Back in November we were joined by about 180 people to discuss how the Higher Education library community might be bolder in providing machine ready collections, in support of research, and to feel more confident with the impending introduction of AI into the community. You can see a recording with transcript of that session, but there was a lot to discuss in a short time, so we are pleased to be able to follow up on 8 February 2024 with a further discussion.
This time I will be joined by two colleagues from the University of Manchester Library. I will also be joined by Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives at the British Library UK Web Archive and Emily Maemura, Assistant Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Getting along with machines
The University of Manchester library has a wealth of digitised collection content and a very active researcher base. In their talk, Ian Gifford, Head of Digital Development, and Jane Gallagher, Head of Digital Special Collections and Services, will explore the opportunities, risks and challenges inherent in curating these collections as data. Using digital collections data case studies and focusing on Special Collections, they will consider practical responses to the Vancouver Statement on Collections-as-Data and share their thoughts for sector-wide progress to AI readiness.
No datasets without descriptions!
Helena and Emily will talk about their work in web archives scholarship, focusing on the description and provenance of collections and their data. Datasheets for Datasets is a method for describing large datasets from the field of machine learning, which uses a standard set of questions arranged by stages of the data lifecycle.
Helena and Emily’s project explored if the Datasheets framework, originally developed by Timnit Gebru, and others, could be applied to UK Web Archive collections published as data sets. They will share the findings of workshops they ran during the project and they will also look at how Datasheets might work for a wider set of library collections.
Let’s get together and discuss this
I really hope you can join us to explore how UK higher education libraries and the research library can start to release more of their collections in various forms to allow researchers to develop new insights and further the use of collections in humanities and social science research. You can find more information and how to join here. It’s free to join.
You can also see more about my research and investigations with colleagues via the tag below.