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).

The Centre for Digital Scholarship in Hilary term

About to start our fifth term, we are delighted to announce the Centre for Digital Scholarship’s headline talks and workshops for Hilary term. They are free to attend, but please register, via the links below or What’s On at the Bodleian to ensure a place.

Research Uncovered: public talks on digital scholarship

All talks are 13:00–14:00 on Tuesdays, in the Weston Library’s lecture theatre unless otherwise noted.

Digital Scholarship Workshops

Research Uncovered—Finding music to move to: Relevance in Music Information Retrieval

Book tickets!David Weigl

What: Finding music to move to: Relevance in Music Information Retrieval

Who: David Weigl

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 31 January 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

Relevance, a notion at the heart of information retrieval (IR), has received prolific attention in the textual IR domain. While the creation of rigorous and practicable theories concerning the nature of relevance has long been identified as a key priority for the field of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), relevance-related research has remained scarce. In this talk, I present the outcomes of a large-scale systematic analysis of the user-focused MIR literature to identify different conceptualizations of relevance in a musical context. The outcomes of the analysis establish a broad account of the state of knowledge in the field by triangulating convergent findings of disparate studies in order to identify areas of commonality, and outline several under-explored areas, pointing the way for future research.

Building on this foundation, I present an investigation of rhythmic information as a relevance criterion, focusing on beat salience, a measure of the perceptual prominence of the beat in the context of finding music to move to. Employing a convergent-methods approach investigating perceptual beat induction, sensorimotor synchronization, and beat salience judgement, I assess the validity and reliability of beat salience as a situational relevance criterion for use cases involving synchronized movement to music.

The work presented here forms part of David’s doctoral research completed at the School of Information Studies, McGill University, Canada.

David M. Weigl is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford e-Research Centre. His work involves the application of Linked Data and semantic technologies in order to enrich digital music information and facilitate access to a variety of musical data sources. His research interests revolve around music perception and cognition, and music information retrieval.

Bodleian Student Editions

Please note that these workshops are fully subscribed for this academic year, 2016–2017.

The catalogue and transcription of letters from the first workshop are now available online through Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO).

Textual editing workshops for undergraduates and postgraduates

A collaboration between the Bodleian’s Department of Special Collections, the Centre for Digital Scholarship, and the Faculty of History’s Cultures of Knowledge project, Early Modern Letters Online.

We are looking for enthusiastic undergraduates and postgraduates from any discipline to take part in one of a pilot series of workshops in textual editing, working with original manuscripts from the Bodleian’s Special Collections in the Centre for Digital Scholarship, Weston Library. Each workshop will stand alone, and similar content will be covered in each.

Day-long workshops will be held:

Michaelmas Term 2016
10:00–16:00, Wednesday 2nd week, 19 October
10:00–16:00, Thursday 8th week, 1 December

Hilary Term 2017
10:00–16:00, Wednesday 3rd week, 1 February
10:00–16:00, Thursday 7th week, 2 March

 Trinity Term 2017
10:00–16:00, Wednesday 3rd week, 10 May
10:00–16:00, Thursday 7th week, 8 June

Textual Editing

Textual editing is the process by which a manuscript reaches its audience in print or digital form. The texts we read in printed books depend on the choices of editors across the years, some obscured more than others. The past few years have seen a surge of interest in curated media, and the advent of new means of distribution has inspired increasingly charged debates about what is chosen to be edited, by whom, and for whom.

These workshops will give students—the future users of texts for scholarly research—the opportunity to examine these questions in a space designed around the sources at the heart of them. The Bodleian Libraries’ vast collections give students direct access to important ideas free from years of mediation, and to authorial processes in their entirety, while new digital tools allow greater space to showcase the lives of ordinary people who may not feature in traditional narrative history.

Early Modern Letters

The pilot sessions will focus on letters of the early modern period. Letters are a unique source, both challenging and essential for historians and literary critics: in the so-called ‘Republic of Letters’ they were a vital means by which the ideas which shaped our civilization were communicated and developed.

Participants will study Bodleian manuscripts, working with colleagues from the Bodleian’s Special Collections, the Centre for Digital Scholarship, and the Cultures of Knowledge project, to produce an annotated digital transcription which will be published on Culture of Knowledge’s flagship resource, Early Modern Letters Online, as ‘Bodleian Student Editions’.


Each workshop will introduce students to:

  1. Special Collections handling
  2. Palaeography
  3. Transcription and proofreading
  4. Metadata creation and curation
  5. Licensing
  6. Submitting metadata and transcriptions into Early Modern Letters Online
  7. Text at scale

Participation is open to all students of the University of Oxford. If you would like to participate please contact Mike Webb, Curator of Early Modern Manuscripts, mike.webb@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

The Bodleian Libraries welcome thoughts from students at all levels on ways in which the use of archival material and engaging with digital scholarship can facilitate learning and research.

