DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Meet the delegates of the DRHA 2009 conference and learn about their interests, projects and activities. This thread has been set up in cooperation with the conference hosts to give delegates a space to introduce themselves and their work.

The DRHA (Digital Resources in the Humanities and Arts) conference is held annually at various academic venues throughout the UK. The conference this year aims to promote discussion around dynamic networks of knowledge and practice, new digital communities of knowledge and practice, engaging users and digitisation of cultural heritage.

If you are participating in the conference, we would like to invite you to share your work and interests, in as much detail as you would like. If you want to, feel encourage to also let us know what you hope to get out of the conference and what your future plans are.

You do not need to register on the site to take part in this, simple click the 'add new comment' button below. You can also reply directly to any post by clicking the link under the respective posting.

Re: DRHA 2009 (comment)

'The highest reward from (mans) toil is not what (he) gets from it but what he becomes by it'

John Ruskin

< soapbox >
The essence of the humanities is rational and informed debate. It is about divergent positions of narrative based authorial argument, both political and interpretative, as a means of understanding the human condition...(archived on blog... http://www.craigbellamy.net/2009/09/06/probing-questions-in-...)

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi folks, I'm David King. Originally a historian, after twenty years in the IT industry - many of them as a document management consultant - I am now a research associate at The Open University. I am working on a JISC funded project to enhance the searchability of the last few hundred years of biodiversity literature as scanned by the Biodiversity Heritage Library. I am particularly interested in the various XML schemas used to mark up the literature, and how additional, useful information can be added to this raw data in a manner that benefits researchers and enhances searchability. Looking forward to meeting you next week.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi All - I'm Chris Pressler, Chair of the DRHA Standing Committee and Director of Information Services at the University of Nottingham. I'm so pleased that we're able to take DRHA to Belfast as it's also my home city and Queen's is where I was an undergrad - if you've not been there before you're going to love it.

Many thanks to Professor Sue Broadhurst, Chair of this year's Programme Committee and to all the folks at Queen's and the Royal Irish Academy for their work in preparing this year's conference. It's a particular pleasure to welcome Swansea University and the National Library of Wales as collaborators on this conference too.

DRHA has always been exciting and always been unpredictable. I look forward to meeting as many delegates as possible in Belfast and wish everyone safe travel to Northern Ireland - see you in a couple of days!


Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi my name is Anthony Corns and I am the GIS & IT manager at the Discovery Programme: a public institution for advanced research in Irish archaeology. I am responsible for the research and introduction of new technologies which aid the advancement of our knowledge and understanding of human activity within Ireland.

I will be giving a paper on the use of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for the sharing and democratising of Cultural Heritage Data examining the problems and potential solutions to sharing and reusing geospatial research data within the cultural heritage community established last year as part of the Heritage Council funded SHARE-IT Project.

Other research areas in which I am interested include:

  • Development of remote survey techniques for the three dimensional recording of monuments and landscapes, including digital photogrammetry, and high resolution airborne LiDAR
  • Advanced 3 dimensional modeling of cultural objects, monuments and landscapes
  • Application and development of geophysical techniques and methodology in the recording of subsurface archeological features
  • Design and development of online archaeological databases

I am lloking forward to listening to your contributions at the conference and meeting other experts in the field of didgital humanities.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi, I'm Martin Wynne from the University of Oxford. I'm Head of the Oxford Text Archive, based in the Computing Services, and I also have a role at the Oxford e-Research Centre, where I am coordinating the Digital Humanities at Oxford initiative to map and draw together the various strands of activity across the University. I am involved in CLARIN, which is building a pan-European research infrastructure for the deployment of language resources and technologies in support of research in the humanities and social sciences, and I am also the liaison officer between CLARIN and Preparing DARIAH, a major European research infrastructure initiative for the arts and humanities.

Much of my current work involves trying to foster communications and cooperation between these and other iniatives, to promote interoperability of the numerous emerging services and platforms for research in the humanities.

