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

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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.


  • 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.

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

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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 ( 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.


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 ( 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.

The Music of Sound: call for contributions

Image from Johns Hopkins University:

The University of Oxford e-Research Centre and Centre for Digital Scholarship are delighted to announce a day’s symposium on sonification.

What: The Music of Sound: a sonification symposium

When:10:00–16:00, 21 April 2017

Where: University of Oxford e-Research Centre (directions)

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

Admission: £20; £10 for students and unwaged

Registration: registration is required by 10 April 2017

Sounds surround us everywhere, and in our urban and industrial environments we are permanently immersed in music and noise—alarms, vending machines, phones have familiarized us with mechanical sound as signal. Sonifications, or audiograms, are attracting attention as a method of re-presenting data, yet this area of study continues to be less studied than, for example, visual analytics.

The celebrations of Ada Lovelace’s 200th birthday demonstrated a larger interest in the intersection of machinery, music, and culture, and pushed existing disciplinary boundaries. The symposium will build on this and we look forward to developing ideas and approaches together.

We invite proposals for papers (including audio-papers) and posters on sound, its production, reception, public engagement, technologies, sonic re-presentation, and exploration of the sonic world from all fields of research and learning.

Proposal submissions

Proposals must be submitted online.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 20 March 2017.

Acceptances will be notified by Monday 27 March 2017.

All submissions should include a title, abstract, a brief biography of each author, and up to five keywords.

Word counts apply to the text of the abstract, excluding titles, biographies and keywords.

Speakers will be given 30 minutes each for papers and audio-papers: 20 minutes for presentation, and 10 minutes for discussion. Lightning talks to present the posters will be given 5 minutes each, with discussion taking place during poster sessions.

Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

Brain Diaries: Brain imaging then and now



This talk is part of Oxford Neuroscience‘s Brain Diaries event and talk series.

What: Brain imaging then and now

Who: Chrystalina Antoniades and Alexandra Franklin

When: 13.00—14.00, Monday 20 March 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking is required

We know people have been thinking about brains since ancient Egyptian times. From the sixth century BCE people began to understand that the brain was the home of the mind. As the scientific method developed, study of the brain formed part of this rational approach to new knowledge.

Technological advances have played their part in both understanding and communicating knowledge about the brain. These have included images of the brain, from the introduction of engravings in printed books to the latest diagnostic imaging used by hospital neurologists.

You are warmly invited to a talk by two experts in these disparate but related fields, Dr Alexandra Franklin (Bodleian Special Collections) and Professor Chrystalina Antoniades (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences).

Alex will show books from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries illustrating medical treatments of the eyes and brain, and Chrystalina will present how the technological advances of the last few decades have changed the way we can diagnose brain disorders.

This talk forms part of the Brain Diaries series of events revealing how the latest neuroscience is transforming what we know about the lifelong development of our brains, from birth to the end of life. It is a partnership with Oxford Neuroscience.

Professor Chrystalina Antoniades is an Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford and a lecturer in medicine at Brasenose college. She has recently set up her own research group, the NeuroMetrology Lab. She has been awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for public engagement and is passionate about engaging her research with the public.

Dr Alexandra Franklin is the Coordinator of the Centre for the Study of the Book, part of the Bodleian Libraries’ Special Collections. She coordinates programmes aimed at making Special Collections material more accessible to students, researchers, and the public.

His Majesty, Mrs Brown: letters from the second catalogue of Bodleian Student Editions

Mike Webb (Curator of Early Modern Archives and Manuscripts) writes:

The second Bodleian Student Editions catalogue is now available online through Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO). These letters were transcribed in the second of the Bodleian Libraries Manuscript and Textual Editing Workshops, held in the Centre for Digital Scholarship in the Weston Library on 1 December 2016. Details of the workshop programme, along with an account of the first workshop, can be found here.

Bodleian Student Editions participants working with the letters

Participants transcribing letters at a Michaelmas term workshop

The letters used in this workshop were in a volume of the Carte manuscripts, which mainly comprises the papers of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond (1610-1688), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland three times between 1643 and 1685. Six letters written by women to Ormond in April and May 1660 were selected, all in MS. Carte 214. Women used italic script in the seventeenth century as most were not taught the ‘secretary hand’ used in legal and administrative documents of the period, and often in private letters also. Italic hands are easier to read for those not formally trained in palaeography, and so more suitable for these workshops, which offer a wide-ranging introduction to undergraduates and postgraduates of all disciplines, many of whom had never previously worked with original manuscripts.

Once again, the students were fully engaged with the letters and by the end of the day had produced excellent transcriptions. The punctuation and spelling of the originals proved to be challenging—it is often necessary to read the transcript to yourself before you can believe what is in front of you! I found in checking the transcripts that there are so many strange spellings in these letters that inevitably in a short workshop some were accidentally modernised. A good example of unorthodox spelling can be found in a letter from Ormond’s wife, Elizabeth, on 21 May 1660:

I will make the troubell of this leter the briuefer, and only desier, that I may reseve your derections consarninge my comminge over, whoe am the mene time indevoringe to put My Selfe into a redenes to obbay the first sommons that shall Come from you.

