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Working with the British Library’s Digital Content, Data and Services

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Room 642

Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way

London

WC1H 0AL

United Kingdom

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Working with the British Library’s Digital Content, Data and Services for your research

Organised by British Library Labs and UCL as part of the British Library Labs Roadshow (2018)

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.

This year’s event will include a series of presentations exploring the British Library's digital collections, how they have been used in various subject areas such as the Humanities, Computer Science and Social Sciences and the lessons we have learned by working with researchers who want to use them, including researchers from UCL.

This will be followed by discussions and feedback around potential ideas of working with the Library's data. The Roadshow will showcase examples of the British Library’s digital content and data, addressing some of the challenges and issues of working with it, and how interesting and exciting projects from researchers, artists, educators and entrepreneurs have been developed via the annual British Library Labs Competition and Awards.

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 we have been developing. Delegates will be invited to discuss and give feedback, suggest improvements and present their own ideas.

The event is free and sandwich lunch and refreshments are included, but please register to attend.

Programme

12:30 Registration, sandwich lunch and refreshments

13:00 Introduction and welcome from UCLDH Director, Simon Mahony

13:20 Ben O’Steen: What is British Library Labs? How have we engaged researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and educators in using our digital collections?

13:40 British Library Labs working with UCL Researchers. Tessa Hauswedell will speak about the "Oceanic Exchanges" Project: Tracing Global Information Networks In Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840-1914. http://oceanicexchanges.org/

14:00 Rossitza Atanassova: ‘Digitisation and Digital Scholarship at the British Library’

14:25 Tom Derrick: ‘Towards a digital awakening of Bangla: The challenges and opportunities for digitising early Indian print’

14:45 Coffee break

15:00 Developing services for BL Labs at the British Library: Feedback and discussion

15:30 Any other research/ inspiration

16:10 Conclusion and wrap up

16:30 Finish

Speaker Biographies

Simon Mahony, Director of UCLDH

Simon Mahony is the Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and Principal Teaching Fellow in Digital Humanities at the Department of Information Studies, University College London (UCL). He currently teaches the modules Electronic Publishing,Internet Technologies, Legal and Social Aspects of Electronic Publishing, and XML. He is the MA/MSc Digital Humanities Programme Director for Term 2 in the 2017-18 academic session. His research interests are in the application of new technologies to the study of the ancient world, using new web based mechanisms and digital resources to build and sustain learning communities, collaborative an innovative working. He is also active in the field of distance learning and is a member of the University of London's Centre for Distance Education. In addition, he has an interest in the development of education practice and the use of new tools and technologies to facilitate this.

Ben O'Steen, Technical Lead of British Library Labs

Ben has been the BL Labs Technical Lead for over four years. Previous to working for Labs he was a freelance developer in the academic sector. While his expertise lies in solving interesting problems using computers, his formal training is in chemistry: he has authored a Physics GCSE training course, created electronics for art installations, co-founded the “Developer Happiness” conference (dev8d.org), and he was the lead developer in the Bodleian Library’s Research and Development department building their Resource Description Framework (RDF) - powered repository and digital asset management systems. In recent years, he has worked on Jisc funded projects (OpenBibliography, OpenCitation), wrote reports for funders on topics such as text-mining and sat on technical advisory boards for the Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) protocol , ORCID and other groups.

Dr Rossitza Atanassova, Digital Curator at the British Library

Rossitza is interested in the creation and exploitation of digitised content and the application of new research methods to digital collections. In her current role at the British Library, she is responsible for the governance of digitisation projects and she has contributed to two European Commission funded projects, SUCCEED (2013–2014) and Europeana Newspapers (2012–2015). Previously she was a curator for LIS and for 19th century British printed collections. Rossitza holds a DPhil in Classics, has tutored courses for the Open University and worked in electronic publishing.

Tom Derrick, Digital Curator at the British Library
Tom is a member of the Two Centuries of Indian Print project that will digitise and make available rare Indian books held at the library. He is interested in the creation of datasets through exploring OCR technologies and supporting researchers applying digital research methods to the collection.
Prior to joining the Library Tom gained several years of experience across editorial development, production and marketing functions for an academic publisher of digital learning resources, collaborating with an international array of libraries to digitise their collections.

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Room 642

Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way

London

WC1H 0AL

United Kingdom

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