THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Digital scholarship blog

Enabling innovative research with British Library digital collections

Introduction

Tracking exciting developments at the intersection of libraries, scholarship and technology. Read more

01 July 2019

British Library Digital Scholarship at Digital Humanities 2019

DSphotocollage4
BL_DigiSchol Twitter Profiles Collage

 

Members of the Library’s Digital Scholarship Department will be present at DH2019 - so far the biggest representation of our team at this important DH event. We are all really excited about it, especially the first timers amongst us!

Below we highlight the team’s contributions to the DH2019 Programme and hope to see you at these sessions. We will also be attending some of the pre-conference workshops and will record our #DH2019 impressions in a post-conference blogpost, so watch this space.

If you are interested to arrange a casual meetup do message us @BL_DigiSchol and our personal Twitter accounts. See you in Utrecht #DH2019!

 

Monday 8th July

Libraries As Research Partner in Digital Humanities

DH 2019 Pre-Conference, The Hague

Mahendra Mahey et al.

 

Wednesday 10th July 

A National Library’s digitisation guide for Digital Humanists

Rossitza Ilieva Atanassova

(11:00-12:30 SP-04 Cultural Heritage, Artifacts and Institution)

This short paper will give practical advice about the Library’s digitisation planning process for scholars who wish to use digitised resources in their research. The information will help scholars understand the institutional context, the roles involved in digitisation, the preparation stages and documentation required, typical timelines and the decision-making that happens at different stages. With this knowledge it is hoped that DH scholars will be better prepared for the process and will factor it in their research funding proposals. They will also gain an understanding of the Library’s considerations and policy for making available for reuse existing digitised resources and how scholars could request this for their projects. In making the policy and processes at the institution more transparent, the presentation will expose some of the hidden labour undertaken by cultural heritage staff to enable Digital Humanities (DH) research.

 

The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections

Mia Ridge1, Giovanni Colavizza2, Laurel Brake3, Maud Ehrmann4, Jean-Philippe Moreux6, Andrew Prescott5

1British Library; 2The Alan Turing Institute; 3Birkbeck, Univ of London; 4EPFL; 5University of Glasgow; 6Bibliothèque nationale de France

(2:00pm - 3:30pm P-07: History and Historiographies)

Historical newspapers are of interest to many humanities scholars as sources of information and language closely tied to a particular time, social context and place. Digitised newspapers are also of interest to many data-driven researchers who seek large bodies of text on which they can try new methods and tools. Recently, large consortia projects applying data science and computational methods to historical newspapers at scale have emerged, including NewsEye, impresso, Oceanic Exchanges and Living with Machines.

This multi-paper panel draws on the work of a range of interdisciplinary newspaper-based digital humanities and/or data science projects, alongside 'provocations' from two senior scholars who will provide context for current ambitions. As a unique opportunity for stakeholders to engage in dialogue, for the DH2019 community to ask their own questions of newspaper-based projects, and for researchers to map methodological similarities between projects, it aims to have a significant impact on the field.



Thursday 11th July

The Complexities of Video Games and Education: In the Library, the Museum, Schools and Universities

Stella Wisdom1, Andrew Burn2, Sally Bushell3, James Butler3, Xenia Zeiler4, Duncan Hay3

1British Library, United Kingdom; 2University College London Institute of Education, United Kingdom; 3Lancaster University, United Kingdom; 4University of Helsinki, Finland

(11:00-12:30 P-15: Cultural Heritage, Art/ifacts and Institutions)

This panel explores several research projects that use video games and digital game making tools as methods for engaging learners of all ages with digitised collections from libraries, archives and museums to facilitate new understandings of historical and cultural events, or create new media adaptations and interpretations of classic literary works.

 

Data Science & Digital Humanities: new collaborations, new opportunities and new complexities

Beatrice Alex1, Anne Alexander2, David Beavan3, Eirini Goudarouli4, Leonardo Impett6, Barbara McGillivray2, Nora McGregor5, Mia Ridge5

1University of Edinburgh; 2University of Cambridge; 3The Alan Turing Institute; 4The National Archives; 5British Library; 6Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History

(11:00-12:30 P-17: Scholarly Communities, Communication, Pedagogy)

This panel highlights the emerging collaborations and opportunities between the fields of Digital Humanities (DH), Data Science (DS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It charts the enthusiastic progress of a national-level research institute focussed on DS & AI, as it engages non-STEM disciplines. We discuss the exciting work and learnings from various new activities, across a number of high-profile institutions. As these initiatives push the intellectual and computational boundaries, the panel considers both the gains, benefits, and complexities encountered. The panel latterly turns towards the future of such interdisciplinary working, considering how DS & DH collaborations can grow, with a view towards a manifesto.

28 June 2019

Digital Conversations: Celebrating Ten Years of the New Media Writing Prize

As part of our Digital Conversations series and the season of events accompanying the Library's Writing: Making Your Mark exhibition; we invite you to join us for an evening discussing the future of the ‘written’ word.  In partnership with Bournemouth University, if:book uk, and sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library; we are celebrating ten years of the New Media Writing Prize, by hosting a panel event on Thursday 18 July, 18:30 - 20:30, in the British Library Knowledge Centre. To book a ticket go here.

The New Media Writing Prize (NMWP) is an international award, which showcases exciting and inventive, interactive stories and poetry that integrate a variety of formats, platforms, and digital media. 

