About Pip Willcox

Pip Willcox is the Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford and holds a research post at the University of Oxford e-Research Centre.

Ethics and Cybersecurity hackathon

Our colleagues invite applications for a hackathon, 13-14 May 2017.

Ethics and Cybersecurity hackathon – Oxford 13-14 May with Cyber Security Challenge UK

Deadline: 5 May!

Are you interested in the ethical and social effects of technologies? Come to the ethicon event, 13-14 May!

We are very excited to be running a new kind of event here in Oxford. The ‘ethicon’ is a twist on the hackathon. Participants work in teams to design a prototype system to solve a particular challenge. However in addition to thinking through technical details they also need to identify the potential social and ethical effects of the particular technology and find creative ways to address them. To assist with this, participants are put into groups so that students from computer science and social science/humanities/business backgrounds work together and learn from each other. The groups’ ideas are then judged by a panel of experts and prizes are available to the winning teams.

Each team will be made up of two technical undergraduates (from computer science or a related discipline), plus two non-technical team members from areas such as social sciences, philosophy, business (and who have an interest in ethics) from any UK University.  Deadline 5 May.

Details about how you can apply to take part are on their poster and: https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/news-events/part-first-ever-ethicon.

If you have any questions about the event, please email helena.webb@cs.ox.ac.uk.

 

Digitizing The Stage: registration open

Registration is now open for this joint Folger Shakespeare Library and Bodleian Libraries conference!

C. Walter Hodges (1909-2004), “Cutaway view sketch of the Globe Playhouse,” Folger Shakespeare Library Collection.

What: Digitizing the Stage: Rethinking the Early Modern Theatre Archive

When: 10–12 July 2017

Where: Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BG (map)

Access: all are welcome to attend and to submit a proposal for a contribution (see below)

Admission: £150; £100 for students/unwaged/early career researchers (up to 3 years after award of highest degree)

Registration: registration is required

The Bodleian Libraries and the Folger Shakespeare Library will convene a conference from 10-12 July, 2017, on digital explorations of the early modern theatre archive. We are interested in applying approaches from other disciplines, genres, and time periods which can prompt new thinking about the ways we preserve, describe, research, and teach the early modern stage; as well as in hearing from early modernists who engage with their subject through digital means. Seeking to foster a spirit of collaborative experimentation, we invite proposals in the full range of project completion taking the form of 20-minute papers, as well as “lightning talks,” panel discussions, multimedia presentations, and others.

Invested in both material and method, Digitizing the Stage is a singular opportunity to consider the future of the early modern archive. Attendance will be limited to 100 participants, with registration opening shortly.

For more information, please see the conference website.

Digitizing the Stage is organized by the Centre for Digital Scholarship, Bodleian Libraries; the Folger Shakespeare Library; and Professor Tiffany Stern, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Publicising a historic event in Wikipedia

The front page of English Wikipedia gets around five million hits per day. Highlighted sections of the page, such as “Did you know” and “In the news” trumpet the site’s purpose: sharing knowledge for its own sake. One of these sections, “On this day…” features five different facts each day, with links to relevant articles. These facts in turn are chosen from a large collection of roughly 100 historic events for each date. Many other language versions of Wikipedia have a similar “This day in history” section, though with different sets of facts.

As with everything else on Wikipedia, this collection of historic facts is offered freely for anyone to use for any purpose. “On this day in history” facts are ideal for sharing on social media, for example by Wikipedia’s official presence on Twitter.

Napoléon Bonaparte, listed in Wikipedia’s May 26 article for his coronation as King of Italy on 26 May 1805. Image from the Curzon Collection of political prints, CC-BY the Bodleian Libraries.

To avoid repetition from year to year, it helps to be able to draw on a large pool of historic events, so each day can showcase a variety of types of event, of locations and of eras. There is a relative shortage of events before 1800, so additions are welcome.

Being featured on the front page generates a lot of interest in the article.

