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Building cultural heritage knowledge

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British Museum

BP Lecture Theatre

Great Russell Street

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WC1B 3DG

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Description

This conference seeks to highlight the challenges for sustainable knowledge building between cultural heritage institutions, universities and the other interested audiences.

How do we combine knowledge, skills and experience to create digital resources that have high research value, meaningful content, and are interesting to a wide range of people and groups? How can interdisciplinary work be practically supported and maintained? How can the outputs of digital research be academically robust and accessible for reuse in other projects? How can we avoid digital disruption and fragmentation? Finally, what role should cultural heritage institutions and organisations play in preserving and disseminating knowledge?

Papers will include the principles, methodology, techniques and viewpoints of people and projects attempting to answer these questions and provide practical solutions. The focus is not simply on integrating and connecting information but about connecting people and knowledge from different backgrounds, skills and experience. Workshops will talk about and demonstrate techniques used to transfer knowledge systems to the World Wide Web.

Speakers

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  • Professor Andrew Prescott (Glasgow University) - Key Note 27th July
  • Professor Willeke Wendrich (UCLA) - Key Note 28th July

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  • Arno Bosse (University of Oxford)
  • Toby Burrows & Rebecca Repper (University of Oxford and Western Australia)
  • Tom Cramer (Stanford University)
  • Peter Haase (Metaphacts GmbH)
  • Florian Kräutli (Max Planck Institute - History Of Science)
  • Angus Lockyer (SOAS) and Stephanie Santschi (British Museum)
  • Dominic Oldman (British Museum)
  • Paul Walland (Innovation IT - Southampton University)
  • Mervin Richard (National Gallery of Washington)
  • Stephen Stead (Paveprime)
  • Louisa Wood Ruby (The Frick, New York)

see biographies below

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A British Museum/ResearchSpace symposium is funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. A drinks reception will be held on Thursday until 19:00

Lunch and refreshments are provided.

Some Bursaries available (see below)

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Speaker Details

Keynote Speaker (27th July)

Professor Andrew Prescott - Remediating Our Culture: Threats and Challenges

Andrew Prescott is Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Glasgow. He is AHRC Theme Leader Fellow for the Digital Transformations strategic theme. He was formerly a Curator of Manuscripts at the British Library, where he was the principal curatorial contact for the Electronic Beowulf project. He has also worked at digital humanities units and libraries in the University of Sheffield, King’s College London and University of Wales Lampeter.

Since the publication of foundational works of cultural theory by commentators such as Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall, we have become conscious of the complex ways in which culture embodies power structures. Just at the time we have become aware of the complexity of ideas of culture, the emergence of new digital and network technologies has profoundly changed the way in which we engage with the holdings of galleries, libraries and museums.

It will be argued that, far from democratising our culture, there is a risk that digital projects can return us to backward-looking and elitist views of culture, both as a result of the use of commercial partners and because of the way metadata is constructed. It will be suggested that museums and other memory institutions have a moral responsibility to engage with these emerging digital cultures in order to resist such retrograde cultural outlooks. One of the most important achievements of the British Museum’s ResearchSpace project is the way in which it facilitates the development of more nuanced and sophisticated views of culture in a digital environment.

Keynote Speaker (28th July)

Professor Willeke Wendrich - Immersive Environments: Recreating Contexts of At-Risk Cultural Heritage

Willeke Wendrich holds the Joan Silsbee Chair in African Cultural Archaeology and is professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Digital Humanities in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked for 30 years in Egypt and currently directs a project in Ethiopia. She is Director of the Center for Digital Humanities and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, and Editor-in-Chief of the online UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology. She also chairs the Society of American Archaeology’s Task Force on Implementing Data Access and Archiving Recommendation and co-PI on the University of California President’s Catalyst Grant on the digital preservation of At-Risk Cultural Heritage. Her latest books are Archaeology and Apprenticeship (University of Arizona Press, 2012) and The Desert Fayum Reinvestigated (CIoA Press, 2017).