New-media-logo-1080x380

On the 18th July, we will have an fascinating discussion featuring previous prize winners and innovative writers from around the world. This event will be chaired by NMWP co-founder and organiser Jim Pope from Bournemouth University, and speaking on the panel will be:

  • Andy Campbell, Digital Director at the One to One Development Trust and the founder/lead author of Dreaming Methods, One to One’s award-winning in-house Virtual Reality, digital storytelling and games development studio. Andy has been a NMWP judge since the prize was launched in 2010, has witnessed innovations and developments in digital publishing and has predictions for what may come next.
Digital Fiction Curios Exterior
Digital Fiction Curios is a unique digital archive of early electronic literature designed in the style of a ‘curiosity shop’, by Andy Campbell and Judi Alston
  • Amira Hanafi is a writer and artist based in Cairo. Her work ‘A Dictionary of the Revolution’, an experiment in polyvocal storytelling, won the New Media Writing Prize in 2018. In 2014, she initiated conversations around keywords used to talk about the 2011 Egyptian uprising and its aftermath with nearly 200 people. The project was published as a website using data visualization to allow readers to navigate through 125 texts that are woven from transcription of this speech.
A Dictionary of the Revolution
A Dictionary of the Revolution, by Amira Hanafi
  • Kayt Lackie, winner of the 2018 NMWP Dot Award for The VESSEL Project in Northern Ontario, Canada. This is an alternate reality game set in a fictionalised version of Elliot Lake. A weekend-long festival where the town of Elliot Lake becomes the setting of a real-world ‘video game’ – where players, as themselves, solve puzzles/gather clues/overcome challenges while experiencing a story created and performed by community participants.
Vessel project
The Ephemera Box Storytelling Installation from the The Vessel Project
  • Christine Wilks, a digital writer, artist and developer of interactive narratives and playable media. Her digital fiction, 'Underbelly', won the very first New Media Writing Prize in 2010.  She is currently building her own platform for authoring and playing text-driven interactive digital narratives, which she is using to develop a psychological thriller for her practice-based PhD in Digital Writing at Bath Spa University.
Underbelly-Spin the Wheel
Underbelly, by Christine Wilks

We would be delighted to see you there to join our conversation, Thursday 18 July, 18:30 - 20:30, in the British Library Knowledge Centre, please book a ticket from: https://www.bl.uk/events/digital-conversations-celebrating-ten-years-of-the-new-media-writing-prize.

This post is by Digital Curator Stella Wisdom (@miss_wisdom

26 June 2019

BL Labs Awards 2019: enter before midday on Monday 9th September!

The BL Labs Awards formally recognises outstanding and innovative work that has been created using the British Library’s digital collections and data.

The closing date for entering the BL Labs Awards (2019) is 12:00 noon (BST) on Monday 9th September. Submit your entry, and help us spread the word to all interested parties over the next few months or so. This will ensure we have another year of fantastic digital-based projects highlighted by the Awards!

This year, BL Labs is commending work in four key areas:

  • Research - A project or activity that shows the development of new knowledge, research methods, or tools.
  • Commercial - An activity that delivers or develops commercial value in the context of new products, tools, or services that build on, incorporate, or enhance the Library's digital content.
  • Artistic - An artistic or creative endeavour that inspires, stimulates, amazes and provokes.
  • Teaching / Learning - Quality learning experiences created for learners of any age and ability that use the Library's digital content.

After the submission deadline of noon BST on Monday 9th September 2019 for entering the BL Labs Awards has passed, the entries will be shortlisted. Selected shortlisted entrants will be notified via email by midnight BST on Thursday 10th October 2019. 

A prize of £500 will be awarded to the winner and £100 to the runner up in each Awards category at the BL Labs Symposium on 11th November 2019 at the British Library, St Pancras, London.

The talent of the BL Labs Awards winners and runners up over the last four years has led to the production of a remarkable and varied collection of innovative projects. In 2018, the Awards commended work in four main categories – Research, Artistic, Commercial and Teaching & Learning:

2018-BL-Labs-Award-Winners
BL Labs Award Winners 2018
(Top left - Delius Catalogue of Works, Top right - Another Intelligence Sings, Bottom right - The British Library Fashion Collection and Bottom right - Pocket Miscellanies)
  • Research category Award (2018) winner: The Delius Catalogue of Works: the production of a comprehensive catalogue of works by the composer Delius, based on research using (and integrated with) the BL’s Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue by Joanna Bullivant, Daniel Grimley, David Lewis and Kevin Page from Oxford University’s Music department.
  • Artistic Award (2018) winner: Another Intelligence Sings (AI Sings): an interactive, immersive sound-art installation, which uses AI to transform environmental sound recordings from the BL’s sound archive by Amanda Baum, Rose Leahy and Rob Walker independent artists and experience designers.
  • Commercial Award (2018) winner: Fashion presentation for London Fashion Week by Nabil Nayal: the Library collection - a fashion collection inspired by digitised Elizabethan-era manuscripts from the BL, culminating in several fashion shows/events/commissions including one at the BL in London.
  • Teaching and Learning (2018) winner: Pocket Miscellanies: ten online pocket-book ‘zines’ featuring images taken from the BL digitised medieval manuscripts collection by Jonah Coman, PhD student at Glasgow School of Art.

For further information about BL Labs or our Awards, please contact us at labs@bl.uk.

Posted by Mahendra Mahey, Manager of of British Library Labs.