Digital humanities’ use of cultural data #theta2015

How will digital humanities in the future use cultural data?
Ingrid Mason @1n9r1d

[Presentation basically takes the approach of giving an overview of digital humanities and cultural data by throwing lots of examples at us – fascinating but not conducive to notes.]

Cultural data is generated through all research – seems to be more through humanities, but many others too.
RDS building national collection pulling together statistical adata, manuscripts, documents, artefacts, av recordings from an array of unconnected repositories.

New challenge: people wanting access to collections in bulk, not just borrowing a couple of items. Need to look at developing a wholesale interface on top of our existing retail interface.

Close reading vs distant reading. Computation + arrangement + distance. Researchers interested in immersion; in moving images (eg change over time); pattern analysis; opening up the archive (eg @TroveNewsBot). Text mining/linguistic computing methods to look at World Trade Centre first-responder inteviews. Digital paleography – recognising writing of medieval scripts. Linked Jazz.

A dream: when an undergrad would have loved to have been in the Matrix. Have a novel surrounding you and then turn it immediately into a concordance.

Things digital humanities researchers need: Visualisation hours. Digitisation and OCR. Project managers. Multimedia from various institutions. High-performance computing experts.

~”Undigitised data is like dark matter” (Maltby)

What we can do:

  • Talk to researchers about materials they need
  • Learn about APIs
  • Provide training

Q: Indigenous cultural data
A: Some material is very sensitive and challenges to get it to appropriate researchers/communities so could be opportunities to work together.

Q: Any work on standardisation of cultural data?
A: At a high level (collection description) we can but between fields harder.

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