Upcoming talks and travel

Poster for a talk at Trinity College Dublin with illustrations of a man working in a factory and a soldier in a trench with sandbags and barbed wire
Trinity lecture poster

Get in touch if you'd like to meet for a chat about digital scholarship, digital humanities or AI / machine learning in libraries, archives and museums!

I'm chairing a session on AI in libraries at CILIP's 2024 conference in Birmingham in July. I'm also making a flying visit to Cambridge.

I'll be in DC / Virginia in early August for Digital Humanities 2024 (DH2024).

I'll be in Luxembourg September 3 – 6 for the International Federation of Public History (IFPH)'s annual conference.

I'll be in Krakow in late September and Gothenburg in early October, so I may travel overland between the two over the weekend between the two events.

On November 5th I'm convening a panel on AI in Libraries for Libraries in Leeds.

Recent books

I'm currently working on chapters for the final Living with Machines book.

In January 2023, Collaborative Historical Research in the Age of Big Data: Lessons from an Interdisciplinary Project by Ruth Ahnert, Emma Griffin, me and Giorgia Tolfo was published by Cambridge University Press.

In 2021 I wrote another book with 15 or so brilliant co-authors: The Collective Wisdom Handbook: perspectives on crowdsourcing in cultural heritage

My edited volume on 'Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage' for Ashgate, featuring chapters from some of the most amazing people working in the field was published in October 2014 and reprinted a few times subsequently. You can read my introduction on the OU repository: Crowdsourcing Our Cultural Heritage: Introduction.

By day, I'm usually at work at home at the British Library, so drop me a line if you'd like to meet for coffee and a chat. My availability for events is limited, but you can drop me a line if you'd like to book me for an event.

Some recent papers

Some publications are listed or accessible at my ORCID page, my Open University repository page, Humanities Commons page, Zenodo, and my Zotero page.

This page is rarely up-to-date or complete, but here's a summary of talks, fellowships, writing, etc in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. You can also follow me on twitter (@mia_out) mastodon @[email protected] / https://hcommons.social/@mia for updates.

Previous papers are generally listed at miaridge.com or on my blog, Open Objects.

'Community Engagement and Special Collections' talk

In April 2024 I was one of four presenters at the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (AMARC)'s Spring Meeting on 'Community Engagement and Special Collections', sharing our work on 'successful projects and strategies for engaging public audiences in meaningful ways through in-person events and digital outreach activities'

I presented on 'Living with Machines: Crowdsourcing transcriptions for digitised historical collections of the British industrial revolution'. The video from the seminar is below.

Quoted in Museums Association article on 'Getting to grips with artificial intelligence'

Screenshot from the Museums Association website. Text says: 'AI is set to disrupt all aspects of museum work. But what is it, what does it do and how can we reap the benefits?'

I'm excited to see the Museums Association Museums Journal article on 'Getting to grips with artificial intelligence' by Julie Nightingale go live, as I'm quoted a few times. It feels like months since I talked to the author – a long time in AI, but a relatively short time in digital heritage.

Here's some of what I had to say: 'The British Library’s Ridge suggests people play around with AI to understand what might be coming.

“AI literacy is an important part of good governance,” she says. “People need a solid understanding of where biases are likely to appear, how to review and contest decisions made by algorithms and where sharing data might have privacy or legal implications, so that they can make good decisions about the products they buy or implement. It also helps people plan so that AI tools enhance jobs, rather than attempting to replace them.”'

New data paper and datasets from crowdsourcing on Living with Machines

After lots of hard work by me, Nilo Pedrazzini, Miguel V., Arianna Ciula and Barbara McGillivray, we have a data paper in the Journal of Open Humanities Data: Language of Mechanisation Crowdsourcing Datasets from the Living with Machines Project.

And huge thanks to the thousands of Zooniverse volunteers who annotated 19th century newspaper articles to create the datasets we've published alongside the data paper!

Abstract: We present the ‘Language of Mechanisation’ datasets with examples of re-use in visualisations and analysis. These reusable CSV files, published on the British Library’s Research Repository, contain automatically-transcribed text from 19th century British newspaper articles. Volunteers on the Zooniverse crowdsourcing platform took part in tasks that asked ‘How did the word x change over time and place?’ They annotated articles with pre-selected meanings (senses) for the words coach, car, trolley and bike.

The datasets can support scholarship on a range of historical and linguistic research areas, including research on crowdsourcing and online volunteering behaviours, data processing and data visualisations methodologies.

The two datasets described are at:

Keynote video 'Evolutionary Innovations: Collections as Data in the AI era' for Making Meaning 2024

Making Meaning 2024: Mia Ridge Keynote

My slides for #SLQMakingMeaning #CollectionsAsData, 'Evolutionary Innovations: Collections as Data in the AI era', are online at https://zenodo.org/records/10795641

‘Collections as data’ describes the movement to publish open data from museum, library and archive collections that began in the noughties. The benefits of machine learning for better discoverability and research with digitised/born digital collections are alluring. And the popularity of generative AI – and an increased awareness of the biases it reinscribes – has focused attention on responsible computational access to collections – but what does this mean in practical terms? Mia will share examples from the British Library and the Living with Machines data science project.

2024 – an overview

In January 2024 I presented with Kaspar Beelen at a virtual Research Colloquium on Digital History at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. I also gave a talk online for the Home Office's Data & Information Week with Karen Tingay (Head of Data and Methods, Office for Statistics Regulation).

I was in Australia (Melbourne, Ballina, Brisbane) in February-March. In February 2024 I took part in a panel on 'The Machines looking back at us' at the Future of Arts, Culture & Technology Symposium (FACT 2024) at ACMI, in Melbourne, Australia.

The videos from ACMI's FACT symposium are up on their website, with automatic transcripts for each session. My presentation is here in the longer panel session; you can also watch Jessamy Gee's graphic notation from the session being created in real time.

Graphical notation drawn during a conference session by Jessamy Gee. Points include 'our role is to help people answer questions'

I presented at the State Library of Victoria for a 'Digital Salon' on 'Technology & Experimentation: From the Lab to the Library’ on February 19.

On Feb 27 I spoke online at AI4LAM’s Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand chapter webinar on ’Models for Collaboration – GLAM and ML/AI Technologies’.

The video of my keynote, 'Evolutionary Innovations: Collections as Data in the AI era' for Making Meaning 2024 at the State Library of Queensland in March is now online.

Straight into work when I got back to the UK for our British Library / Guardian collaboration on 'Safeguarding Tomorrow: The impact of AI in media & information industries'. I was on a panel on 'messy data in the age of “intelligent” machines' at Jisc DigiFest (online) the same week.

In April I gave a keynote on 'Machine Learning for Collections' at the University of Cambridge Cultural Heritage Data School, and had a great time talking to the students and staff there. I'll also spoke at an event for the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (AMARC).

In early June I travelled to Dundee, Scotland as one of the CILIPS Annual Conference 2024 keynotes. A brief immersion in the world of Scottish libraries was a refreshing diversion from the ongoing issues at work.