Immersive Environments is a project in development at UCLA to build three-dimensional Virtual Reality environs for cultural heritage that is preserved out-of-context. A collaboration of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, the Center for Digital Humanities at UCLA, the Hearst Museum at UC Berkeley and the Politecnico di Torino, Immersive Environments allows digital data aggregation linked to objects, space and place. Rather than considering imagery, descriptions and plans as “meta-data” for a virtual reconstruction of landscapes, buildings, objects and the human interaction with these, all information is considered simply as “data”, structured and re-structured depending on the research needs in a 3DVR setting that can be accessed on a screen or through a unity-based immersive experience.

Two research environments are currently in preparation: annotated Egyptian coffins from the Hearst Museum in Berkeley and the Nubian landscape that became submerged after the building of the Aswan High Dam. The latter is a multi-year project, starting with the Temples of Ellesiya, (now in the Museo Egizio in Turin) and Dendur, (now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York). Apart from re-contextualizing the temples, the project will critically assess the selection of what was preserved from the rising waters and what was not, gathering geolocated information to be linked to the recreated landscape and stored in the UCLA Digital Library for long-term preservation.

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Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) - Speaker: Arno Bosse (Oxford University)

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation the Early Modern Letters Online project provides an online research resource around sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century letters, and has an ongoing mission to develop an expert system for historians and other scholars using these primary sources.

Arno Bosse is the digital project manager for the 'Cultures of Knowledge' research project on early modern correspondence at the University of Oxford, and its flagship catalogue, 'Early Modern Letters Online'. Previously, he worked as director of Humanities Computing at the University of Chicago and as a research associate in the R&D department of the Göttingen State and University Library. He received his B.A. in Art History/Literature from Reed College and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the 'Data Exchange and Strategic Planning' Working Group in the EU COST Action ‘Reassembling the Republic of Letters’.

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PHAROS (The International Consortium of Photo Archives) Speaker: Dr Louisa Wood Ruby (The Frick Art Reference Library )

A consortium of fourteen European and North American art historical photo archives committed to creating a digital research platform allowing for comprehensive consolidated access to photo archive images and their associated scholarly documentation. The project is currently undertaking a conversion of consortium data to the CIDOC CRM for use in the ResearchSpace system and was recently featured in the New York Times.

Louisa Wood Ruby received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University with a dissertation on the Drawings of Paul Bril, subsequently published by Brepols in 1999. Currently she is Head of Research at The Frick Art Reference Library where in addition to her charge to increase awareness of methodological and scholarly trends in digital humanities and art history, her activities include the oversight of the Montias database of 16th and 17th century inventories of Dutch art collections found in the Gemeentearchief, Amsterdam and consulting for staff and researchers on issues pertaining to Dutch and Flemish art. With the Frick’s Digital Art History Lab, she has recently begun a database of all the works that have historically been attributed to Johannes Vermeer. Her articles on Netherlandish art have appeared in Burlington Magazine, Master Drawings, Journal of the Historians of Netherlandish Art as well as in Festschrifts, symposia proceedings and exhibition catalogs. She is currently working on an online monograph and catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jan Brueghel the Elder in conjunction with Terez Gerszi of the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, which will result in an exhibition in Antwerp in 2019. She is a member of the College Art Association, The Renaissance Society of America, The Sixteenth Century Society, CODART (Curators of Dutch and Flemish Art), and Vice-President of the Historians of Netherlandish Art.

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SPHAERA: System Evolution and the Shared Scientific Identity of Europe - Speaker: Florian Kräutli (Max Planck Institute - History Of Science)

Using the ResearchSpace Semantic Database Builder, this Max Planck (History of Science) project investigates the knowledge tradition that is interwoven with the history of one book: the Tractatus de sphaera of Johannes de Sacrobosco. The work is a 13th century treatise on cosmology that – until the 17th century – has been repeatedly published as university textbooks.

Florian Kräutli holds a BDes. from the Design Academy Eindhoven and an MSc. in Cognitive Computing from Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, focusing on philosophy of perception and artificial intelligence. He is experienced as a designer, software developer and lecturer, and his work has been internationally exhibited and featured in both design- and technology-focused media. His PhD at the Royal College of Art, London, looked at the connection between digital humanities and design; he works on projects with archives and museums and writes on the topics of cultural data, data visualisation and visualisation of time and is the Research Technology Officer at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

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ConservationSpace - Speaker: Mervin Richard (National Gallery of Washington)

ConservationSpace is a web-based digital document management system developed specifically for the needs of conservators that marries the versatility of a word processor with the capabilities of a database. Manage all material associated with a cultural object all in one location. It also offers task and workflow management tools. The system is highly configurable and designed to interface with collection management systems.