If I ever find any spare time, I like to do research in linguistics.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

I'm Richard Lewis. I'm a Ph.D student working in Geraint Wiggins' lab, Intelligent Sound and Music Systems, in the Computing Department at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

My background is in music, including BA Music (2004) and MMus Critical Musicology (2008) both from the University of East Anglia. My Masters thesis explored the area of digital encoding of music, using the idea of inscription and considering what inscriptions means in terms of writing music down, and in terms of the digital medium.

My current Ph.D research is on an AHRC/EPSRC/JISC funded e-Science in the Arts and Humanities Initiative project, Purcell Plus, housed in the ISMS lab and headed by Tim Crawford. The broad remit of each of the projects funded under this scheme is to investigate the impact of e-Science on the home discipline; in our case, musicology. Our approach so far has been to take the primary deliverable of musicological research, criticism, and investigate what computational tools or techniques may be applicable to it.

In our DRHA paper, we report on the work we've done integrating music scholarship (embodied in textual data) into music datasets which also contain more conventionally musical digital objects (scores, recordings).

As a (hopefully) cross-disciplinary doctoral graduate in around three years time, I'd be interested in hearing others' views on the prospects for those with mixed backgrounds within academia. Will traditional single-discipline departments be interested in taking on staff without highly discipline focused career paths and research records?

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi, I'm Paul Schaffner. I was a frequent visitor to DRH (before the "-A")--Sheffield, Cheltenham, London, Glasgow, etc.--till my daughter went off to college, after which Septembers were reserved for transporting her and her goods across the country every year. For ten years I've been the text person (and the detail devil, aka production manager) at the University of Michigan's Digital Library Production Service, where I manage the 'Text Creation Partnership' projects, a consortial effort to create full-text transcriptions of most of the extant English-language printed works published before 1700, and a sample of printed works published 1700-1800. That's what I'll be talking about, if I ever get the presentation put together, which seems an increasingly desperate question.
Before that I was responsible for converting the Middle English Dictionary to electronic form, along with the expanded bibliography and primary texts that are collectively known as the Middle English Compendium. I came to that job from seven years as a historical lexicographer and academic training as a philologist of the Medieval sort (Cambridge and Cornell); my title now is librarian. I also moonlight as the cataloguer of a local community college, accumulate many books (mostly catalogued!), collect old hand tools, and shirk my duties as a member of the TEI Council.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hello all,
I'm working for UHI Millenium Institute (University of the Highlands & Islands) developing a networked drama degree which will be delivered through a mix of blended and online working, in which the cohort spread across the miles functions as one creative community. This is my first DRHA conference and this will probably be the UK's first networked drama degree.

I started out in TIE as an actor/teacher and then became a theatre historian, in the course of which, in 1987, I started my Ph.D. at Glasgow University as one of only two Arts researchers then using the University's mainframe computer (ICL 3980 - it looked like a laundrette). I was using a basic programme (Famulus77) to sort information taken from 5,000 nineteenth century playbills, which allowed me to deconstruct the repertoire, reveal hidden patterns and even build basic 3-d statistical models from the results.

It was huge fun, but being a generalist in employment terms other things then intervened. Over twenty years later, in July I found myself at 4am, sitting in my fluffy slippers in Invergordon, taking a beginner's movement workshop in the 'Theatron' SecondLife Piran Round site, for a group of Australasian drama lecturers at ADSA09 in Perth, Australia. This was also fun and intriguing and technically challenging in about equal measure.

I'll try to carry on working with students from anywhere who want to explore performance in SL, because I have a particular interest in the relationship between the student performer and their avatar/s; however, my immediate challenge is the BA Drama degree and designing a way of working that both supports and challenges students, and tutors, and enhances their creativity as well as their employability.

