My chapter is ‘The contributions of family and local historians to British history online‘. My abstract:
Community history projects across Britain have collected and created images, indexes and transcriptions of historical documents ranging from newspaper articles and photographs, to wills and biographical records. Based on analysis of community- and institutionally-led participatory history sites, and interviews with family and local historians, this chapter discusses common models for projects in which community historians cooperated to create digital resources. For decades, family and local historians have organised or contributed to projects to collect, digitise and publish historical sources about British history. What drives amateur historians to voluntarily spend their time digitising cultural heritage? How do they cooperatively or collaboratively create resources? And what challenges do they face?
Mia Ridge is a Digital Curator in the British Library’s Digital Scholarship team. She has a PhD in digital humanities (2015, Department of History, Open University) entitled Making Digital History: the impact of digitality on public participation and scholarly practices in historical research. Previously, she conducted human-computer interaction-based research on crowdsourcing in cultural heritage.
I’ve been awarded a CENDARIVisiting Research Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin for a project called ‘Bridging collections with a participatory Commons: a pilot with World War One archives’. Here’s Trinity’s page about my Fellowship, which runs until mid-December. I’ve decided to be brave and share my thoughts and actions throughout the process, so I thought I’d start as I mean to go on and post my proposal (1500 words, below). CENDARI is a ‘research infrastructure project aimed at integrating digital archives for the medieval and World War One eras’ which ‘aims to leverage innovative technologies to provide historians with the tools by which to contextualise, customise and share their research’ (source) so this research fellowship very neatly complements my PhD research.
A collection of links for further reading for the British Library’s Digital Scholarship course on ‘Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research’. I update this each time I teach the course, so please leave a comment if you know of any great sources I’ve missed. Slides and exercises for each version of the workshop are below. Many thanks to workshop participants for their feedback, as it directly helps make the next version more effective. And of course huge thanks to Nora McGregor and the British Library’s Digital Scholarship team!
Have you ever wanted to be able to express your ideas for digital humanities data-based projects more clearly, or wanted to know more about hack days and coding but been too afraid to ask?
In this hands-on tutorial led by an experienced web programmer, attendees will learn how to use online tools to create visualisations to explore humanities data sets while learning how computer scripts interact with data in digital applications.
Attendees will learn the basic principles of programming by playing with small snippets of code in a fun and supportive environment. The instructor will use accessible analogies to help participants understand and remember technical concepts. Working in pairs, participants will undertake short exercises and put into practice the scripting concepts they are learning about. The tutorial structure encourages attendees to reflect on their experiences and consolidate what they have learned from the exercises with the goal of providing deeper insight into computational thinking.
The tutorial aims to help humanists without a technical background understand more about the creation and delivery of digital humanities data resources. In doing so, this tutorial is designed to support greater diversity in the ‘digital’ part of the digital humanities community.
This tutorial is aimed at people who want to learn enough to get started playing with simple code to manipulate data, or gain an insight into how programming works. No technical knowledge is assumed. Attendees are asked to bring their own laptops or net books.
The tutorial will include:
what a humanities data set is and how to access one
how to sketch out your ideas in pseudo-code
the value of visualisation tools in understanding the shape of a data set
prepared exercises: ‘hello world’, using script libraries for mash-ups, creating your first mash-up using a live cultural dataset (e.g. a timeline or map),
Have you ever wanted to be able to express your ideas for digital collections more clearly, or thought that a hack day sounds like fun but need a way to get started with basic web scripting? In this hands-on workshop you will learn how to use online tools to create interesting visualisations to explore a cultural dataset and create your own simple ‘mash-up’.
The workshop will be a fun, supportive environment where you will learn by playing with small snippets of code. No scripting knowledge is assumed.
‘Share What You See’ is a WordPress plugin designed to make a museum and gallery visit more personal, memorable and sociable. There’s always that one object that made you laugh, reminded you of friends or family, or was just really striking. The plugin lets you search for the object in the Europeana collection (by title, and hopefully by venue or accession number), and instantly create a blog post about it (screenshot below) to share it with others. Once you’ve found your object, the plugin automatically inserts an image of it, plus the title, description and venue name. You can then add your own text and whatever other media you like.
For more information, see the page about my MSc Dissertation: crowdsourcing games for museums. The beta games I made are hosted at Museum Metadata Games (and have recently been updated to include some of the million images the British Library have released on Flickr Commons). The initial data was loaded from APIs from the Science Museum and Powerhouse Museum.