The journal Heritage Science has released a video abstract of the paper UCLDH team members co-authored on advanced imaging for investigating inscribed papyrus in mummy cartonnage.
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UCLDH are delighted to be offering three 4-day RTI training courses this summer. There are still a few spaces left on each of the dates – book now to avoid disappointment!
During the course you will cover the complete RTI digital imaging work flow, from planning to archiving and publication. You will gain practical knowledge about equipment, image capture setups, and software, using examples from different areas of cultural heritage. You will follow a step-by-step guide through processing the images and how to use different viewing modes to examine details of the image.
These courses are perfect for: museum, library, and photographic staff working in conservation and education; archaeologists, historians, and anyone working with collections; anyone interested in Reflectance Transformation Imaging technology and its practical application.
You can find dates and booking details on the UCLDH website.
UCLDH were pleased to host the British Library Labs team on 24th April for their 2018 roadshow. This is the third time UCLDH have hosted the BL Labs, and the success and popularity of the now annual event continues to grow, with over 70 people registered this year.
This year’s event included a series of presentations exploring the British Library’s digital collections, how they have been used in various subject areas such as the Humanities, Computer Science and Social Sciences and the lessons learned by working with researchers, including UCLDH team member Tessa Hauswedell who spoke about her project the “Oceanic Exchanges” Project:Tracing Global Information Networks In Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840-1914.
The Roadshow showcased examples of the British Library’s digital content and data, addressed some of the challenges and issues of working with it, and how interesting and exciting projects have been developed via the annual British Library Labs Competition and Awards.
There was some good discussion around potential ideas of working with the Library’s data, and the UCLDH team look forward to hopefully seeing some of these projects come to fruition over the next few years!
Recently, I have been very pleased to be able to accept more networking and speaking invitations from the ever-growing number of DH groups in China. In November I was an invited speaker for the DH strand at the Cross-cultural, Cross-group and Comparative Modernity Conference in Fudan University Shanghai along with delegates from many different nationalities; interestingly (and fortunately for me) all the presentations were in English.
December took me to Shenzhen, via Hong Kong, and the University Town Library there for the International Conference on Library and Digital Humanities. They had speakers, on a range of themes, from the UK and USA as well as China, and interestingly mostly from libraries where DH centres in China and the USA are usually found; my slot was in the Higher Education and Digital Humanities strand which enabled many conversations and new connections to be made.
One new such connection was with DH researchers at the Library of Shanghai, a public as well as an academic and research library with a strong and committed DH team. In January of this year I was greeted there with a magnificent lunch, a tour of their preservation and research labs, and introduced to their research projects involving both genealogy and the historic local built environment.
The January visit to Shanghai was enabled by funding from the UCL Global Engagement Fund that I received to support networking and research into interdisciplinary and cross-cultural education. Some of this funding was marked for the translation of teaching material for an undergraduate workshop at the China Academy of Art, Shanghai Institute of Design (that I have visited several times now) and as a follow up to the workshop I ran there in January 2017.
This is a design institute and the students are great at producing videos but have no background in the Internet or the web and so this workshop mostly covers the coding of webpages along with the all important usability and accessibility built into the design. I, of course, have a translator but this helps with their English language learning too.
Remember when giving talks to Chinese students, always allow extra time at the end for group photos and selfies.
UCL’s Global Engagement funding covered the flights for the Shanghai visit and money to pay a student to help with translating the teaching materials which will go into a collection to later be released under an open licence as Open Educational Resources. Accommodation and hospitality was generously provided by the host institution.
UCL Department of Information Studies is seeking to appoint a world-leading scholar as a Professor of Information Studies. Various possible specialisations, including digital humanities are welcome. The job advertisement states:
The successful candidate will be required to carry out research at a world-leading standard in terms of originality, significance and rigour, and to publish in the most prestigious locations. S/he will also be expected to play a leading role in maintaining the research environment within UCL DIS, and engage in external activities that bring national and international esteem to both the department and UCL. S/he will also teach and supervise students at undergraduate, graduate and PhD level, and play a full part in the life of the department, UCL and the wider research community, including key administrative duties and the pastoral case of students.