  • The Alhambra Decree article typically gets about 300 views per day. When linked from the front page as a recent “On this day” item, it had nearly 10,000.
  • The Treaty of Fontainebleau (1814) article gets 70 to 80 views on a typical day, but had 5,400 when linked from the home page on its anniversary.
  • The article about Suvarnadurg, an Indian fort, usually gets around 30 views a day, but had 8,500 when the fort’s 1755 capture by the East India Company was listed on April 2.

By considering one example, we can look at how a historic event is made visible in Wikipedia.

March 31: 1492 – The Catholic Monarchs of Spain issued the Alhambra Decree, ordering all Jews to convert to Christianity or be expelled from the country.

The typical form is a single sentence, in past tense, linking multiple different Wikipedia articles, with a bold link to the one most closely connected to the fact. Not every historical event qualifies:

  • The event must have happened on a single day, so not a crisis or war, but a precipitating or concluding event such as the signing of a treaty.
  • Births and deaths have their own process for appearing on the front page, so do not qualify for this collection of facts.
  • It must be an event with notable repercussions: one notable figure marrying another, or writing a letter to another, is not always significant in itself, but can be significant by initiating other events.
  • There must be no controversy about the day on which it happened. Reputable sources should agree.
  • The fact must be backed up by at least one reliable source, which must be cited in the article. As with all Wikipedia references, paywalled sources are fine but open-access sources have an advantage because they can be checked by Wikipedians outside subscribing institutions. With software developments over the last couple of years, adding citations has become extremely easy: the Cite tool expands DOIs into full citations and normally succeeds in transforming web links into full citations.

If you have a cited fact that meets the above criteria, it can have multiple mentions in Wikipedia:

  • The fact must be stated in the “home” article, in this case Alhambra Decree.
  • It can also go in the articles about the calendar date and the year. There are English Wikipedia articles about the year 1492 and about the date March 31. Unlike most Wikipedia articles, these are essentially lists of facts under different headings.
  • It can also appear in the biographies of the people, organisations or nations involved (in this case, Isabella of Castille). Some topics have timeline articles which are essentially lists of dates, such as Timeline of Spanish history.

The articles about individual dates, such as March 30, also have lists of births and deaths. In the long term, these will probably be driven by Wikidata, which is ideal for this kind of data. These lists have the same relative paucity of dates before 1800, and the same requirement that dates should be sourced and uncontroversial.

Facts for a particular day are chosen well in advance by an administrator, working behind the scenes in an area called the Selected anniversaries project. It is accepted, even encouraged, for other users to proactively edit in their own suggestions if they know wiki-code. The listing is decided two to four days in advance, so include your suggestion further in advance than that.

The guidelines give preference to events with a significant anniversary (meaning a multiple of 25, e.g. a 325th anniversary), events that differ from the others on the list (in era or geography), and articles that have not been on the front page before. “On this day” articles do not have to be comprehensive, but should be good examples of Wikipedia articles with citations in all sections. Each day’s “staging area” has a list of events that were submitted but did not qualify. Usually the article is rejected for having insufficient citations, so by improving the articles with links to scholarly sources, we can help those links reach the front page.

So there is an opportunity here for heritage organisations and historians to extend awareness of the turning points of history, and the use of biographical papers or databases. We just need to succinctly describe the key events and share citations about them.

—Martin Poulter, Wikimedian in Residence

This post licensed under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license

Research workshop—Digital Research with OUP Data: a workshop

Book a place!

What: Digital Research with OUP Data: a workshop

When: 10:00—12:30, Friday 26 May 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all members of the University are welcome

Admission: free

Booking is required

 

Are you interested in working with OUP data?

