporate Digital Humanities techniques and methodologies. The series seeks to accommodate broader theoretical considerations of the use of digital technology in Classical Studies. The content needs to be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, and to information specialists or digital humanists, and have an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of those fields.

All seminars are on Fridays at 16:30 at Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU and the programme flyer can be downloaded as a PDF.

All are welcome; these are public events with no need to book.

Digital Humanities Month at UCL

By Sarah Davenport, on 4 April 2013

April is Digital Humanities Month at UCL!  Along with the DH Project Starter Workshop and the event for UCL undergraduates, we are holding a series of talks. All are welcome and there will be a drinks reception after each talk. Please note that registration is required as places are limited.

Friday 12th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“Contexts, Toward Building the Social Edition”

Ray Siemens, University of Victoria

This talk explores, via narrative and example, research contexts toward the social scholarly edition, among them notions of Big Humanities and Humanities 2.0, the nature of impact in and beyond academic environments, and engaging extended community through work anchored in an academic research agenda.  A prime example will be the social edition of the Devonshire Manuscript (BL Add 17492)

Register here

Tuesday 16th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“The Gates of Hell: History and Definition of Digital | Humanities | Computing”

Edward Vanhoutte, Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies, Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature

The origins of the Digital Humanities dating back to the late 1940’s are quite well known, or so it seems. In The Gates of Hell, Edward Vanhoutte recounts the story of the use of computational techniques through history and frames its early history within the context of failure from the part of war technology. He will show how the use of the computer for electronic text analysis developed into Humanities Computing and how the schism with Computational Linguistics occurred. He will argue that these historical insights are important for our current thinking about where the Digital Humanities come from, what they are, and where they should head to. Vanhoutte will use Auguste Rodin’s sculpture La porte de l’Enfer or The Gates of Hell as a metaphor throughout the lecture.

Register here

Thursday 18th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“Exploring Enlightenment: Text Mining the 18th-Century Republic of Letters”

Glenn Roe, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford

The challenge of ‘Big Data’ in the Humanities has led in recent years to a host of innovative technological and algorithmic approaches to the growing digital human record. These techniques—from data mining to distant reading—can offer students and scholars new perspectives on the exploration and visualisation of increasingly intractable data sets in the human and social sciences; perspectives that would have previously been unimaginable. The danger, however, in these kinds of ‘macro-analyses’, is that scholars find themselves increasingly disconnected from the raw materials of their research, engaging with massive collections of texts in ways that are neither intuitive nor transparent, and that provide few opportunities to apply traditional modes of close reading to these new resources. In this talk, I will outline some of my previous work using data mining and machine learning techniques to explore large data sets drawn primarily from the French Enlightenment period. Building upon these past experiences, I will then present my current research project at Oxford, which uses sequence alignment algorithms to identify intertextual relationships between authors and texts in the 18th-century “Republic of Letters.” By reintroducing the notion of (inter)textuality into algorithmic and data-driven methods of macro-anlalysis we can perhaps bridge the gap between distant and close readings, by way of an intermediary mode of scholarship I term ‘directed’ or ‘scalable’ reading.

Register here

Wednesday 24th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“Public support for the UK Digital Humanities: looking back and forwards”

David Robey, Oxford e-Research Centre

The UK has swung in a few years from leading the world in its infrastructure for the Digital Humanities to providing almost nothing in this respect. This talk, by the former Director of the AHRC ICT in Arts and Humanities Research Programme, will discuss some of the reasons for this change, and the issues, needs and prospects for a Digital Humanities infrastructure in the future.

Register here

Digging Digital Humanities – blog post about recent visit to UCLDH

By Sarah Davenport, on 26 March 2013

Kim Martin from Digging Digital Humanities has written a blog post about her recent research visit to UCLDH. We’re glad to see our various mugs make such a prominent appearance!

Getting into Digital Humanities! A free afternoon workshop for UCL undergraduates, from UCLDH

By Sarah Davenport, on 13 March 2013

Wednesday 24th April 2013, 2.30-5pm

Digital Humanities is an exciting area of research and teaching that aims to use and develop computational methods for use in the humanities, culture and heritage. How can we best use internet technologies to benefit humanities scholars? What new tools and techniques can DH bring to humanities research? How can digital methods change the scope of the humanities in the 21st Century? Where would you even start to learn about this?