Mervin Richard is Chief of Conservation at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, where he has worked since 1984. Mr. Richard has bachelor degrees in Chemistry and in Art History and completed his master’s degree in conservation at Oberlin College in 1978. He was a painting conservator at the Intermuseum Laboratory, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Winterthur Museum; and an adjunct professor of painting conservation in the graduate program at the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum. Mr. Richard served as co-chair of the ICOM Working Group for Preventive Conservation and co-chair of the ICOM Working Group for Works of Art in Transit. From 1998 to 2013, he was a member of the board of directors of Heritage Preservation: The National Institute for Conservation. He and Linda Stone, Chief Information Officer at the National Gallery of Art, are co-principal investigators for ConservationSpace, an initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Late Hokusai: Using Knowledge Representation for Community Collaboration Speaker: Dr Angus Lockyer and Stephanie Santschi

An AHRC funded project researching a new interpretation of the only non-Western figure among a handful of artists of global appeal and significance. As East Asia emerges as a key driver of global development, there are clear benefits to providing students and the public with an enhanced understanding of Hokusai's achievement and its importance for transcultural exchange. The project links to the British Museum's temporary exhibition, and uses innovative models to disambiguate previous analysis and research.

See also Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

Angus Lockyer was born in Singapore, and educated in the UK and the US. He received his PhD in History from Stanford University in 2000. Since 2004 he has been teaching Japanese, East Asian, and global history at SOAS University of London, where he also convenes the BA Global Liberal Arts and serves as one of the Associate Deans for Learning and Teaching. His own research has focused on modern Japan, with publications on the histories of exhibitions, museums, and golf.

He is currently a Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded research project, Late Hokusai: Thought, Technique, Society, which has underpinned the current exhibition at the British Museum, Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave. The project will continue until 2019. One of its major ambitions, using the ResearchSpace platform, is to produce a new resource for the study of Hokusai, bringing together data and materials from collections in Japan, Europe, and North America.

Stephanie Santschi is working as Research Curator for the AHRC funded research project ‘Late Hokusai: Thought, Technique, Society' at the Japanese Section of the British Museum. As a Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation Postgraduate Studentship recipient, she obtained an MA degree in Museum Studies from the University of East Anglia in 2016 after having graduated from the University of Zurich with a BA degree in East Asian Art History, Japanese Studies and Education in 2015. Key research interests include the creation, dissemination and reinterpretation of knowledge; especially in the context of late Edo-period visual culture.

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GRAVITATE - Speaker Paul Walland (Innovation IT - Southampton University)

An H2020 project the overall objectives of the GRAVITATE project are to create a set of software tools that will allow archaeologists and curators to reconstruct shattered or broken cultural objects, to identify and re-unify parts of a cultural object that has been separated across collections. Adding 3D image and data analysis to the ResearchSpace environment.

Paul Walland is Innovation Director at the IT Innovation Centre, part of the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science in the UK. He is responsible for a portfolio of projects in the areas of media, social media and knowledge management, with additional interest and responsibilities in the generation of innovative applications based on research outputs. Prior to joining IT Innovation Paul worked for more than 25 years leading industrial research groups in topic areas ranging from optical systems to media and broadcast technology. He has chaired workshops, conferences and technical working groups and has published widely at international conferences and in technical journals.


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IIIF & Mirador - Speaker: Tom Cramer (Stanford University)

Mirador is a comparative image viewer that leverages IIIF the International Image Interoperability Framework, to view, compare and annotate image-based resources from any compatible repository on the Web. While IIIF dramatically reduces the friction of working with images across the Web, Mirador puts new capabilities into the hands of researchers and software developers to use and manipulate them. Both systems originated from the cultural heritage sector, and are backed by scores of the world’s greatest research and memory institutions.

