For the second year running, the British Library Doctoral Student's Open Day programme includes a day dedicated to Digital Scholarship. This will take place on 23 January 2015 from 10:00 to 16:30 at the British Library Conference Centre. Coordinated by the Digital Research team, the main context for the day is that over the last two decades British Library has increasingly become a place full of not just physical objects, but of digital content. Indeed we are, by most measures, now a place full of data as much as a place full of books. These data range from digitised text, sound, visual, and philatelic material, to born-digital collections of personal archives and web content. And they are, as we know, transforming research, with new tools and computational techniques generating new discoveries and new understanding in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
So although the day is a chance for new PhD students to discover the British Library’s research materials, it isn't a day about discovery systems. Rather we aim to introduce the students to the use of digital collections beyond resource discovery, beyond interactions yoked to print paradigms, and provide a starting point for them to develop the language and skills required to undertake digital research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
As with the first iteration of the Digital Scholarship Open Day, the day will emphasis interaction and hands-on activities exercises over presentations, doing over telling, (if I dare go there...) hack over yack. That said we are delighted that Andrew Prescott, AHRC Leadership Fellow for the Digital Transformation Theme will again deliver the closing and no doubt inspirational thoughts.
So if you are a first year PhD student in the arts, humanities, or social sciences wanting to find out ways of working with with the British Library's Digital Collection, to demystify some digital research tools and approaches, or to meet our expert staff and other researchers in the field of digital research, then book yourself a place (note there is a small £5 charge, though lunch and refreshments will be provided). And if you are a PhD supervisor with a student who could benefit from the day, either by deepening their knowledge of digital research or opening their eyes to what is possible in a world of research data, then send them along.
Full details, including how to book, can be found on the British Library website.
Curator, Digital Research