Digital scholarship blog

01 July 2019

British Library Digital Scholarship at Digital Humanities 2019

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.