Deadline to apply: 31 Jan 2018. See tinyurl.com/UCLDIS for more details
I was very pleased to be invited to represent UCL at the 2017 International Graduate Scholarship Fair in Beijing, organised by the China Scholarship Council. It is a really huge event with representatives from all the major universities worldwide. Together with a colleague from UCL Recruitment we had a continuous stream of excited students throughout the day, wanting to find out more about studying at UCL.
The trip to Beijing made possible other opportunities for networking with the growing Digital Humanities community in China. This, supported with funding from UCL Global Engagement, prompted a meeting at Peking University (PKU) where I gave a presentation about UCL and the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. PKU is a strategic partner of UCL and I anticipate further connections being made with the DH people there over the coming year.
I was hosted by the PKU Library and met with staff from there and Tsinghua University.
The funding from UCL Global Engagement allowed me to extend the trip to Shanghai and Hangzhou. Visiting my contacts at the Shanghai Institute of Design coincided with their students’ sports day and I was invited to join in the prize giving.
This was followed by a guest lecture at Hangzhou Normal University, introducing the students on their Digital Media Programme to UCL and to our Digital Humanities research and practice.
The visit to Hangzhou made possible a meeting and the start of building connections with the Digital Humanities group at Zhejiang University City College (ZUCC). I was hosted at a very impressive hotel by the Dean and Director of their Department of Visual Communication Design and discussed several of their projects. I have been invited back so expect more on this plus photos at a later date.
Our wonderful Director, Prof. Melissa Terras, is leaving UCL in October 2017 to take up a new position as Chair of Digital Cultural Heritage at the new Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh.
Melissa joined UCL in 2003; she was Deputy Director at UCLDH’s founding in 2010, and has been Director since May 2013. In that time UCLDH has become one of the most visible and leading centres in its field in the UK, according to the Times Higher and the National Library of France.  
In her time at UCLDH she’s been part of many projects (including QRator, Transcribe Bentham, The Great Parchment Book and Textal), served as General Editor for Digital Humanities Quarterly, published a ton of stuff and served as Secretary for the European Association for Digital Humanities until 2013. She gave her inaugural lecture, ‘A Decade in Digital Humanities’ in May 2014.
“Her passion for research, towards the work that we do in the department, and in academia overall, is contagious. If I were to sum Melissa up in four words, it would be something like this: Profound. Dedicated. Empowering. Dynamic. I couldn’t have asked for a better supervisor.” Kinda Dahlan, PhD. student
“For me, Mel is the embodiment of Digital Humanities: a vibrant mix of creativity and technical expertise. It has been hugely refreshing to have a strong, loud and proud female academic role model. UCLDH, and UCL, will not be the same without her.” Dr Claire Bailey-Ross, former supervisee
“Melissa’s deep understanding of Digital Humanities, being a pioneer of this field herself, and her invaluable insight greatly benefitted, not only my PhD. studies, but also myself as an academic and a professional” Foteini Valeonti, Founder of USEUM and supervisee
Anyone who knows Melissa and would like to attend her leaving event on 10th October please email email@example.com and we will send the details on to you.
 “leading departments at University College London” (Times Higher Education: 2015)
 “Les plus visibles appartiennent au monde anglo-saxon : à Londres avec UCL” (Bulletin des Bibliotheques de France: 2012)
Following an invitation at our last Industry Advisory Panel meeting, some of the UCLDH Management Team had an away-day to visit the IBM IT Heritage Museum and archive at the IBM research and development centre at Hursley.
We were given an amazing tour of the IBM Museum with many working models of old equipment, lovingly restored to working order through the efforts of the volunteers.
Exhibits were not limited to mechanical machines but also included early networked and stand-alone PCs, and portables with many being brought back to life. Hardware, logic chips, software and the all-important, and often overlooked middleware, that are so central to all online transactions are represented there too.