This free, half day workshop by UCL Centre for Digital Humanities will introduce the main aspects of Digital Humanities by leaders in the field, providing a hands-on guide to getting started with text analysis, Geographic Information Systems, Social Media Analysis, and more. The event is open to all interested undergraduates at UCL: please sign up at http://gettingintodh.eventbrite.co.uk. For more information about Digital Humanities, please see the UCLDH webpage at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dh/

Schedule

Torrington (1-19) 115 Galton LT
2.30-3.30pm: Introduction to Digital Humanities

Melissa Terras – Digitisation
Claire Warwick – Social Media and museums
Simon Mahony – Markup/document analysis in the Digital Humanities Oliver Duke-Williams – Mapping
David Beavan – Text analysis/corpus studies
3.30.4.00pm
Coffee and cake!

B29, Foster Court
4.00-5.00pm: Workshop

We will move to a cluster room where you will have the chance to choose an activity that you are interested in and would like to learn more about, and get some hands-on experience. You will be given a worksheet to go through and staff will be on hand to help and answer any questions you have.

Digital Humanities Project Starter Workshop

By Sarah Davenport, on 26 February 2013

Thursday 25 April & Friday 26 April 2013

Forms part of UCL’s Digital Humanities Month, April 2013, supported by the Grand Challenge of Cultural Interaction

– £5,000 project starter prize for the best cross-disciplinary digital humanities project

– Only 12-16 places are available

– Open to all disciplines across UCL. You don’t have to be a humanities researcher or a computer scientist to apply

– Apply by 9am, Monday, 25th March 2013

Who can pitch the best project, and win seed funding (£5,000) to undertake a new project at the juncture of computing and the humanities? This is your opportunity to spend one and a half days working in cross-disciplinary project groups to formulate research proposals which will be judged by an expert panel.

This innovative workshop, led by a professional facilitator, will aim to stimulate new thinking about digital humanities and to catalyse collaborations across UCL with researchers who work in disparate subject areas.

Please see the Intercultural Interaction website for further details and information on how to apply.

News about further Digital Humanities Month events to follow.  Watch this space!

QRator at the Museum of Brands

By Sarah Davenport, on 25 February 2013

QRator has now been rolled out to the Museum  of Brands, offering an interactive experience for visitors via the QRator iPads and the website.  Further details can be found on the QRator website.

'What people study when they study Twitter', a talk by Professor Shirley Williams, University of Reading

By Sarah Davenport, on 18 February 2013

Shirley Williams from the University of Reading will be visiting UCLDH to give a talk on Thursday 28th February, 5.30pm, room G31.  All are welcome and there will be a drinks reception in the Arts and Humanities Common room afterwards.

Registration is required for this event: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/5560547748

Abstract:

The microblogging system Twitter was introduced in 2006, and since then over a thousand academic papers have appeared across a range of journals and conferences reporting on studies of Twitter and its use. Twitter’s open interface means that researchers are able to collect vast quantities of data and we are seeing studies undertaken by large teams in which billions of tweets are collected and reviewed with the help of automated tools, alongside smaller studies undertaken by individual or small groups of researchers (Williams, Terras, & Warwick, in press). For example:

  • Dodds, Harris, Kloumann, Bliss, and Danforth (2011) in their paper “Temporal patterns of happiness and information in a global social network: Hedonometrics and Twitter” describe the collection of 46 billion words over 33 months, and their methodological approach which includes language assessment using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
  • Lindgren and Lundstrom (2011) in the paper “Pirate culture and hacktivist mobilization: The cultural and social protocols of #Wikileaks on Twitter” include  detailed study of 1029 tweets collected from 439 Twitter accounts over a two month period,  using the #Wikileaks hashtag, they include in their methodological approach the use of relational text analysis to produce a network from their text corpus describing the linguistic space.
  • Kierkegaard (2010) in her paper “Twitter thou doeth?” considers the potential litigation minefield related to Twitter,  citing cases with legal implications, the paper is not related to a collection of Twitter data.

In this presentation we identify the basic data used within Twitter studies, leading to  a categorization of the data set size. Additionally using open coded content analysis other important categories are also identified, relating to the primary methodology, domain and aspect of the study.

