Monday, 23 November 2015

Arts & Humanities mentioned 5 times in the Nurse Review

The recent Nurse Review "Ensuring a Successful UK Research Endeavour" mentions "science" 94 times and the "arts" and/or "humanities" less than half a dozen times.
That's not much for arts and humanities so here are all those mentions in full.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The most influential academic book in history as seen by Google's nGram

When Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was voted the most influential academic book ever as part of the inaugural Academic Book Week I wondered what the result might look like through the lens of book analytic data provided by Google.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Wine, the Glass and the Drinking

During my keynote at the DCDC2015 Conference I challenged the audience to consider whether the value that exists in a digital resource reflected the analogy of: is the value in the wine, the glass or the drinking?

It is obvious all three are needed (and you could add other features), but maybe to a greater or lesser degree. If Wine = Content, the Glass = Infrastructure and the Drinking = Access then which one has precedence?

So we voted via Twitter and the results are in.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Colour Charts & Metadata on the Moon

as17-148-chart: Apollo 17 Hasselblad image from
film magazine 148/NN - Earth, LM Inspection, Orbital
The recent release to Flickr of all of the roughly 11,000 images taken on the NASA Apollo moon missions is the re-presentation of the public domain NASA-provided Apollo mission imagery as it was originally provided in its raw, high-resolution and unprocessed form.

One of the nice things to see from an imaging point of view are the early colour and photographic calibration charts.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Crowdsourcing is Dead - Long Live Citizen Humanities

When Jeremy Corbyn recently "crowdsourced" his Prime Ministers Questions (Independent 13/9/2015) what he was really doing was engaging in a citizens movement. He wasn't doing that which the origins of crowdsourcing would suggest and I am certain he would be shocked at the Neoliberalist roots for crowdsourcing.

So let's kill off crowdsourcing as a term of use in the humanities scholarship - let's use the term Citizen Humanities or maybe you have a better idea. Let's discuss!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Transforming our World: The 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Member States of the United Nations have agreed the final version of the post-2015 Development Agenda – now known as 2030 Agenda.

The new 2030 Agenda is a framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a total of 169 Targets spanning economic, environmental and social development. They lay out a plan for all countries to actively engage in making our world better for its people and the planet.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Digitization links with Digital Humanities

This post sketches the relationship between digitization and Digital Humanities. Considering the processes and how these map to John Unsworth's Digital Primitives and the research benefits of digitization for the digital humanities.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Magic Box - wonderful interactions between physical and digital

Saw this new product and thought I'd share - it is a wonderful exhibition technology that keeps the physical object in the exhibition space but allows an amazing experience through a transparent and touch sensitive layer of digital content.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Text Capture and Optical Character Recognition 101

This blog will introduce text capture by describing the different methods with a focus upon historical documents. I will introduce the basics of OCR and rekeying with discussion of handwriting and voice recognition.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Digital Futures Workshop 2015, Ghana

All the delegates for the workshop outside the Balme Library, University of Ghana
Recently I gave a short Digital Futures workshop as part of the International Conference of African Digital Libraries and Archives (ICADLA4). Hosted at the University of Ghana we had a superb 2 day course with 41 participants from 11 countries. This is a visual record plus some materials from the workshop.

Friday, 5 June 2015

In memoriam: Felix Ubogu a great Librarian

Felix Ubogu, the University Librarian at the University of Witwatersrand has sadly passed away.

I have just returned from an excellent ICADLA conference in Ghana. Felix was missed by all there and now we know his illness was worse than many of us thought. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Apple Watch $10k price isn't crazy, it's an Anchor

Orbiting the sun "at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."
(Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Want to sell lots of $350 watches that do cool stuff but are really first generation products that will only work usefully with an associated $300 plus iPhone nearby? Put them on sale next to a $10,000 watch that does the same thing. Anchoring is a powerful sales tool and Apple are using it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Building Digital Marketplaces

Jerusalem Marketplace by Simon Tanner 
Research shows that “more than 90% of the conversations about products, services and brands that take place every day” happen offline or face-to-face [1]. Thus billions of product, services and recommendations conversations happen in this offline space and only a small percentage are currently happening in online spaces, whether driven by social media or commercial spaces.

Even a small percentage of billions is a significant number, of course, but there remains considerable scope for growth in digital modes of community based discussion, sharing and recommendation. Especially in specialist areas where there is not currently a strong digital space for such conversations then promoting the building and delivery of communities that can share experience, knowledge and most importantly requirements, needs and recommendations could be an important innovation.

Monday, 2 February 2015

3 reasons why REF2014 was good for digital humanities scholars

What can the digital humanities learn from the REF2014 results that gives the discipline a boost and holds out hope for all of us who ply our scholarly trade as digital humanists?

Here I lay out 3 reasons to be cheerful in the midst of the detritus of the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Friday, 16 January 2015

Tate launches world-wide access to unpublished archives of key British artists

Graham Sutherland, colour study,
Tate Archive
Tate has announced that intimate love letters from Paul Nash to his wife, touching family photographs of Jacob Epstein, unpublished images revealing Eduardo Paolozzi’s playful nature, 45 volumes of Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture records and correspondence from William Nicholson to his son Ben are among the first batch of items to be made available on Tate’s website for a world-wide audience as part of the Archives and Access project.

The project draws on the world’s largest archive of British Art – the Tate Archive - and brings it together online with Tate's art collection, making this one of the richest and most comprehensive digital art and archival resources in Europe. It is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a grant of £2 million.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Despair over Timbuktu Manuscripts as Funding Pulled

Manuscript image courtesy of UNESCO
In January 2013 I reported on the war driven disaster in Mali that was putting at huge risk rare manuscripts in the Timbuktu region. I was thankful then to eventually find they had been secured and saved by the heroic efforts of the local people and the (partially South African funded) Ahmed Baba Institute. Now, at the end of 2014, South Africa is formally withdrawing its financial support by closing its Timbuktu trust fund and thus clearly putting those rare manuscripts back at risk. I despair.