An infographic produced by UCLDH and 4Humanities has won an award

By Ian G Evans, on 19 February 2014

An infographic produced by UCLDH and 4Humanities to show The Humanities Matter has won an award! The Digital Humanities awards are a set of annual awards where the public is able to nominate resources for the recognition of talent and expertise in the digital humanities community. The resources are nominated and voted for entirely by the public. The infographic, whose design was led by Professor Melissa Terras, won the category for the Best DH visualisation of infographic, for a poster which explores the role of the humanities in society. You can read more here http://dhawards.org/dhawards2013/results/ and download a copy of the winning infographic for free at http://4humanities.org/2013/07/the-humanities-matter-infographic/

Digital Linguists’ Network

By Ian G Evans, on 3 December 2013

The Digital Linguists’ Network runs regular events for linguists based at UCL, SOAS and in the London area.

The next event is on “Using video to support learning” and will be given by Jesper Hansen, Teaching Fellow in Danish, UCL Dept of Scandinavian Studies.

We will meet in the Language Space in Foster Court, UCL: www.ucl.ac.uk/lww-cetl/contact_us/find_us at 17:15 on Thurs. 5 Dec., 2013.
At 18:15 there will be refreshments in the Staff Common Rm (Rm G24) in Foster Court until 19:30.

Please let me know whether you can make it, so that we can plan the refreshments, by using this Doodle poll: http://doodle.com/wim6635km9iedxeb
Use the “if need be” option if you’re not sure if you can come.

The first event was in May 2013 on Languages, wikis and crowdsourcing.

Future sessions will be on:

  • Publishing (paper and e-books) January 2014
  • Translation February 2014
  • ICT
  • Pedagogy
  • Apps
  • Cultural advice (à la CEELBAS)
  • Public engagement

etc. and will take place once a month or so in term time.

If you don’t count the people, the people don’t count

By Oliver W Duke-Williams, on 12 September 2013

The most recent census of the UK was taken in 2011. It might also have been the last. The Office for National Statistics will shortly launch a consultation exercise setting out some alternatives to current census practice. Based on what is known so far, there will be two options: an Internet census, and a data set based on administrative data, coupled with a rolling survey. Continuing with the census as it has been done for the last two hundred years is not expected to be offered an option.

My own research interests  and grant funding cover various parts of the large collection of census data. I’m a Co-Investigator in Census Support and also in CeLSIUS and the CALLS Hub. I also have a smaller project which is exploring a potential use of the recovered 1961 microdata.  Many of the issues that arise in work with the census overlap the research interests of colleagues in the Department of Information Studies – we aim to help people understand and navigate large volumes of data to find what they are looking for, we need to build robust metadata and classification systems that can accommodate changing questionnaire wording over time, we need to build systems that can extract (and possibly pre-process) items from large database holdings in a speedy, efficient manner. There is considerable interest in historic census data within the humanities – as seen, for example in the ReACH project and the Dig Where We Stand project. Extracting digital data from historic records is not necessarily an easy task, as records are handwritten and can be hard to read; this can present problems for transcription efforts, but transcribing hand-written documents is something in which UCLDH has a special interest.

The blog discussess the merits of the options to replace the census, and argues that cancelling the census is short-sighted.

Read the rest of this entry »

The first UCL David Tebbutt Scholarship

By Ian G Evans, on 26 June 2013

tebbutt_davidThe first UCL David Tebbutt Scholarship, awarded in memory of the late Faber finance director, has been awarded.

Student Philip Connor, from the National University of Ireland in Galway, has won the award, which funds a place on the University College London MA in Publishing programme. Connor will begin the one-year course in September, with a five-week internship at Faber included.

The scholarship is to be awarded annually, funded by the David Tebbutt Trust jointly administered by Faber and the Tebbutt family. The aim of the Trust is to further the education of those wishing to pursue a career in the publishing, writing and information industries.