The Global Lab Podcast – digital humanities, augmented reality and museums

By Sarah Davenport, on 15 February 2013

Melissa Terras talks Digital Humanities on the latest episode of the Global Lab podcast: http://www.thegloballab.com

Social Interpretation – applying the principles of social media to relationships with cultural objects

By Sarah Davenport, on 8 February 2013

Claire Ross writes about the Social Interpretation project:

The Social Interpretation project was a one year Research and Development exercise joint funded by the NESTA / Arts Council / AHRC digital R&D Fund, and Imperial War Museums (IWM).  At its heart, it aimed to bring successful social interactions already found online and apply them across IWM’s collections – making social objects out of museums objects.  The aim being to increase spread and engagement of  IWM collections.

Museums’ objects have too often been seen as purely historical objects. They aren’t. Rather, they are social objects, inspiring emotional attachment, discussion, debate and action. This project is at the forefront of capturing and representing what audiences feel and say in response to our collections and subjects.

Social Interpretation aimed to holistically represent the discussions about, and sharing of, our objects by audiences. The intention was to do this seamlessly across all of the museums digital outputs (in-gallery, on-mobile and on-line). Making museums objects truly social.

The project essentially applied the models and insight found in social networks, and successful interactions online generally, and applying them wholesale to museum collections.

You can find out more about the project process at http://blogs.iwm.org.uk/social-interpretation/.

Or Read the final report from NESTA: http://www.artsdigitalrnd.org.uk/sites/default/files/case-study-documents/Digital_RandD_CaseStdy_SocialInterpretation.pdf

Or Watch a snazzy video.

Digital Partnership Event Summary

By Sarah Davenport, on 5 February 2013

Event date: 31 January 2013

Slides from the presentations are available here:

John Hindmarch’s Presentation

Jack Ashby’s Presentation

Matthew Cock’s Presentation

Jane MacDonald’s Presentation

Digital innovation and how museums and universities can partner to achieve this was the focus of this workshop. John Hindmarch, a PhD student at UCLDH, started the afternoon with his experience with the scanning of the recently decommissioned Shipping Gallery at the Science Museum. With museums being finite in display capacity, it is impossible to have every artefact on display forever. This raises the question about how we can preserve not only an exhibition, but also an experience? The Shipping Gallery was the largest gallery in the museum and largely unchanged since 1950’s. Locked in the Science Museum for five nights, Scanlabs and John took 275 individual scans equaling 265 GB of data! Even the 7-minute video we were shown used only 10% of the data and took 48 hours to render. There are definite accessibility benefits to digitizing decommissioned spaces, but there are obvious setbacks such as copyright issues of the boats that were on display and the high cost of such a project.

Giving a museum professionals side of view on a digital project, Jack Ashby, the manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology, spoke about QRator. Using radical trust of visitors, QRator invites visitors to share their comments to provoking questions about social and ethical issues related to natural history. He spoke about the importance of the symbiotic relationship between museums and universities. Museums want to engage visitors further and universities need a public space to fulfill their public engagement agenda. Next up was Matthew Cock, Head of Web, speaking about the British Museums Collection Online and how university research helped understand the viewership and use of the site. Using 30-question survey, UCLDH researchers teamed with the British Museum culminated over 2,657 respondents. The results helped drive a user-centered redesign incorporating direct feedback from the survey of the site. Limitations, such as self-selectiveness and length of the survey, were an issue. One-question, targeted surveys help to increase responses by decreasing length. Paired with Google Analytics to trigger questions based upon visitor page interactions, British Museum was able to get the responses they needed but without the length of the previous survey.

Lastly, Jane MacDonald, Project Administrator at Edinburgh College of Art of Tales of Things, spoke about the innovative site that used QR codes and RFID to link to the ‘stories’ of objects and what Jane referred to as a capacity to extend the ‘social history’ of that object. Partnered with university researchers, the Tales of Things sought to capture and share social experiences surrounding things from a shoe to a sewing machine using ‘ghost objects’ in museums. However powerful an object can be for eliciting stories, the project faced the obstacles of QR codes and interaction outside the museum. A new project she is working on is an application attaching information about attractions to taxi number plates.

An open discussion between the audience and speakers sparked conversation about how practical expensive technology could be in a museum setting. Yes, scanning an entire gallery is extremely expensive and time/resource consuming, but is it worth it? Arguably it increases accessibility and the ability to for virtual visitors to experience an exhibition from anywhere. Another issue brought up is how do we compare a virtual experience to actually visiting. For example, how can we measure user interaction with a virtual object? Furthermore, how can museums and universities work together to achieve a standard for measuring user interaction for comparison virtually and in real-life? Can you even compare them? These questions and many more are ones that universities and museums will have to consider when thinking about how to achieve digital innovation.