This one-day conference focuses on some of the key strategic issues faced by content creators and publishers today and which were addressed by the JISC eContent programme 2009-2011, in particular:
- the need for institutions to develop the necessary skills and strategies to embed digitisation within institutional strategies and practices as well as devise effective business models for the long term sustainability of digitised content
- the need to break down silos of content by clustering existing and complementary digitised resources and enhancing their offerings, thus making them more relevant and usable for target users
The day will bring together a mixture of national and international speakers and representatives of the projects funded under the JISC eContent programme to discuss current challenges and opportunities.
If you would like to give a brief presentation, 3-5 mins, of work you have done within your own institution relating to the topics above, please indicate it in the registration form – see link below – and we will be in touch with you.
The conference will be of relevance to decision makers involved in the provision and delivery of digital content to the education sector, including:
- Senior Librarians in higher and further education
- The librarians of the future – the next generation of librarians
- Managers of electronic resources and digital content provision
- Policy makers in charge of digital content strategies
- Teachers, lecturers and researchers with an interest in digital content
The conference will be held at Goodenough College, 21-25 Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AD, starting with registration at 10.00am and closing at 3.45pm.
There is no charge to attend the conference and lunch and refreshments are all included.
Please register by filling in the form at https://www.eventsforce.net/jisc/86/home
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Following recent discoveries in the John Rylands Library Special Collections, UNDEREXSPOSED is an exhibition in Collaboration with The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), celebrating the life of one of Manchester’s early photographic pioneers, J.T. Chapman.
Chemist, inventor and photographer, Chapman invented some of the processes that were to become standard in early photography.
However, he is widely omitted from history books as he published his formula under the pseudonym ‘Ostendo non Ostento’ (I show, not boast).
Working from Deansgate, Manchester, Chapman also invented and sold his own cameras and projectors.
The exhibition also showcases a selection of glass plate negatives, recently discovered and linked to the Langford Brooke family of Mere Hall in Cheshire, which have been cleaned, re-housed and digitised by CHICC.
CHICC is The Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care, a JISC funded project to develop a Centre for Heritage Digitisation, based within the University of Manchester.
The John Rylands Library will be holding a series of events associated with the exhibition, for more information please contact 0161 306 0555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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JPEG 2000 for the practitioner – a one-day seminar
The seminar will include specific case studies of JPEG 2000 use. It will explain technical issues that have an impact on practical implementation of the format, and explore the context of how and why organisations may choose to use JPEG 2000.
Although the seminar will have an emphasis on digitisation and digital libraries, the papers will be relevent to a range of research and creative industries.
Places are limited to 80 attendees. Papers will be made available online after the event.
- Tuesday 16 November 2010
- 9am – 5pm
- Wellcome Trust, 215 Euston Road, London, UK
Please submit the title and a brief abstract of your proposed paper and a bio of the speaker/s to email@example.com by October 4, 2010.
If you would like to attend please email your name and the name of your institution to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 November, 2010.
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The Visualising China Project is hosting a one-day workshop in Bristol on Tuesday 21st September, with presentations and discussion on the topic of cross-searching distributed, interrelated, online resources.
Presentations will include:
- The Visualising China project which currently harvests data linking to two large, separate image collections.
- Connected Histories project will present their experiences in cross-searching more than 10 online datasets.
The workshop will tackle topics such as harvesting protocols (including OAI-related solutions), presentation layer problems/solutions such as for ranking search results, and scalability/sustainability issues in cross-searching.
The workshop is also interested in receiving more recommendations for speakers and topics for discussion.
If you have suggestions and/or wish to attend please contact Nikki Rogers as soon as possible: email@example.com.
Date: Tuesday 21st September 2010
Venue: ILRT, Bristol
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The Stand is one of the oldest streets in London. It follows the line of the Roman road of Akeman, and lies on the Saxon boundary of Aldwych.
The Strand is located in the centre of London. It is the eye in a storm of diverse people, communities, societies and organisations that inhabit this busy thoroughfare.
A new project from Kings College, London will work closely with a range of local communities to help represent life on the Strand in ways meaningful to those communities, and to the academic community of Kings.
Strandlines will imaginatively explore the significance of place in people’s lives: Using academic expertise to suggest frameworks, especially life-writing, social media and oral history, to enable connection and engagement between the different Strand communities.
The project will create an online, interactive resource documenting life and work on the Strand over the past 200 years, through stories, audio and photographs. It will combine material taken from the College’s own archive, Westminster City Archives and elsewhere with people’s own photographs and memories, captured through a grassroots digitisation project.
To find out more about this project you can visit the Strandlines website. The Strandlines Digital Community is part of a larger project aiming to “explore lives on the Strand – past, present and creative”.
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The project has made around 15,000 pages of rare Welsh ballads available online. The collection also includes some of the ballads sung and available digitally.
The ballads give an unparalleled glimpse into Welsh society during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Cardiff University’s Dr Wyn James stated that the ballads:
“were the daily newspapers for the poor throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and were sold cheaply and widely at markets, fairs, and villages. They communicated news on local matters and overseas events of the day”.
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I have recently attended a number of events on the role(s) of Public engagement in the Arts and Humanities.