This Bodleian Student Editions series is organized by:

  • Helen Brown, DPhil candidate in English
  • Miranda Lewis, Digital Editor, Early Modern Letters Online
  • Olivia Thompson, Balliol-Bodley Scholar
  • Mike Webb, Curator of Early Modern Archives and Manuscripts
  • Pip Willcox, Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship

Find out more

For an idea of the range of collections in the Weston, visit the exhibition Bodleian Treasures: 24 Pairs in the Treasury gallery in Blackwell Hall, where some famous items are illuminated through juxtaposition to a less known item that prompts reflection on the concept of a treasure. The latest themed exhibition at the Weston Library, Staging History, opened on 14 October in the adjacent ST Lee gallery.

You can find about the range of services and events the Centre for Digital Scholarship offers.

You may be particularly interested in an upcoming training course introducing the Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative.

Digital Methods—An Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative

Image: James Cummings

Image: James Cummings

Research Support, Academic IT Services and the Centre for Digital Scholarship offer a course introducing the Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative for creating digital texts. The workshop uses materials developed for the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School.

If you’re interested in learning about markup and encoding digital editions, this course is for you!


What: An Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative

Who: James Cummings and Pip Willcox

When: 10:00–16:30, Thursday 27 and Friday 28 October 2016

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

Access: open to members of the University of Oxford

Admission: free

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

TEI logo

This two-day workshop balances introductory-level lectures with hands-on practical sessions to introduce and survey the recommendations of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) for creation of digital text.

You don’t need any previous experience with digital text or markup: we provide introductions to markup, XML, and the infrastructure of the TEI P5 Guidelines. The TEI Guidelines are suitable for encoding any sort of text, in any language or writing system, but examples will mostly been drawn from projects the tutors have worked on.

The workshop covers general metadata, the transcription and description of manuscripts, and metadata concerning the names of people, places, and organizations. This is aimed at beginners, and the workshop alternates between lectures surveying a topic and hands-on practicals giving you a chance to practise what you have learned. There will also be time for discussion of participants’ own projects.


Attendees are requested to bring a laptop with the latest version of oXygen XML Editor. As a member of the University, using your Single Sign On you can download this software and the required licence free of charge, via IT Services’ Software Registration and Download. If you cannot bring a laptop with you, please let us know before the day.

James Cummings is a Senior Academic Research Technology Specialist for IT Services at the University of Oxford. James is founding Director of the annual Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School and is an elected member (and previously chair) of the TEI Consortium’s Technical Council. His PhD was in Medieval Studies from the University of Leeds and he was Director of Digital Medievalist (2009–2012).

Pip Willcox is the Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship at the Bodleian Libraries, and a Senior Researcher at the University of Oxford e-Research Centre. With a background in scholarly editing and book history, she has worked on TEI-compliant editing projects including Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership, the Shakespeare Quartos Archive, the Stationers’ Register Online, and the Bodleian First Folio. She serves on the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for Digital Renaissance Editions.

Research Uncovered—TEI for manuscript description at Oxford and Cambridge


Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 151

Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 151

What: TEI for manuscript description at Oxford and Cambridge

Who: Matthew Holford, Huw Jones, and Chris Rogers

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 25 October 2016

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

Since 2009 the Bodleian Library and Cambridge Digital Library have been creating digital catalogues of their Western and Oriental collections following the Guidelines of the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative). The Bodleian now has nine TEI-encoded catalogues covering over 20,000 manuscripts, and a major project is currently in progress to standardize the metadata and develop a new infrastructure to support it. These papers will outline the rationale behind the choice of TEI and the challenges involved in its implementation, and describe the Bodleian’s approach to developing a user interface and sustainable cataloguing workflow.

<msDesc> at Oxford and Cambridge

Matthew Holford and Huw Jones

The TEI <msDesc> module was deliberately  created as a flexible scheme which would ‘accommodate the needs of many different classes of encoders’. The potential price of this flexibility is the development of discrete communities of practice among different users of the module resulting in small but significant differences in encoding which complicate interoperability and reuse of metadata. Many such differences can indeed be identified. Not only has the module been relatively widely adopted by digital catalogues of Western medieval manuscripts (the manuscripts for which the module was originally most obviously designed). It has also been adopted by catalogues of non-Western manuscripts and other text-bearing objects, such as Fihrist for Arabic manuscripts and Epidoc for ancient inscriptions.