Tebbutt [pictured] was killed by pirates in Kenya in 2011. His widow Judith Tebbutt is to publish a memoir of her subsequent captivity at the hands of those pirates, A Long Walk Home, with Faber next week.

Annual Bliss Classification Association Lecture

By Ian G Evans, on 4 April 2013

The Annual Bliss Classification Association Lecture will be given this year by Michele Pason and John Bradley, on the topic “Exploring highly interconnected humanities data: are faceted browsers always the answer?”  The lecture will take place in the Lankester Lecture Theatre in the Medawar Building of University College London at 3.30 on Friday 19 April, 2013.  (Map available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/maps/)
Admission is free, but if you expect to come please let Ian Evans know at i.evans@ucl.ac.uk

Job opportunity: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Department of Information Studies

By Sarah Davenport, on 12 February 2013

Department of Information Studies, UCL, has an opening for a new member of staff, at Lecturer/Senior Lecturer level, to work primarily on the MA Library & Information Studies programme.  As well as supporting the core LIS curriculum, DIS hopes that the appointee will contribute to the Department’s activities by bringing in some new area of teaching or research.  Further details are available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dis/vacancies.


Graduate Open Day

By Anne Welsh, on 29 October 2012

UCL Graduate Students Open Day Wednesday 21 November 2012


UCL Department of Information Studies (DIS) is a leading centre for research and professional education inlibrarianshipinformation sciencearchives and records managementpublishing and the digital humanities.


Come along to our Faculty and Departmental Graduate Students Open Day: talk to teaching staff, visit the campus and library, hear from researchers and chat with current students. It takes place on Wednesday 21November 2012From 11am in Wilkins South Cloisters, Gower Street, UCL (please register athttp://www.ucl.ac.uk/ah/grad-open-day/ )


And from 3pm – 7pm in DIS, Foster Court, Ground Floor, UCL (for details see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dis ).




Students benefit from studying in the UK’s largest information school, at one of the world’s top 10 universities. We offer MA/MSc/Diploma programmes in Digital Humanities; Library and Information Studies; Archives and Records Management; Publishing; Electronic Communication & Publishing and Information Science.




Our teaching is built upon an international research reputation: the department hosts three research centres and two research groups: Centre for PublishingCentre for Digital Humanities (CDH), Centre for Archives and Records Research (ICARUS)Applied Logic Group and Knowledge Organization Group. We welcome research students (MRes, MPhil and PhD) in all these areas.

Stationers PhD bursary

By Ian G Evans, on 4 October 2012

Postgraduate Research Studentship: Department of Information Studies, University College London in association with the Stationers’ Foundation, the Charity of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers

The Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCLDIS) invites applications for a three year fully funded research studentship from suitably qualified candidates with a good upper-second or first class degrees in an appropriate discipline to conduct research into the near-market implications of copyright and intellectual property in the publishing industry in the digital age. The studentship will cover full UK and EU fees and pay a stipend of approximately £14, 000 per annum. Applications will normally be restricted to candidates from the UK and EU countries. The studentship is funded by the Stationers’ Foundation, a charitable body, and is made possible by donations from Pearson plc, the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA), the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) and Euromonitor plc. The research will be supervised by Professor Iain Stevenson of the UCLDIS Centre for Publishing with secondary supervision from appropriate colleagues within UCL including from the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law of the Faculty of Laws.

The successful candidate is likely to possess a background in publishing or intellectual property management and will have some experience of working in the creative industries. An academic background in law, communication, information management or business will be advantageous. The studentship is full-time but teaching opportunities may be available in UCLDIS during its tenure. The successful candidate will spend periods of the studentship working in the offices of the donor organisations and will be expected to provide regular seminars and research updates to the donors, as well as academic presentations. Initial registration will be for the degree of MPhil and the candidate will be expected to present a seminar during their second year which will allow the upgrade of registration to PhD.

