Digital Approaches to the History of Science: two workshops

Book a place at the first workshop, 28 September! 

You are warmly invited to join us at day-long workshops on Digital Approaches to the History of Science. These workshops are supported and co-organized by the Reading Euclid project, the Newton Project, the Royal Society, and the Centre for Digital Scholarship.

Digital Approaches to the History of Science

—Life out of a coffin—

When: 10:00—17:00,  Thursday 28 September

Where: Faculty of History, University of Oxford, 41–47 George Street OX1 2BE (map)

Access: all are welcome—see below for information on travel bursaries

Admission: free, refreshments and lunch included

Registration is required for each workshop: register for workshop 1, 28 September

This pair of one-day workshops will showcase and explore some of the work currently being done at the intersection of digital scholarship and the history of science. Visualizing networks of correspondence, mapping intellectual geographies, mining textual corpora: many modes of digital scholarship have special relevance to the problems and methods of the history of science, and the last few years have seen the launch of a number of new platforms and projects in this area.

With contributions from projects around the UK, these two workshops will be an opportunity to share ideas, to reflect on what is being achieved and to consider what might be done next.

Workshop 1: Thursday 28 September

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Pierpaolo Dondio: Publishing the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
  • Kathryn Eccles: Cabinet Project
  • Louisiane Ferlier: The Royal Society Journal Collection: Science in the Making?
  • Rob Iliffe: Newton Project
  • Lauren Kassell: Casebooks Project
  • Alison Pearn: Darwin Correspondence
  • Anna Henry: Sloane’s Minute Books

Workshop 2

Details of Workshop 2 will be announced shortly, when registration will open.

We have taken inspiration from William Stukely’s isolation and seek to converse, as it were, out of a coffin:

in my situation at Stamford there was not one person, clergy or lay, that had any taste or love of learning or ingenuity, so that I was as much dead in converse as in a coffin

Travel bursaries

We are delighted to be able to offer travel bursaries to enable students and early career researchers (up to 3 years beyond the award of most recent degree) to attend. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please contact co-organizer Yelda Nasifoglu on, providing:

  • Your name
  • Your institution
  • Your level of study/year of award of most recent degree
  • Travelling from
  • Estimate of travel cost

These workshops are organized by:














Lukis, ed. ‘Family Memoirs’, vol. I (1882), p.109, cited in Michael Reed, ‘The cultural role of small towns in England, 1600–1800’, in Peter Clark, Small Towns in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: CUP, 1882), p.147, via Google Books.


Tycho Brahe, Tabulae Rudolphinae (Ulm, 1627), frontispiece. Bodleian Library Savile Q 14. Edited in Photoshop by Yelda Nasifoglu.

René Descartes, Principia philosophiae (Amsterdam, 1644), ‘Cartesian network of vortices of celestial motion’, p. 110. Bodleian Library Savile T 22. Edited in Photoshop by Yelda Nasifoglu.

A step forward in the sharing of open data about theses

Title page of Marie Curie’s doctoral thesis; Yale University via Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain

Theses, particularly doctoral theses, are an important part of the scholarly record. Some are published and become influential books in their own right. As well as demonstrating the author’s ability to do original research, a thesis gives a snapshot of its author’s intellectual development at a formative time. This post reports on work sharing open data about thousands of theses, with links back to their full text in a repository.

The Oxford Research Archive (ORA) has 3237 Oxford doctoral theses on open access for anyone to download and read. Some of the authors have gone on to highly accomplished careers, such as the psychologist Professor Dorothy Bishop or the economist Sir John Vickers. During the confirmation hearings that eventually saw Neil Gorsuch appointed to the US Supreme Court, the interest in his background was such that TIME magazine wrote an article analysing his thesis and linking to ORA. This may well have been prompted by our linking the thesis from the top Google hit about Gorsuch; his Wikipedia biography. Continue reading

Digital.Bodleian planned outage: 14-17 July

Digital.Bodleian will be unavailable between 14 and 17 July due to essential work being carried out on the University Shared Data Centre. The data centre will be powered down at 13.00 on Friday 14 July, and restored by 13.00 on Monday 17 July. The outage to Digital.Bodleian will also affect any images and metadata hosted by the Bodleian’s IIIF service, including digitized items accessed via alternative viewers or embedded in college websites. Luna,, and other legacy digital collections will not be affected.

Updates on the outage will be tweeted from the department account at Service status updates will also be available, as usual, at

Fedora and Hydra/Samvera Camp at Oxford Sept 4-8 2017

DuraSpace and Data Curation Experts are pleased to invite you to attend the Fedora and Hydra/Samvera Camp at Oxford University, Sept 4 – 8, 2017. The camp will be hosted by Oxford University, Oxford, UK and is supported by Jisc.

Training begins with the basics and build toward more advanced concepts–no prior Fedora or Hydra experience is required. Participants can expect to come away with a deep dive Fedora and Hydra learning experience coupled with multiple opportunities for applying hands-on techniques working with experienced trainers from both communities.

Registration is limited to the first 40 applicants so register here soon! An early bird discount is available until July 10.


Fedora is the robust, modular, open source repository platform for the management and dissemination of digital content. Fedora 4, the latest production version of Fedora, features vast improvements in scalability, linked data capabilities, research data support, modularity, ease of use and more.

Hydra is a repository solution that is being used by institutions worldwide to provide access to their digital content (see map). Hydra provides a versatile and feature rich environment for end-users and repository administrators alike.

About Fedora Camp

Previous Fedora Camps include the inaugural camp held at Duke University, the West Coast camp at CalTech, and the most recent, NYC camp held at Columbia University. Hydra Camps have been held throughout the US and in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  Most recently, DCE hosted the inaugural Advanced Hydra Camp focusing on advanced Hydra developer skills.

The upcoming combined camp curriculum will provide a comprehensive overview of Fedora and Hydra by exploring such topics as:

  • Core & Integrated features
  • Data modeling and linked data
  • Content and Metadata management
  • Migrating to Fedora 4
  • Deploying Fedora and Hydra in production
  • Ruby, Rails, and collaborative development using Github
  • Introductory Blacklight including search and faceting
  • Preservation Services

The curriculum will be delivered by a knowledgeable team of instructors from the Fedora and Hydra communities: David Wilcox (DuraSpace), Andrew Woods (DuraSpace), Mark Bussey (Data Curation Experts), Bess Sadler (Data Curation Experts), Julie Allinson (University of London).