Oxford University Press is offering members of the University the opportunity to work directly with the data that underpins some of its most popular digital content. The resulting digital research projects will be able to unlock more scholarly potential in these resources, beyond what is available through their current interfaces. The resources involved at this stage are as follows:
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) and American National Biography (ANB)
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and related resources
  • Grove Art and Music
  • Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO)
This workshop provides a rare opportunity to hear from OUP staff working on these resources and their data, and from academic experts who use them, in a meteor-shower of brief talks. It will include an introduction to digital research, to potential sources of funding to pursue projects, and to relevant issues of intellectual property and terms of use. Break-out groups will give you the opportunity to discuss ideas with OUP and academic experts, and with your peers. A concluding discussion will look towards practical next steps.
Whether your interest is in the content or the technology, and whatever your experience level with digital projects, this workshop will be of interest both for its content and the opportunity to meet potential collaborators from across the University.
Potential uses could involve making OUP data available by for discrete projects, or linking the data to research resources or to University collections. Any project will depend on the availability of collaborative resource from OUP, which may give priority to work in fields of its particular interest. During the workshop there will be the opportunity to discuss and shape project ideas with fellow researchers and colleagues from OUP. As projects born out of the workshop take shape, we will host future events where the ongoing research and its results can be discussed and showcased.
The workshop is free to attend and is organized by TORCH Digital Humanities, the Centre for Digital Scholarship, and Oxford University Press.

Programme

  • 10.00    David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre): welcome and introduction from TORCH Digital Humanities and the Centre for Digital Scholarship
  • 10.05    Ruth Langley and Judy Pearsall (OUP): welcome and introduction from Oxford University Press
  • 10.10    Andrew Fairweather-Tall (Humanities Division): Funding
  • 10.15   Session 1: ODNB and ANB: Jo Payne (OUP) with Howard Hotson (History Faculty) and Chris Warren (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • 10.35   Session 2: OED: James McCracken (OUP) with Janet Pierrehumbert (Oxford e-Research Centre)  and Alfie Abdul-Rahman (Oxford e-Research Centre)
  • 10.55   Session 3: Grove: Jo Payne (OUP) with Jonathan Cross and Julia Craig McFeely (Music Faculty)
  • 11.15   Session 4: OSEO: Rupert Mann (OUP) with Miranda Lewis (History Faculty)
  • 11.35   Break-out groups
  • 12.15   General discussion chaired by Pip Willcox (Centre for Digital Scholarship): next steps
  • 12.30   Close
For each of Sessions 1-4 OUP staff will introduce the product and suggest possibilities for research; University staff will then present brief potential case studies.

Research Uncovered—Digitization for Research at the Bodleian: Creating Tools for Active Scholarship

Book a place!

What: Digitization for Research at the Bodleian: Creating Tools for Active Scholarship

Who: Judith Siefring and Emma Stanford

When: 13:00—14:00, Tuesday 16 May 2017

Where: Centre for Digital Scholarship, Weston Library (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking is required

Institutions like the Bodleian Libraries have been digitizing their holdings for decades now. These digitized collections have not always been easy to find or use, but in the last few years the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) has opened up a vast range of possibilities for creators and users of these collections. In theory, researchers can now compare, share, remix and annotate digitized objects from institutions across the world, whether to transcribe marginalia, read a damaged palimpsest, or reconstruct the leaves of a fragmented codex. In practice, however, this nascent technology can be difficult to use.
 
Two recent projects, Digital.Bodleian and the Digital Manuscripts Toolkit, have explored the possibilities of IIIF at the Bodleian, with a focus on creating usable tools for research. Using these projects as a jumping-off point, this talk will serve as an introduction to IIIF through the lens of scholarship. Judith and Emma will provide an overview of currently available
tools, discuss what works and what doesn’t, and share what they’ve learned about facilitating scholarly engagement with digitized materials. The talk will be aimed at researchers and library and museum staff, but all are welcome to attend.

Emma Stanford is the Digital Curator at Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services (BDLSS). Among other things, she manages Digital.Bodleian and conducts IIIF training workshops in the Centre for Digital Scholarship.

Judith Siefring is the Head of Digital Research at Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services, where she led the Mellon-funded Digital Manuscripts Toolkit project.

