Report: Wellcome Library Transcribing Recipes crowdsourcing project

A report that Ben Brumfield and I wrote for Wellcome Library about possible solutions for a culinary and medical recipes crowdsourced transcription project. It was finalised in September, and in the way of things marks a particular moment in time as well as a specific context. The report is available at
Christy Henshaw, who commissioned the report, has kindly made it available online for reference by other organisations. Her blurb is below:
The Wellcome Library, in considering a project to digitise and transcribe recipe manuscripts using crowdsourcing technologies, commissioned this report from Ben Brumfield and Mia Ridge in Summer 2015. The report addresses issues specific to this project, and to the Wellcome Library's digital infrastructure.


Second NeDiMAH workshop on Space and Time in the Digital Humanities: "Here and There, Then and Now – Modelling Space and Time in the Humanities"

While in Hamburg for Digital Humanities 2012, I chaired a session on 'Methods' and subsequently co-authored a report, "Here and There, Then and Now – Modelling Space and Time in the Humanities" (PDF) for the European Science Foundation (with Leif Isaksen, Shawn Day, and Ryan Shaw) for the Second NeDiMAH workshop on Space and Time in the Digital Humanities: "Here and There, Then and Now – Modelling Space and Time in the Humanities".

From the workshop abstract:

Spatio-temporal concepts are so ubiquitous that it is easy for us to forget that they are essential to everything we do. All expressions of Human culture are related to the dimensions of space and time in the manner of their production and consumption, the nature of their medium and the way in which they express these concepts themselves. This workshop seeks to identify innovative practices among the Digital Humanities community that explore, critique and re-present the spatial and temporal aspects of culture.

Although space and time are closely related, there are significant differences between them which may be exploited when theorizing and researching the Humanities. Among these are the different natures of their dimensionality (three dimensions vs. one), the seemingly static nature of space but enforced 'flow' of time, and the different methods we use to make the communicative leap across spatial and temporal distance. Every medium, whether textual, tactile, illustrative or audible (or some combination of them), exploits space and time differently in order to convey its message. The changes required to express the same concepts in different media (between written and performed music, for example), are often driven by different spatio-temporal requirements. Last of all, the impossibility (and perhaps undesirability) of fully representing a four-dimensional reality (whether real or fictional) mean that authors and artists must decide how to collapse this reality into the spatio-temporal limitations of a chosen medium. The nature of those choices can be as interesting as the expression itself.

This workshop allows those working with digital tools and techniques that manage, analyse and exploit spatial and temporal concepts in the Humanities to present a position paper for the purposes of wider discussion and debate. The position papers will discuss generalized themes related to use of spatio-temporal methods in the Digital Humanities with specific reference to one or more concrete applications or examples. Accepted papers have been divided into three themed sessions: Tools, Methods and Theory. This workshop is part of the ESF-funded NEDIMAH Network and organised by its Working Group on Space and Time. The group will also present its findings from the First NeDiMAH Workshop on Space and Time.

Scholar-in-residence, Cooper-Hewitt

I was invited to spend a week in New York as scholar-in-residence at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, a museum of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to design.  At the end of the week I presented my results to staff and wrote a post for their 'Labs' blog about my experience: Mia Ridge explores the shape of Cooper-Hewitt collections. Or, “what can you learn about 270,000 records in a week?”.

My report was also included in Digital Humanities Now's Editors’ Choice: Exploring the Cooper-Hewitt Collection Round-Up.

2008: an overview

An incomplete, retrospective list of work, talks and more in 2008…

Posts I wrote for the Museum of London / MoLAS blog included: What have you always wanted to ask a curator or museum specialist? and Why should IT students consider working in cultural heritage?.

And my personal blog, Open Objects, was nominated for an award! In the 'programming and development blog' category of the IT Blog Awards 08!

The ‘Podcasts from the past’ project – audio descriptions of gallery objects created by ordinary Londoners – helped shape my thinking about activities that served two purposes at once. In this case, the project encouraged people to access collections they wouldn't normally have access to, while creating audio for visually impaired visitors.

Panel paper: A Little Web 2.0 Goes A Long Way at "Wine, Web 2.0 and What's New"; Museums, Libraries and Archives E-Learning Group. The Trocadero Centre, London, February 7, 2008.

Presentation: MultiMimsy database extractions and the possibilities for OAI-based collections repositories at the Museum of London, UK MultiMimsy Users Group. Museum in Docklands, London, April 18, 2008.

Panel paper: The role of the IT professional in a heritage institution – I was guest speaker on a panel for a course in 'Culture and Heritage Informatics' at Kingston University, London, April 28, 2008 (my work blog post about it is above, and I blogged on 'Talking to IT students about the cultural heritage sector' on Open Objects too.

Presentation: "Web 2.0 in the Real World" – a case study for an MLA London Workshop on 'Web 2.0 and Social Networking for Museums, Libraries and Archives', held in London on July 14, 2008.

I also went to Bathcamp and Museums on the Web 2008, and published a report on The 2008 Mashed Museum Day and UK Museums on the Web Conference on Ariadne.