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Location

Link Rooms 1 & 2, Arts Complex

3/5 Woodland Road

Bristol

BS8 1TB

United Kingdom

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Description

This year’s British Library Labs Roadshow at the University of Bristol will include presentations exploring the British Library's digital collections and how they have been used in various subject areas such as the Humanities, Computer Science and Social Sciences.

Researchers from the University of Bristol, Cardiff University and Wikimedia UK will give short talks on projects involving digital collections and sources.

The roadshow aims to stimulate research, including research ideas for the annual BL Labs Awards.

This event is being organised by Research IT at the University of Bristol in collaboration with Cardiff University's Digital Cultures Network. It is also being supported by the Brigstow Institute and the Jean Golding Institute.

Location:

Please access the event by the main entrance to the Arts Complex at 3/5 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS1 8TB. The event will start with lunch and registration in the Humanities Junior Common room, talks will begin at 12:45 in Link Rooms 1&2.

If you are travelling to the University of Bristol for the first time please be aware that there are parking restrictions on the University campus, we suggest you read the 'how to get to the University of Bristol' guide to plan your travel.

Programme:

LUNCH
12.00 Registration, lunch and networking

PART 1 (1245 - 15.30)
12.45 Introduction and Welcome
Professor Helen Fulton, Research Director, School of Humanities, University of Bristol
12.50 Mahendra Mahey, BL Labs - What is British Library Labs?
13.20 Dr Martin Poulter, Wikimedia UK
13.50 Coffee break
14.00 Dr Jennifer Batt, University of Bristol
14.20 Dr Sebastiaan Verweij, University of Bristol
14.40 Dr Michael John Goodman, Cardiff University
+ 15 minutes discussion.


15.15- 15:30 - Coffee break

PART 2 (15.30-14:30)
15.30 Mahendra Mahey - Developing Services for BL Labs at the British Library: Feedback and Q and A
16.20 Conclusion
16.20-16.30 Networking.
16.30 Finish

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Speakers:

  • British Library Labs - Mahendra Mahey of BL Labs will give an overview of some of the Library's digital collections and lead on a discussion on how they can be used. The BL Labs team is keen to learn about the services researchers would like to see developed at the British Library to support Digital Scholarship and there will be a presentation around some ideas that the BL Labs team have been developing. Delegates will be invited to discuss and give feedback, suggest improvements and present their own ideas.

  • Dr Sebastiaan Verweij - Manuscript Pamphleteering in Early Stuart England - Before the outbreak of Civil War in 1642, England developed a large, influential and often radical pamphlet literature. This literature is rarely mentioned and even more rarely analyzed by historians or literary critics, not least because it was written by hand rather than printed with movable type. This project will construct a database of manuscript pamphlet texts, bibliographic information, and digital images. This project is led by Noah Millstone at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Sebastiaan Verweij and Mike Jones (Research IT) and the British Library.

  • Dr Jennifer Batt (Department of English, University of Bristol) - This presentation will report on a recent project with BL Labs which used text and data-mining methods to scour the British Library’s Burney Collection of historic newspapers in the pursuit of poetry. The goal: to recover a complex, expansive, ephemeral poetic culture that has been lost for well over 250 years.

  • Dr Martin Poulter (Wikimedian in residence, University of Oxford) - A lot of very useful data is held in printed books such as biographical dictionaries. Digitising the books helps us read them, but does not give us the content in a queryable form. This presentation describes a process using the Wikisource and Wikidata platforms to extract open data from an out-of-copyright book.

  • Dr Michael John Goodman (Cardiff University) - This talk will explore some of the concepts and implications behind the creation of a digital archive. Focussing on the recent Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive, it will argue that the choices we make in how we digitise historical artefacts are in fact editorial decisions and contribute to the success or otherwise of a project. By reconceiving the web page as a gallery space (as a place to view material) and by thinking like curators we can begin to open up our resources to a wide and diverse group of audiences.


What do the British Library Labs do?

Hundreds of thousands of digital items and objects are being created and collected for researchers to use such as digitised manuscripts, sheet music, newspapers, maps, archived websites, radio programmes, performances, TV news broadcasts, and artworks, as well as the more expected items like scanned versions of books.

This wonderful cacophony of content is having a significant effect on how institutions like the British Library support the research needs of their users. Will people discover new information when they no longer have the restriction of viewing a single page from a single book at a time? How can the British Library build systems that provide a coherent route across its content, regardless of whether it is a televised news report or a unique signature drawn in the margins of a map? How can we use crowd-sourced information, computer vision and machine-learning techniques to provide people with better tools to evaluate and interpret the context of the item? How can we exploit animations and interactive infographics to better convey the information found in our holdings? This is the research space that British Library Labs explores and we want to encourage researchers to work with us and share their research questions and innovative ideas around this.


Who are Research IT?

The Research IT team are a pool of professional software developers and system administrators with expertise in creating software for academic research. Research IT developers are funded by the research projects that they work on. This gives researchers access to experienced professional developers, part- or full-time, without recruitment delays and with the reduced risks afforded by a pool of staff.


What is the Cardiff Digital Cultures Network?

The Digital Cultures Network exists to build significant capacity in Digital Humanities (DH) practice at Cardiff University. In addition to bringing together established DH practitioners, the Network consolidates and extends the ongoing digital research into digital cultures at Cardiff University whilst supporting scholars interested in embedding DH in their own research and impact activities, to foster exciting and innovative collaborative projects.

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Image credit: Drawing of British Library and underground archives: by Colin St John Wilson, 1991

Date and Time

Location

Link Rooms 1 & 2, Arts Complex

3/5 Woodland Road

Bristol

BS8 1TB

United Kingdom

View Map

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