Access: Please meet at 12.55 by the Information Desk in the Weston Library’s Blackwell Hall to be taken to the Centre for Digital Scholarship. If you have a University or Bodleian Reader’s card, you can also get there through the Mackerras Reading Room on the first floor of the Weston Library, around the gallery, having checked any bags into a locker (£1 returnable deposit) before you head upstairs.

Research Uncovered—Fostering ‘the gift of confidence’ for women in the electronic music scene

Book a place!

What: Fostering ‘the gift of confidence’ for women in the electronic music scene

Who: Amy V Beeston and Liz Dobson

When: 13:00—14:00, Friday 12 May 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking is required

Women are seriously underrepresented as composers, engineers, scholars and creators. In academia, for instance, 90% of applicants for undergraduate music technology courses were reported to be male (Born & Devine, 2015). Indeed, similar figures persist throughout all quarters of the music industry, as seen for instance at the Proms where over 90% of composers programmed are typically male (Women in Music, 2016).

Our talk explains how all-women spaces provide a possibility for change. We introduce socioculturally-framed research on collaborative learning (e.g., Claxton & Wells, 2002) and collaborative creativity (e.g., John-Steiner & Mahn, 2002), and relate stories of community orientated interventions for confidence building, risk taking and learning which led to the creation of the Yorkshire Sound Women Network in 2015. We subsequently outline the measurable achievements, narratives and insights gained from an all-women approach as a meaningful portal for change.

References

  • Born, G and Devine, K (2015). Music Technology, gender and Class: Digitization, Educational and Social Change in Britain, Twentieth-Century Music, 12(2), pp 135-172
  • Claxton, G., & Wells, G. (2002). Introduction: Sociocultural Perspectives on the Future of Education in G Claxton & G Wells (Eds.), Learning for life in the 21st century. (pp 1-18). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • John-Steiner, V., & Mahn, H. (2002). The Gift of Confidence: A Vygotskian View of Emotions. In ibid.
  • Women in Music (2016). BBC Proms Survey 2016. http://www.womeninmusic.org.uk/proms-survey.htm

Dr Amy V Beeston

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield, working in the ‘Speech and Hearing’ and ‘Music Mind Machine’ research groups. I develop tools to extract meaningful data from audio signals, and am particularly interested in using principles of human audition to improve the performance of machine listeners in everyday environments.
 

Dr Liz Dobson

I am a senior lecturer in music technology at the University of Huddersfield with an OU PhD in education and social psychology. My academic work examines relationships between community, learning and creative practice in music technology, leading me to create informal communities for knowledge sharing. 

Research Uncovered—A Linked Open Data Buddhist Text Archive

Book tickets!

We are delighted to co-host this talk from visiting  expert Jeff Wallman with our colleagues at the University of Oxford’s Oriental Institute.


What: A Linked Open Data Buddhist Text Archive

Who: Jeff Wallman

When: 15:30—16:30, Monday 8 May 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking is required

Buddhist thought and culture has been expressed in a surprisingly large number of languages from a huge variety of sources, spanning an immense temporal and geographical range. The earliest works were written in an Indic language closely related to Sanskrit, but the first actual Buddhist canon was compiled in Pali in Sri Lanka in the early centuries of the first millennium A.D. While Sanskrit versions of early writings were never compiled into a canon as such, Pali, Sanskrit, and Prakrit texts began to be translated into Chinese in the first century CE.  By the sixth century, the Chinese had compiled their first version of the canon. Chinese Buddhists also wrote many other valuable and important works on Buddhist ritual, story, literature, biography, monastic law, and philosophy outside of the canon itself.   Later, the Tibetans began translating Buddhist scriptures into their own language. The first Tibetan canon was systematized in the late thirteenth century. In addition to the canon, Tibetans wrote tens of thousands of important extra-canonical works as well. Beginning in the thirteenth century, the Tibetan canon was translated into Mongolian. In Southeast Asia, where the Pali canon is used, we find many extra-canonical works of Buddhist narrative, poetry, ritual, philosophy, and monastic law, written in the vernacular languages of Sinhala, Burmese, Thai, Cambodian, and Lao. Canonical and important extra-canonical literature is also to be found in Western and Central Asia as well as in Indonesia.  The same is true for East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Finally, many works that have been written in or translated into English and other Western languages.

Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC) has developed a preservation ecosystem to digitally preserve source texts and document Buddhist cultural heritage.  The preservation of Buddhist texts requires the ability to document the complex and multi-faceted elements of textual history. Relationships between texts in different languages, encoded in regional scripts spanning a broad historical range requires scholarly analysis and validation. Using the power of the semantic web, cultural heritage and digital asset metadata is modeled as linked open data governed by an RDF ontology and expressed as JSON-LD documents.  Source documents are scanned in a rapidly growing 12 million page image archive with open APIs to provide page-level access. A full-text resource generated from transcripts and optical character recognition, based on a multi-layer text architecture, provides a deep search environment. In this presentation I will explore BUDA’s architecture and capabilities, including deep search, faceted browse, SPARQL querying, multi-layer texts and web annotations, and strategies for multi-language scholarly metadata creation and management.

Jeff Wallman is the Executive Director of the Buddhist Digital Resource Center (formerly Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center).

Research Uncovered—A rock and a hard place: creating the Online Corpus of Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia

What: A rock and a hard place: creating the Online Corpus of Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia

Who: Daniel Burt

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 2 May 2017

Where: Centre for Digital Scholarship, Weston Library (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

The Arabian Peninsula lies at the heart of the Middle East. Today, it is of enormous strategic and commercial importance and this was also the case in antiquity. Yet, most of what we know about its ancient history, languages and cultures comes from contemporaries looking at it from outside, such as the Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans, or from much later reports on what was considered the “Age of Ignorance”.

This talk gives an overview of inscriptions found in North Arabia, and outlines the process of creating the Online Corpus of Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia (OCIANA) database. It will be of interest to anyone wanting to understand how complex databases are designed. In particular, it focusses on using FileMaker Pro for research databases.

Daniel Burt graduated from the University of Manchester in the early 1990s and went on to work in a variety of technical roles involving data architecture in the private sector and the computer games industry, before joining Cancer Research UK where he developed a prize-winning database managing clinical administration within the Medical Oncology Unit at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

Following on from his work for Cancer Research UK, Daniel worked on a number of development contracts for clients including The Department of Health and Oxford University Press, before joining the University of Oxford in 2005. Over the last 12 years he has been involved in creating databases and websites for individual departments and research projects across the Humanities Division, as well as for The Ashmolean Museum, The Museum of Natural History, and the Pitt Rivers Museum. During his time at Oxford, Daniel has worked on projects funded by, amongst others, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the Wellcome Trust, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and has taught courses on working with digital images and assets and database development to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Access: Please meet at 12.55 by the Information Desk in the Weston Library’s Blackwell Hall to be taken to the Centre for Digital Scholarship. If you have a University or Bodleian Reader’s card, you can also get there through the Mackerras Reading Room on the first floor of the Weston Library, around the gallery, having checked any bags into a locker (£1 returnable deposit) before you head upstairs.

Visualize Your Data for the Web using D3.js

We are very grateful to Alfie Abdul-Rahman from the Oxford e-Research Centre for offering this workshop. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn how to visualize your data from an expert with many years’ experience in the field.

What: Visualize Your Data for the Web using D3.js

Who: Alfie Abdul-Rahman

When: 09:30 – 17:00Wednesday 31 May 2017 and Thursday 1 June 2017

Where: Conference Room, University of Oxford e-Research Centre, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QG (map)

Access: open to members of the University of Oxford

Eligibility: the workshop is aimed at people with little or no programming experience who are interested in learning and using D3.js for data visualization

Admission: free

Booking is required: to reserve a place on this two-day workshop, please email Pip Willcox (pip.willcox@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) including:

  • your name
  • your University email address
  • your study level/job title/career stage
  • your faculty or department affiliation

This two-day hands-on workshop will provide you with a brief introduction to creating simple web-based data visualizations. You do not need any previous coding experience: the workshop will take you through the process of creating a webpage, loading a data file, creating a simple visualization, and adding some basic interactivity into your visualization. The workshop will use HTML, CSS, and SVG, as well as teaching its core technology, D3.js. D3.js is an open source JavaScript library developed by Mike Bostocks.