There is also the archive which consists of photographs (prints and slide transparencies), software and manuals, as well as books and an assortment of ephemera. Documents of all sorts, including schematic diagrams of circuitry are there.
Anything and everything ‘badged’ as IBM has a place in the various collections, including merchandising and publicity material. An interesting exhibit was the service engineer’s workplace with tools and spare parts.
The day was concluded with a round table discussion, bringing in other colleagues and industry partners online, looking at possible ways to collaborate and progress things to the advantage of us all.
I was pleased to be welcomed back to the Shanghai Institute of Design in April as a follow up to the workshop I ran their earlier this year. It was fortunate that the dates coincided with the UCL Provost’s visit to Shanghai and I was able to join a drinks reception and to meet up with many former UCL students.
The students at the Shanghai Institute are always welcoming and I took the opportunity to help out in a couple of their language classes.
The President of the Shanghai Institute arranged for me to visit colleagues of his at Hangzhou Normal University and have talks about Digital Humanities in particular and UCL more generally. Hangzhou is a major Chinese city and capital of the Zhejiang Province in East China. The city hosted the 2016 G20 summit and is also famous for the West Lake and vast unspoiled park and wetlands. Hangzhou Normal is situated beyond the parkland to the West of Hangzhou in the e-commerce area dominated by Alibaba, the online retail giant.
Of particular particular interest was the work of the students on the Digital Medial Programme.
What was particularly fascinating, and especially as coming from a city campus such as UCL, was our tour of the University with its expansive campus with open spaces and ornamental gardens connected by a series of stone bridges over their own river meandering around the buildings.
The designers had build in tranquil spaces and given much attention to detail and landscaping, making the university a place of beauty as well as learning. I’ve been invited to give a guest lecture in their Digital Publishing series and look forward to futher visits.
The Digital Classicist London 2017 seminar programme is now confirmed. Looking at the titles and abstracts, you will see that these are all Digital Humanities topics with many from international speakers and their relevance is not limited to the study of the ancient world. The full programme with abstracts is online on the DC website and listed below. The programme poster is available for download. No registration is needed.
Digital Classicist London 2017 Institute of Classical Studies
Fridays at 16:30
Room 234*, Senate House south block, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
(*except June 16 & 23, room G34)
Seminars will be screencast on the Digital Classicist London YouTube channel, for the benefit of those who are not able to make it in person.
Jun 2 Sarah Middle (Open University), ‘Linked Data and Ancient World Research: studying past projects from a user perspective’.
Jun 9 Donald Sturgeon (Harvard University), ‘Crowdsourcing a digital library of pre-modern Chinese’.
Jun 16* Valeria Vitale et al. (Institute of Classical Studies), ‘Recogito 2: linked data without the pointy brackets’.
Jun 23* Dimitar Iliev et al. (University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”), ‘Historical GIS of South-Eastern Europe’.
Jun 30 Lucia Vannini (Institute of Classical Studies), ‘The role of Digital Humanities in Papyrology: Practices and user needs in papyrological research’. Paula Granados García (Open University), ‘Cultural Contact in Early Roman Spain through Linked Open Data resources’.
Jul 7 Elisa Nury (King’s College London), ‘Collation Visualization: Helping Users to Explore Collated Manuscripts’.
Jul 14 Sarah Ketchley (University of Washington), ‘Re-Imagining Nineteenth Century Nile Travel and Excavation for a Digital Age: The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project’.
Jul 21 Dorothea Reule & Pietro Liuzzo (University of Hamburg), ‘Issues in the development of digital projects based on user requirements. The case of Beta maṣāḥǝft’.
Jul 28 Rada Varga (Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca), ‘Romans 1by1: Transferring information from ancient people to modern users’.
Full programme and the abstracts are online at:
Digital Classicist London seminar is organized by Gabriel Bodard, Simona Stoyanova and Valeria Vitale (ICS) and Simon Mahony and Eleanor Robson (UCL).