As a result I thought it might be useful to document some of the key issues that arose from these events, and some of the actions institutions and departments have been taking to deal with these challenges.
These are not exhaustive, nor final… just some of the more interesting points that arose from the discussions.
Benefits of Public Engagement
- New research outputs and collaborations – How does engaging the public change the nature of research outputs? Indeed, members of the public can do aspects of research that individual researchers are unable to do by themselves (e.g. Galaxy Zoo)
- Opening up new research areas – by involving the public can entirely new areas of research be uncovered?
- Dissemination - Engaged research is already embedded within communities and interested groups etc. Dissemination is a natural part and benefit of public engagement, not an add-on or after thought.
- Making research relevant – If we are sceptical of that which we do not understand, then our involvement in that work means it becomes important to us all, and we are able to better understand its benefits. At times of scrutiny (especially financial) that understanding can be extremely important.
Issues with Public Engagement
- ‘Self-defined’ engagement – Is this publicly instigated or research led engagement? What are the implications for engagement if it is always led and instigated by the researcher?
- Low institutional status – Angela Hobbs gave a fasinating presentation on her unique role as Senior Fellow for the Public Understanding of Philosophy. However, it was made very clear to Angela that this role would significantly hamper her chances of promotion and that in times of crisis hers could be the first to be cut! Why would early career researchers adopt engagement if it is bestowed with such low staus by many institutions (in practice, if not in spirit).
- Tension between research outputs and engagement – The low status of engagement often stems from this issue: It is hard to keep research outputs high and still effectively engage with the public. Usually it is the researchers career that suffers!
- Lack of recognition – Again, this follows from the lack of status within institutions, but engagement is not, generally, formally recognised within the academy. This is probably the biggest barrier to embedding public engagement within researchers work.
- Lack of best practice – Despite the fact that public engagement is not a new way of working (researchers have been working in this way for a long time) there is very little in the way of best practice and support for this type of research methodology. A few organisations, such as the National Co-Ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, are however, working to change this.
Toughts for Funders
Is the way we fund engagement part of the issue? The project methodology is a possible barrier to the uptake and embedding of public engagement by researchers – when the funding ends, so does the engagement. Are there better ways of funding projects and research to engage outside of the academy?
Another issue that arises from the funding model is that researchers often lack the partnerships and collaborators prior to funding being available. Could funders provide small amounts of money to establish some of these engagements and relationships, before large amounts of money are spent on research.
A final thought is about Impact and public engagement projects/research: How do we measure the impact that community and public engagement projects have within both the academy and the community? indeed can we really measure it?
Should it be less about impact and evaluation and more about dissemination and best practice?:
You can count the number of seeds you sow; not the quality of the trees that will grow
The recently funded Community Content projects from JISC confront and address many of the issues that arose from the discussions and workshops at these events. Visit the project webpages to discover more.
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The project is providing online access to unique original documents and photographs held by the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives.
The project takes the multi-faceted role of the soldier as its central theme: Exposing a proportion of little known material (hidden stories) and provide a body of material of contemporary relevance to researchers, students and today’s serving soldiers.
Furthermore, the project has also commissioned and produced a play which was performed at Shrivenham Officers training camp.
The play entitled ‘Fighting Your Corner’ draws on historical collections (diaries, reports and first had accounts) relating to previous conflicts in Afghanistan.
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International seminar – Heritage and digital innovation, Lleida, Spain,
13-15 May 2010
The seminar aims to bring together cultural institutions and commercial
organisations, including those participating in EU-funded projects
(3D-Coform, Europeana, CARARE), to discuss
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Tuesday 16th March saw the launch of Exeter University’s Digital Collections Online.
Delivering images and digital objects from Exeter’s most prestigious research collections, including over 2000 images showcasing Victorian culture, openly available for teaching and research.
The website includes e-learning packages to help embed the collections use within the university’s teaching, learning and research.
Highlights of the collection include historic popular culture images from Queen Victoria to Alice in Wonderland.
The Launch was preceeded by a workshop on the Digital Futures of Special Collections.
Partly as a response to the Enriching Digital Resources programme, the workshop examined many of the issues Special Collections and Archives face in delivering digital resources to users in the twenty-first century and beyond.
Some of the themes that emerged from the presentations and discussions are worth sharing:
- Students don’t care where (physically) an object is stored: they simply want access, whenever they need it. Linked to this is:
- Objects must be easy to use and find: especially for students who will often take the path of least resistance in searching for content.
- The digital doesn’t replace the physical, instead it facilitates a dialogue between the object and its simulacra.
- Metadata is not dead, yet. Descriptions allow users to find the objects. But how do we overcome shortages of resources and expertise to enrich metadata?
- As much as possible content should be shared and set free. There are many challenges to this, but where possible this should be the norm, not the exception. This may also help answer the issue of enriching metadata.
- Sharing and opening up content is not a loss of authority or power… rather it is empowering others.
There were many others, some of which may inspire future blog posts, but these were the ones that stuck with me.
The workshop was collaborative and challenging as anything worthwhile should be, and it seems a fitting vehicle to launch a new online digital collection.