I'm looking forward to exchanging ideas with folk at DRHA and hope to be able to convey something of what we're intending to achieve across the Highlands & Islands.

good wishes,
Barbara Bell.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi, I'm Michal Měchura. I'm an IT consultant and I work mostly for Fiontar, an Irish-language teaching and research unit in Dublin City University. My background is in computational linguistics, in software localization and generally in anything where IT and languages overlap. For the last couple of years I've been working as a technical director (and now an external consultant) on focal.ie (the Irish National Terminology Database) and logainm.ie (the Placenames Database of Ireland). One of the cool things I'm working on at the moment is a new mapping interface for the placenames database.

Most of my work involves building databases and websites. I guess there's nothing special about that except that the data I work with is mostly from the humanities. I just think that building a database of placenames is more fun than building a database of, say, financial data or something like that.

I like to think that we in Fiontar have been working in digital humanities long before the term became popular in Ireland, and before we even heard of the term ourselves. But since the DHO has been founded I have come to realize that we are not alone! I'm looking forward to meeting people with similar interests in Belfast, to learning what other people have done and to sharing my own experience. See you next week!

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi, I am Francesca Benatti. I am a Research Fellow in the School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin. This is my first DRHA and I will be presenting a paper based on my experience of teaching a Digital Humanities course to the students of a structured PhD programme. I hope to meet other digital humanities educators with whom to discuss how to teach digital humanities, what to teach and why.
I am also working with the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive in UCD http://www.ucd.ie/ivrla/ to promote the use of their collections in teaching and research.
My background is mostly in book history, specifically 19th-century periodicals. I also still work with the Thomas Moore Hypermedia Archive, NUI Galway, for whom I am (slowly) editing some of Moore's prose writings.

DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi, I'm Paul Ell, director of the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at Queen's Belfast. I'm one of the three main organisers of this year's DRHA Conference with Susan Schreibman (DHO) and Kirsti Bohata (Swansea University). Queen's is delighted to host the first DRHA conference to be held outside Britain. We've got an exceptionally strong and vibrant programme that I'm sure all will find rewarding. As you will know selected papers drawn from the conference will be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing which I co-edit. We've based, and will be basing, several issues of the Journal around key national and international conferences and, reviewing the programme, the DRHA issue will be particularly strong.

In terms of my own research interests and background, I joined Queen's in 1993 after completing post-doc work at Leicester University. I became founding director of the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis in 1999. I've a first degree in History and Geography, an MA in English Local History and a PhD in historical geography. My Centre's activities closely match my own research interested. These are:

The development of strategic e-resources in Britain, Ireland and North America. I've been involved in many digitisation projects focussing on work that forms the foundation of scholars' research.

The use of new methodologies in digital humanities. In particular I'm interested in Geographical Information Systems and have increasingly worked on 'Humanities GIS' with an emphasis on geographies of non-quantitative sources. I also think that Grid Computing and e-Science have a vital role in the Humanities and Arts in terms of managing and drawing upon the large body of disparate resources that already exist.

The use of e-resources developed in scholarship, so much of my published work draws on our own datasets. This work largely falls within historical geography, visualisation, and census sources.

I look forward to meeting with you in a couple of weeks at the conference.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

Hi all.

I am coming from Trinity College Dublin.
More precisely, my academic home is the School of Computer Science and Statistics.
I am (originally) mathematician (of sorts).
But my (other) passion is humanities in all its manifestations.

The subject of my recent work is something I am calling
the "Digital re-Discovery of Culture" with specific focus on
the idea of a "Game of Inquiry"
by which one gets to know oneself, the other, through medium of "culture".

It took a while to think up the title of our paper/presentation:
"Culture seen, Culture experienced, Culture rediscovered"

Mihal Orela

post scriptum: I tried to use pic above for my "personal picture"
conforming to size 85x85 and in my case 24KB.
Tried several times...

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

I'm Daisy Abbott and I've got a background in the digital arts, specifically performing arts and the creation and use of digital data. I've fairly recently moved to a new position at teh Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Art (http://www.gsa.ac.uk/researchandpostgraduate/content/default...) where we're doing lots of digital projects involving 3d visualisation such as the virtual patient http://www.medicalvisualisation.co.uk/ and capturing digital documentation of world heritage sites: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/aug/23/mount-rush...