Tom Cramer is the Chief Technology Strategist and Assistant University Librarian for Stanford University Libraries, where he directs the technical development and delivery of Stanford’s digital library services, including digitization, management, preservation and access of digital resources that support teaching, learning and research. He is the founder of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), and active in numerous open source projects in the higher education community, including co-founding the Hydra Project (now Samvera); being the first adopter of Blacklight; a founding member of the Fedora Repository Steering Group, and the co-director of PASIG (the Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group).

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Peter Haase (Metaphacts GmbH)

Peter Haase has founded metaphacts in October 2014. He has 20+ years of IT experience, with 14+ years in semantic technologies, in academia as well as in industry. In 2006, Peter obtained his PhD from the University of Karlsruhe (now KIT) under the supervision of Prof. Rudi Studer. Lastly, he worked as Head of Research and Development at fluid Operations AG. Previously, he also worked for IBM in the Silicon Valley Labs in the development team of DB2, as well as for the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics. Peter has acquired and managed numerous large research projects and also led the development of commercial products and solutions in the area of semantic technologies.

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CRM Inf - Speaker Stephen Stead (Paveprime)

CRMinf is an extension to the CIDOC-CRM intended to be used for integrating metadata about argumentation and inference making in descriptive and empirical sciences. Its primary purpose is to give access to data about reasoning and provides mechanisms to describe in detail the complex series of steps that could be undertaken. However in many situations a default summary may be sufficient to capture the “normal” sequence without the necessity of describing every detailed substep. This paper will discuss the current development effort on this topic.

Stephen Stead is a founder member of CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model Special Interest Group (CRM-SIG). He has worked on the CRM since 2000 and is one of the editing team that guided the standard through the ISO standardization process. He has delivered tutorials on the CRM in more than a dozen countries, including Korea, Brazil, Greece, Russia, and the USA. He is also active in the FRBR harmonization process. He is a graduate in Archaeological Science from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London and has worked as an independent consultant in the Heritage sector since 1991.

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Collecting the West - Toby Burrows (University of Western Australia & University of Oxford)

Toby Burrows is a Senior Researcher in the Oxford e-Research Centre at Oxford University and an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Humanities at the University of Western Australia.

"Collecting the West" is an Australian research project which aims to discover how collections of Western Australian material have informed Western Australia's identity and shaped its written history, collective memory and sense of place. We are particularly interested in early Western Australian items in the UK and Europe, and the images which these collections presented to the world. "Collecting the West" will be using ResearchSpace to bring together data from a wide range of cultural heritage institutions in Australia, the UK and Europe. It will provide researchers, for the first time, with a holistic picture of these collections, which will serve as the basis for important new analyses and investigations.

Rebecca Repper is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia, School of Humanities, with Collecting the West: How Collections Created Western Australia (CTW) (ARC Linkage Project LP160100078 (University of Western Australia and Deakin University)) (https://www.collectingthewest.org/). I am investigating how documentation and database frameworks may affect understanding of Western Australian photographic collections and their use in research. My interest in photographic collections was fostered through my use of them as a product of and resource for archaeological research. I am affiliate researcher with the Endangered Achaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project, University of Oxford, (http://eamena.arch.ox.ac.uk/) where previously I was Research Assistant for two years, and with the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East (http://www.apaame.org/). I have been actively involved in the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan project since 2011.

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7515-6558

https://uwa.academia.edu/RebeccaRepper

ResearchSpace

The ResearchSpace project will be represented in various presentations that explain the underlying principles and methods used in its production and use - firmly based on knowledge representation. A workshop is also now available for registration at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-build-a-semantic-web-database-in-one-morning-tickets-33893615717

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Bursaries

A limited number of bursaries are available for cultural heritage and humanities researchers (including PhD candidates) for the symposium, covering travel, accommodation and living expenses. The bursaries include:

Flights and travel to a maximum of £300.00 for EU and £750.00 non-EU. Per diem expenses of £30.00 per day (3 days). Accommodation for maximum of 3 nights - £120 per night

An additional day of accommodation and per diem expenses will be available for applicants who register for the workshop on 29th July (tbc)

Applications should include a description of the relevancy of the symposium with a minimum of 200 words and be sent to researchspace@britishmuseum.org with organisational and contact details.


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British Museum

BP Lecture Theatre

Great Russell Street

London

WC1B 3DG

United Kingdom

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