Interested candidates are invited to apply for the studentship by submitting a full CV and a statement of proposed research (not exceeding 750 words), together with letters of recommendation from two referees by 21 November 2012. A short list of candidates will be invited for interview, the panel of which will include representatives of the Stationers’ Foundation. Once the studentship has been awarded, the successful candidate will be invited to apply formally for admission to the UCL research degree programme and they should ensure they meet all the requirements for admission (available from the UCL website) Further details and informal discussion of the project can be had by contacting Professor Stevenson (i.stevenson@ucl.ac.uk). It is expected that the studentship will commence on 1 January 2013 but if the candidate can commence earlier, it will be possible to do so.

The 4th Annual Jenkinson lecture

By Ian G Evans, on 10 September 2012

The 4th Annual Jenkinson lecture will be held at UCL, on the evening of Wednesday September 26th at 6.00pm. The lecture will take place in the AV Hill Lecture Theatre and will be followed by a reception on the ground floor of the Foster Court Building.

The lecture entitled “The Day Parliament Burned Down and its impact on British recordkeeping” will be given by Caroline Shenton. Caroline is Clerk of the Records and Director of  the Parliamentary Archives in London. Educated at the University of St Andrews, Worcester College Oxford and University College London, she was previously a senior archivist at the National Archives where her interest in the fire of 1834 was first kindled. She has worked in and around collections relating to the old Palace of Westminster for over 20 years, and is a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society. She is author of the acclaimed new book, ‘The Day Parliament Burned Down’ (for further details and reviews see http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199646708.do#.UEr4Uol5mc0)

Abstract: In the early evening of 16 October 1834, to the horror of bystanders, a huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament, creating a blaze so enormous that it could be seen by the King and Queen at Windsor, and from stagecoaches on top of the South Downs. In front of hundreds of thousands of witnesses the great conflagration destroyed Parliament’s glorious old buildings and their contents. No one who witnessed the disaster would ever forget it – yet today this national catastrophe is a forgotten disaster. Find out about one of the most seminal events of 19th century London, which not only changed the face of the capital but also had a profound impact on recordkeeping in the UK.

There will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of Caroline’s acclaimed new book, ‘The Day Parliament Burned Down’ at discounted rate after the lecture.

This should be a fascinating talk and if you can attend please do so and do encourage any new students to do so also.

Our outreach to external partners

By Oliver W Duke-Williams, on 22 June 2012

A map of our external partners

As a department, we engage a lot with a variety of external partners, including guest speakers on a variety of modules in our various programs, and work placement hosts for our students.  Placements are, we hope, mutually beneficial for both the student and the organisation.

Over the last few weeks, one of our students has been doing a placement inside the department, working with a couple of staff members to collate listings of exactly where our students do their placements, and to produce a map of these locations.  For Holly, the student, it was a good example of a real world example of data collation – the various Masters programs have kept information about placement hosts and guest speakers in a number of different ways: in spreadsheets, in email, on paper and so on.  These all had to be integrated and checked, and have a common structure imposed. Like many data collation tasks, it is something that sounds simple, but takes time and effort.

Having assembled the data, the next task was to map them. In order to do so, each host location (or speaker’s organisation) had to have their address checked, and have a latitude and longitude determined, so that we could plot each one. Fortunately, a variety of web resources now make this fairly each to do; again, a task which is easy in theory, but time consuming in practice.  The data were then mapped using the Google Maps API, and the resulting map can be seen as:

It is pleasing to see visually how busy we are in terms all these contacts, and the early response from our placement hosts has also been very positive.  We’ll go on updating the map with future host locations, and also look towards ways of conveying additional information about what we do – for example, colour coding according to different Masters programs.

On Wednesday this week we hosted what we hope will be an annual reception for our guest speakers and placement hosts; it was good to meet them, and many of the people we spoke to were generous in their praise of the work that our students have done.

We are also currently soliciting information about the whereabouts of our alumni – some of whom are now work placement hosts! – and look forward to mapping this information as well.