So I'm interested in developing my knowledge of data creation and management in the 3d visualisation field, and finding out more about innovative uses of 3d data for conservation/research/creative purposes.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

I am James Gerard Raphael Cronin from University College Cork. I am on this year’s DRHA programme committee. In Cork, I am a programme co-ordinator in Adult Continuing Education and I have also been a member of History of Art since it began in University College Cork in 2001. I have written on a range of diverse topics from Medieval art and iconography to the roles learning technologies play in higher education. Most recently, I contributed to Carla R. Payne (Ed.). (2009). Information technology and constructivism in higher education: Progressive learning frameworks. Hershey and New York: Information Science Reference. ISBN 978-1-60566-654-9. I believe that the challenge we face as educators (be we academics, librarians, administrators or technicians) is how best to equip our students for an increasingly complex information society precisely at a time when critically evaluating information is seen as a central mark of being educated. Clearly, the speed and availability of information technology means that students have greater access to information than ever before, but can educators assume that students know how to pick their way through the mass of content in a discerning, critical, and ethical manner? These are issues I will be discussing in my paper: Too much information: why facilitate media literacy?

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

I'm Dot Porter, and I'm the Metadata Manager at the Digital Humanities Observatory in Dublin. I provide recommendations on metadata for DHO-internal projects (such as our DRAPIer database and Fedora repository), and also consult on projects across Ireland. Prior to coming to Ireland (in October 2008) I was for six years Program Coordinator at the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities at the University of Kentucky. I'm trained as a medievalist (Anglo-Saxon studies) and a librarian, and have worked on many projects in digital medieval studies and digital classics. My research interests focus on issues of contextualization and collaboration in the digitization of text-bearing cultural heritage objects, and in their editing, publication, and use by both scholarly and general audiences. This will be my first DRHA and I'm looking forward to it!

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

I'll be attending my first DRHA in Belfast. I've recently started working in the Centre for e-Research (CeRCH) at King's College, London. I'm a librarian by background, and have specialised in digital libraries for most of my career, particularly in the area of metadata, which is my primary area of responsibility here at CeRCH. I've been working since I started at King's on the Historical Hansards project, for which I'm currently devising a generic XML schema for the encoding of parliamentary proceedings. I've also been doing some work on the East London Theatre Archive which is very much like the digital collections I used to manage at Oxford (I used to work for the Oxford Digital Library). I'm looking forward to hearing about your projects, and to catching up with some old friends, in Belfast.

Re: DRHA 2009 meet and greet

My name is Torsten and I am a historian by training (specifically early modern English history). I have been working with digital humanities projects for over a decade, initially focussing on electronic publications, databases and websites for historians. Currently, I am responsible for the www.arts-humanities.net project hosted at the Centre for e-Research at King's College London.

I will be giving a paper with Dot Porter on The Development of a Shared Taxonomy for the Digital Arts and Humanities. Through this project we are building a way to classify activities in the digital arts and humanities - to make it easier to feature activities and resources and to help the community to keep up-to-date and learn from the experiences of others.

Another project I am involved in will also be feature at the conference: The UK Network of Expert Centres. The Network is a collaboration of centres with expertise in digital arts and humanities research and scholarship. Its aims are to: advocate, promote and raise awareness and understanding of the use of ICT in research and scholarship in arts and humanities (broadly defined); take the lead in the use of digital methods and resources for arts and humanities; research and scholarship; develop and exchange expertise, knowledge, standards and best practices; identify and represent the needs of the research community; conduct dialogue with relevant stakeholders.

While this is a long sentence, the Network is really about finding ways to support the community, i.e. you! We are also thinking about infrastructure and the taxonomy of methods mentioned above may very well play a role in the Network's activities too. So as you can see, infrastructure for learning and research is getting more important for me. I am currently also involved in a JISC-funded study to scope out the international landscape of Virtual Research Environments - http://www.vrelandscape.net/

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