This paper reports on a current project at the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the University Library, Cambridge, which is assessing how various cataloguing projects within both institutions have implemented the <msDesc> module. The aim is to simplify the technical infrastructure for storing and processing the TEI, to provide clearer guidance and improved workflow for future cataloguers, to improve interoperability within and between the respective institutions, and potentially to provide technical frameworks and metadata standards for other institutions looking to create <msDesc> records.

Creating a maintainable cataloging workflow and infrastructure using TEI

Chris Rogers

For some time, we at Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services (BDLSS) have struggled to maintain a number of TEI-based manuscript catalogues, based on a custom built indexing and display system for which the code has diverged significantly between implementations. To resolve this, we have embarked on a project to create a new infrastructure and end-to-end workflow for delivering and maintaining TEI-based catalogues moving forward. The aim is to make life considerably easier for both developers and cataloguers.

The tools and documentation development as part of the project will be made open-source for other institutions to use and feed into. As part of this work, we have engaged in an extensive programme of user requirements-gathering, and are currently in the process of devising the technical architecture of our new solution.

This presentation explores the results of our requirements gathering exercise, and the insights gained around preferred workflows for catalogue creators, eagerness to engage directly with code, and ideas for exposing the data in novel ways. As part of the requirements-gathering exercise, we also conducted a market review, talking to organizations in the UK and the US about how they currently use TEI. We will discuss these findings, and look forward to the technical solution we will be putting in place.

Research Uncovered—Accelerating the Diagnosis of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: using a Combined Genetic and Computational Approach

 stjo_0130cm-bwWhat: Accelerating the Diagnosis of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: using a Combined Genetic and Computational Approach

Who: Philip Fowler

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 22 November 2016

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

The discovery of antibiotics in the middle of the 20th century helped reduce the number of deaths from infectious diseases globally. Unfortunately, the use of antibiotics has inevitably led to bacteria developing resistance. It is vital, therefore, that doctors know which antibiotics can (and which cannot) be used to treat a patient with a bacterial infection, such as Tuberculosis (TB).

At present, a sample taken from the patient is sent to a laboratory, usually in a hospital, where the bacteria are grown and then different antibiotics administered to see which ones are effective. For a slow-growing bacterium like TB this process can take around a month. The incredible rate at which gene sequencing has got faster and cheaper now means that researchers, including the world-leading Modernising Medical Microbiology (MMM) group here at the University of Oxford, are beginning to replace the lab-based method with a genetics-based method.

This talk will describe this shift from lab-based to genetics-based microbiology that is happening in our hospitals and look at new methods that aim to predict the effect of individual mutations in TB genes.

Philip Fowler is a Senior Researcher working in the Modernising Medical Microbiology group at the John Radcliffe Hospital which is part of the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford. He is a computational biophysicist and his research focusses on using computer simulation to understand and predict how proteins and small molecules, like antibiotics, move and interact with one another. Philip blogs and is active on Twitter, @philipwfowler.

Research Uncovered—Museums and Mobile: beyond the touchscreen


lodestone_in_galleryWhat: Museums and Mobile: beyond the touchscreen

Who: Scott Billings, Ted Koterwas, and Jessica Suess

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 15 November 2016

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

Mobile guides have become ubiquitous in museums, but questions persist about their impact on visitor experience in terms of visitors looking down at their device, rather than up at the display. Oxford University Museums have conducted a research and development project to explore how mobile devices could be used to encourage and facilitate ‘heads up’ engagement.

We have developed new mobile interactives that rely less on the mobile screen and more on other capabilities of the phone: sensors, image recognition, and bluetooth. Using these features we turn smartphones into surrogates for some of the objects on display, allowing visitors to physically try using some of our scientific apparatus and musical instruments.

Scott Billings is the Digital Engagement Officer at the Museum of Natural History. He leads on digital engagement at the Museum, a diverse role covering web and social media as well as gallery and exhibition interactives. He was previously Public Engagement Officer at the Museum of the History of Science. Scott is trained in museum education, has co-curated exhibitions, and has been a design and cultural heritage journalist and freelance copywriter.

Ted Koterwas is the Web and Mobile Applications Lead at the University of Oxford’s IT Services. He leads the web and mobile applications team and has collaborated with the museums on a number of their recent mobile projects. He has worked creatively with technology since before phones had cameras, including directing the New Media exhibit development team at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Jessica Suess is the Digital Partnership Manager at Oxford University Museums. She is part of a small joint museums team that coordinates collaborative activity across the four Oxford University Museums. Leading on digital, she develops and manages digital projects, and pushes forward strategic initiatives to enable more collaborative IT and Digital approaches across the museums and division.