The goal of the workshop is to provide you with an idea of what is required in creating a visualization for the web using D3.js. The hands-on experience of the workshop will be useful when you are exploring D3.js examples of code that are available on the web, and modifying them to fit your own data and purposes. By the end of the workshop you will be able to visualize your data ready for publishing online.

Equipment

Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system with WebStorm installed. There is a currently a free 30-day evaluation license available. If you are a student, you can apply for a free license via the WebStorm website (https://www.jetbrains.com/webstorm/) using your University email address.

Places at this workshop are limited and require a commitment to two full days’ attendance: please consider this when registering. 

Alfie Abdul-Rahman is a Research Associate at the Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford. She has been involved with Imagery Lenses for Visualizing Text Corpora and Commonplace Cultures: Mining Shared Passages in the 18th Century using Sequence Alignment and Visual Analytics, developing web-based visualization tools for humanities scholars, such as Poem Viewer and ViTA: Visualization for Text Alignment.

She completed her PhD in Computer Science at Swansea University, focusing on the physically-based rendering and algebraic manipulation of volume models. Before joining Oxford, she worked as a Research Engineer in HP Labs Bristol on document engineering, and then as a software developer in London, working on multi-format publishing. Her research interests include information visualization, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction. She is currently working on the Quill project, a platform for the study of negotiated texts.

Call for Papers—Digitizing the Stage: Rethinking the Early Modern Theatre Archive

The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Libraries are delighted to announce a jointly convened conference and welcome proposals for papers.

C. Walter Hodges (1909-2004), “Cutaway view sketch of the Globe Playhouse,” Folger Shakespeare Library Collection.

What: Digitizing the Stage: Rethinking the Early Modern Theatre Archive

When: 10–12 July 2017

Where: Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BG (map)

Access: all are welcome to attend and to submit a proposal for a contribution (see below)

Admission: £150; £100 for students/unwaged/early career researchers (up to 3 years after award of highest degree)

Registration: registration is required and will open shortly

 

The Bodleian Libraries and the Folger Shakespeare Library will convene a conference from 10-12 July, 2017, on digital explorations of the early modern theatre archive. We are interested in applying approaches from other disciplines, genres, and time periods which can prompt new thinking about the ways we preserve, describe, research, and teach the early modern stage; as well as in hearing from early modernists who engage with their subject through digital means. Seeking to foster a spirit of collaborative experimentation, we invite proposals in the full range of project completion taking the form of 20-minute papers, as well as “lightning talks,” panel discussions, multimedia presentations, and others.

Invested in both material and method, Digitizing the Stage is a singular opportunity to consider the future of the early modern archive. Attendance will be limited to 100 participants, with registration opening shortly.

Submissions

Submissions should relate to one or more of the following topics and themes:

  • Materiality and methods
  • Early modern theatre and film
  • Working in audio, text, and image
  • Performance and theatre history
  • Challenges and experiments in the archive
  • Digital archiving and cataloging

Proposals for conference papers, panel discussions, lightning talks, multimedia and interactive demonstrations should not exceed 250 words.

Please include your name, contact information, academic affiliation (if relevant), and a brief biographical description including relevant interests. Submit proposals within the text of an email to digitalconf@folger.edu.

Proposals are due 9 April 2017. 

Some fee waivers and travel bursaries are available; please enquire.

For more information, please see the conference website.

Digitizing the Stage is organized by the Centre for Digital Scholarship, Bodleian Libraries; the Folger Shakespeare Library; and Professor Tiffany Stern, Royal Holloway, University of London.