Archive for May, 2013

Planned industrial action at The BL – Thu 16 May and Fri 17 May

By Kieron L Jones, on 14 May 2013


British Library Labs Competition Live

By Kieron L Jones, on 7 May 2013

British Library Labs Competition Live

Calling all researchers and developers!

Propose an innovative and transformative project that answers a research question using the British Library’s digital collections / data and if your idea is chosen, the Labs team will work with you to make it happen and you could win a prize of up to £3,000.

From the digitisation of thousands of books, newspapers and manuscripts, the collecting of UK websites, bird sounds or location data for our maps, over the last two decades we’ve been faithfully amassing a vast and wide-ranging digital collection for the nation. What remains elusive however is understanding what researchers need in place in order to unlock the potential for new discoveries within these fascinating and diverse digital collections. The Labs competition is designed to attract scholars, explorers and trailblazers to the Library who see the potential for new and innovative research lurking within these immense digital collections. Through soliciting innovative and transformative projects utilising this content you will be giving us a steer as to the types of platforms, arrangements, services and tools needed to surface it. We’ll even throw the Library’s resources behind you to make your idea a reality.

To find out more, visit the competition pages http://labs.bl.uk/Competition+2013 (deadline for submission of ideas is the 26 June 2013), sign up to the wiki,  express your interest and participate in one of the related events, virtually (17 May 2013, 1500 GMT), hack event in London on the 28 and 29 May, 2013 or one of our roadshow events.

Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research

By Kieron L Jones, on 3 May 2013

We now have access to the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).  ICPSR acquires, preserves, enhances and distributes original social science research data for research and instruction.  You will need to create an account in order to download data.

 “Our data advance scientific knowledge by making it possible for students, policymakers and researchers to conduct secondary analyses.  We are a leading training resource in quantitative analysis methods.

 Membership benefits

  • A wealth of data.  ICPSR provides access to important data in the social sciences and benefits all faculty and students across a campus.
  • Access to training and instruction at discounted rates.  Members of ICPSR receive discounted tuition and travel stipends toward ICPSR’s renowned Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research.
  • User support.  ICPSR has over 45 years of experience in supporting data use.”

The History of the British Pound

By Kieron L Jones, on 1 May 2013

“The British pound, also now known as the pound sterling, is generally considered to be the world’s oldest currency that is still actively used and circulated. It originated during the 760s when King Offa of the Mercian kingdom (present-day Staffordshire) introduced the silver penny into the coinage of the time. Inspired by the Carolingian system, 240 of the new pennies equaled a pound in silver. Additional subdivisions of coins included farthings and shillings. Shortly after introducing this system in Mercia, the surrounding Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of the Heptarchy followed suit and also adopted it. Eventually the pound became the standard monetary unit in the region.”  Read more

Many thanks to the Lexington Middle School History Club in Nebraska for the suggestion!