Melissa Terras, UCLDH Director, talks to the THE about the work being done at UCL to create a digital version of the fire-damaged Great Parchment Book.
Archive for the 'UCLDH in the media' Category
UCLDH co-director Melissa Terras is quoted in an article on the effect big data is having on academic disciplines.
Read the whole article here: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-01/25/big-data-end-of-theory
Posted on behalf of Lorna Richardson.
Following on from the success of 2011, we are happy to announce that this year’s ‘Day of Archaeology’, the public archaeology mass blogging project, is scheduled for *June 29, 2012*. Last year’s event, supported by the Centre for Digital Humanities, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the Archaeology Data Service and L-P Archaeology saw over 400 archaeologists sign up, and almost 450 separate blog posts were created, including lots of photos, video, audio and more. The Day of Archaeology project has been shortlisted top 3 for the British Archaeological Award for the Best Representation of Archaeology in the Media. The award will be presented on the 9th July at the British Museum.
You can read more about the first Day of Archaeology from 2011 on the website. The general hope for the project is that by raising awareness about the truly diverse nature of archaeology, we will also in turn emphasize the vital role that archaeology plays in preserving our past for everyone’s future.
If you would like to find out more, or sign up to write about/film/photograph your archaeological day on the 29th (or as near the day as possible), please email us at email@example.com
Live Chat: Open Access in Higher Education (Guardian Higher Education Network), 28/10/2011, 12-2 BSTUlrichTiedau28 October 2011
To coincide with Open Access Week, on Friday 21 October, from 12–2pm BST, the live chat will consider the various ways in which higher education can become – and is becoming – more open. We will consider what the challenges ahead might be and what policy shifts, as well as cultural shifts are needed.
Guardian Q&As or live chats are always informal and the aim is to share knowledge, experience and allow us to curate a ‘best bits’ full of interesting tips/links on the given subject from our network and for our network.
Well actually it works on wireless. But we are feeling very chuffed indeed that UCLDH’s and CASA’s QRator project is featured in Wired UK today in a report on the opening of the new Grant Museum at UCL. There is also a beautiful photo gallery which includes a picture of the iPad itself in situ in photo 5. QRator will go live at the launch of the new Grant on 17th March and will allow visitors to join in a conversation about museum objects, by scanning QR codes attached to cases in the museum. These then link them to the CASA Tales of Things website where they can record their views. Or visitors can use an interactive label in the form of an iPad on which they can leave a comment and see those that others have left.
This changes fundamentally the way that we interact with museum objects. At the moment the only label we see in a museum is provided by curators. As a result of this world leading work visitors will now be able to see what curators say, but also join in a dialogue with them and with others about the object and the questions that they feel it raises. We’re very excited to be taking part in this work with CASA and UCL Museums, and can only say thank you again for the vision of Claire Ross, UCLDH PhD student, who had the idea in the first place.
Look out for a Digital Excursion to the Grant in May at which you’ll be able to hear all about QRator and play with all the lovely kit.
Corinne Welger-Barboza, rédactrice en chef de L’Observatoire Critique, une publication en ligne dédiée à l’étude des ressources numériques pour l’histoire de l’art, vient de poser quelques questions à Claire Warwick au sujet de la création du Master Digital Humanities à University College London:
How do you argue the necessity of a MA degree: is it the very responsibility of the D.H. Centres to assume this kind of courses? Is this part of a strategy that aims to foster an interdisciplinary field? Is the aim to supply to the technological gaps in the Humanities disciplines?
As a university UCL believes that leading researchers in all disciplines should teach and pass on their knowledge to the next generation of potential scholars. Thus we feel that students should be able to benefit from UCLDH’s unique interdisciplinary approach and not just academic researchers. So it seemed obvious to develop a teaching programme that is highly interdisciplinary and allows students to call on the very diverse subject areas in which UCL has expertise. Students may indeed be from a humanities background, seeking more technical content, but we also envisage that some of them will be technical people who might like to work in a humanities or cultural heritage context.
Starting this fall, the editors have leveraged, if not the wisdom of the crowd, then at least its fingers, inviting anyone — yes, that means you — to help transcribe some of the 40,000 unpublished manuscripts from University College’s collection that have been scanned and put online. In the roughly four months since this Wikipedia-style experiment began, 350 registered users have produced 435 transcripts.
These transcripts, which are reviewed and corrected by editors, will eventually be used for printed editions of the collected works of Bentham, whose preserved corpse, clothed and seated, has greeted visitors to the college since 1850.
Other initiatives have recruited volunteers online, but the Bentham Project is one of the first to try crowd-sourced transcription and to open up a traditionally rarefied scholarly endeavor to the general public, generating both excitement and questions.
Read the full article.
Claire Warwick, director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at University College London, said that humanities researchers had been using the word-frequency techniques being described by Michel and Aiden for several decades. But the sheer size of their dataset marked it out from the usual tools. “What’s different is that this allows people to not just look at several hundred thousand words or several million words but several million books. So the overview is much bigger. That may bring out some hitherto unexpected ideas.”
The database of 500bn words is thousands of times bigger than any existing research tool, with a sequence of letters that is 1,000 times longer than the human genome. The vast majority, around 72%, is in English with small amounts in French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian, and Hebrew.
“In science, huge datasets which people have used super-computing on have led to some fascinating new discoveries that otherwise wouldn’t be possible,” said Warwick. “Whether that’s going to be the same in the arts and humanities, I don’t know yet.”
The scanned books can now be mined for cultural trends with very little effort using Google’s Ngram Viewer:
“One of the ways to use this is to suggest ideas,” said Warwick. “You can look at something like this and say, how fascinating that a certain term seems to occur so commonly and I wonder why that should be.”
On 17 March, Claire will deliver a public Lunch Hour Lecture at UCL on Twitter and Digital Identity.
Hot off the press: Wikipedia has an article on UCLDH now, which we hope to bulk up over time.
While starting the article, we also introduced the new Digital Humanities Centers category, a short but hopefully growing directory of DH Centres represented on Wikipedia. If your institution isn’t listed, add it!