Research Uncovered—Doing (very) contemporary history with the archived Web

Peter Webster

What: Doing (very) contemporary history with the archived Web: Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, and the sharia law controversy of 2008

Who: Peter Webster

When: 13:00—14:00, Thursday 9 June 2016

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is not necessary but is advisable to ensure your place

The decade following the turn of the millennium may have seen an epochal shift in the nature of the discussion of religion in public life in the UK. The 9/11 attacks in the USA, and the terrorist bombings in London in 2005 prompted an outpouring of anxiety concerning the place of Islam in British society. The period also saw the coming to prominence of the ‘New Atheism’ associated with figures such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. The uniquely privileged position of Christianity, and the Church of England in particular, was also under greater scrutiny than had been the case for decades.

This paper examines a crucial episode of public controversy closely connected to each of these trends: a lecture given in 2008 by Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, on the accommodation of Islamic sharia law into British law. Using archived web content from the UK Web Archive, held by the British Library, it examines the controversy as it played out on the UK web. It argues that the episode prompted a step-change in both the levels of attention paid to the archbishop’s web domain, and a broadening of the types of organisation which took notice of him. At the same time, it also suggests that the historic media habit of privileging the public statements of the archbishop over those of any other British faith leader was extended onto the web.

The paper uses techniques of both close and distant reading: on the one hand, aggregate link analysis of the whole .uk web domain, and on the other hand, micro analysis of individual domains and pages. In doing so,  it demonstrates some of the various ways in which contemporary historians will very soon need to use the archived web to address older questions in a new way, in a new context of super-abundant data.

Peter Webster founded Webster Research and Consulting to help libraries, archives, universities and researchers build better digital services for research, with a particular specialism in web archives. He is also a historian of contemporary British religion; his study of Michael Ramsey, archbishop of Canterbury, was published in 2015 by Ashgate. Before setting up WR&C, he was on the staff of the Institute of Historical Research and (most recently) the UK Web Archive team at the British Library. He may be found on Twitter at @pj_webster, or blogging at http://peterwebster.me.

You can download a flyer for this talk.

Research Uncovered—Christine Borgman on Data, Scholarship, and Libraries

The Centre for Digital Scholarship is delighted to welcome Distinguished Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, Christine L. Borgman to present a talk drawn from her recent book, Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World (MIT, 2015). 


What: Data, Scholarship, and Libraries

Who: Christine L. Borgman,
Distinguished Professor & Presidential Chair in Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

When: 15.30—16.30, Friday 27 May 2016

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is not necessary but is advisable to ensure your place

Data, long understood as essential evidence for scholarship, are now viewed as products to be shared, reused, and curated. Libraries, long understood to be responsible for curating the products of scholarship, are now assessing their roles in acquiring, managing, and sustaining access to research data. While libraries have adapted to the evolution of document technologies for centuries – from papyri to eReaders – accepting long-term obligations for research data may reposition the role of the library in the university. Publications, the traditional remit of libraries, play established roles in scholarship. Data are much different entities than publications. Rarely do they stand alone, separable from software, protocols, lab and field conditions, and other context. Data practices are local, varying from field to field, individual to individual, and country to country. They are a lens to observe the rapidly changing landscape of scholarly work in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Inside the black box of data is a plethora of research, technology, and policy issues. Concerns for data sharing and open access raise questions about what data to keep, what to share, when, how, and with whom. The stakes and stakeholders in research data are many and varied, posing new challenges for scholars, librarians, policy makers, publishers, students, and their partners. This talk is drawn from Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World (MIT Press, 2015), much of which was written at the University of Oxford when the author was an Oliver Smithies Fellow at Balliol College in 2012-2013.

Christine L. Borgman, Distinguished Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at UCLA, is the author of more than 250 publications in information studies, computer science, and communication. These include three books from MIT Press: Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World (2015), winner of the 2015 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Computing and Information Sciences; Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet (2007); and From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in a Networked World (2000). The latter two books won the Best Information Science Book of the Year award from the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST). She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Association for Computing Machinery; a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Privacy Information Center; U.S. Co-Chair of the CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation and Attribution; and previously served on the U.S. National Academies’ Board on Research Data and Information and the U.S. National CODATA. She received the Paul Evan Peters Award from the Coalition for Networked Information, Association for Research Libraries, and EDUCAUSE, and the Research in Information Science Award from ASIST. In 2004-2005 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Internet Institute; in 2012-2013, she was an Oliver Smithies Fellow at Balliol College and a Visiting Scholar at both the Oxford Internet Institute and the Oxford eResearch Centre, University of Oxford. Prof. Borgman directs the Center for Knowledge Infrastructures at UCLA with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

You can download a flyer for this talk.