As this passage indicates, the letters were written at a significant moment in British history, the Restoration of Charles II. This letter and one from Lady Bristol contained some intriguing references to various women who were not all they appeared to be. One of the pairs of students realised that there was something odd about ‘Mrs Brown’ and suggested this might be a pseudonym for the King. We did not have time in the workshop to confirm this, but the hunch turned out to be correct. Mrs Brown, Mrs Carlton, Mrs Eyres and Frances Parsifall (who, oddly, was the addressee of one of Lady Bristol’s letters) turned out to be none other than King Charles II, Edward Hyde, the Earl of Bristol and Ormond himself respectively. These pseudonyms are listed in the published Calendar of the Clarendon State Papers (another of the Bodleian’s great collections of seventeenth-century state papers). Lady Bristol mentions having written to Mrs Carlton, and sure enough, her letter can be found in the Clarendon papers. Lady Bristol became confused herself with the subterfuge, suddenly changing the gender of her husband ‘Mrs Eyres’ for whom she was seeking a place in the new regime:

let mee beseech your favour and charity in making sure of som place for your absent frind Mrs Eyres with Mrs Browen which can only preserve her … from those misseries that [her deleted] his faithfullnes hath brought on him … for his adhering to Miss Browen, and her father … [i.e. Charles II and Charles I]

Afterwards, we again collected feedback from the participants, who enjoyed the wide variety of activities—there were several requests for more workshops on each of the three strands—and the collaboration with other students:

I think people from different disciplines bring different frameworks of analyses to the table and ask questions you might not think of.

One student highlighted the workshop’s ‘applicability’ to the diverse sources that the participants are studying as its ‘most important aspect’, facilitated by the nature of Early Modern Letters Online as

a valuable corpus that can be put in the context of other projects in other fields.

The opportunity to integrate initial training with increased availability of our collections is immensely important to us at the Bodleian, a sentiment which the students seem to share: one participant wrote

I love that you come out of the seminar with a citable transcription.

—Mike Webb
Curator of Early Modern Archives and Manuscripts, Bodleian Libraries

Making Numbers into Notes: the making of Ada Lovelace’s generative music

This talk is part of the Oxford Women’s International Festival.

What: Making Numbers into Notes: the making of Ada Lovelace’s generative music

Who: David De Roure

When: 14.00—15.00, Tuesday 7 March 2017

Where: St Luke’s Chapel, Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG (map

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required for the preceding talk: no booking is necessary for this demonstration

What would have happened if Charles Babbage had built the analytical engine, and Ada Lovelace had programmed it to generate music? Our “making” experiments have involved a variety of techniques, from a software simulator, a web app and the use of a computer algebra system, to construction of arduino micro controller hardware, agent based simulation and scripting for modern professional audio tools.  This talk will demonstrate some of these tools, and invite attendees to engage with us in taking the experiment forward.

This demonstration follows the Research Uncovered talk, The imagination of Ada Lovelace: creative computing and experimental humanities. If you would like to attend this talk, please book a place. There will be a short break between the two sessions.

The imagination of Ada Lovelace: creative computing and experimental humanities

In the 200 years since Ada Lovelace’s birth, she has been celebrated, neglected, and taken up as a symbol for any number of causes and ideas. A symposium to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth narrated many of these, including accounts of her generative relationship with Charles Babbage and his Difference and Analytical Engines.

This talk traces some of paths the idea of Lovelace  and her imagination of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine has taken, what basis they have in her life, and what they tell us about the devices and desires of their scholarship and society. It includes an account of our experimental humanities work in response to both Lovelace and the operatic Ada sketches of composer Emily Howard: we created a web application, Numbers into Notes, (an earlier version of which was described by David De Roure in a previous Research Uncovered talk) to produce music from maths through programming a digital simulation of the Analytical Engine, after Lovelace’s idea that “the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent”.

This collaborative research was supported through the following EPSRC project: Fusing Semantic and Audio Technologies for Intelligent Music Production and Consumption (EP/L019981/1). This talk was first given as a Digital Scholarship Seminar at the Moore Institute, NUI Galway.

David De Roure is Professor of e-Research and Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre. He has strategic responsibility for Digital Humanities at Oxford and directed the national Digital Social Research programme for ESRC, for whom he is now a strategic adviser. His personal research is in Computational Musicology, Web Science, and Internet of Things. He is a frequent speaker and writer on digital scholarship and the future of scholarly communications.

Pip Willcox is the Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, and a Senior Research at the Oxford e-Research Centre. She co-directs the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School and convenes its introductory workshop strand. With a background in textual editing and book history, her current work investigates narrative and the intersection between the material and the digital, exploring the experimental humanities.

Digital Methods—Introduction to Visualization in Digital Scholarship

Book a place!

AlfieAbdul-RahmanWhat: Introduction to Visualization in Digital Scholarship

Who: Alfie Abdul-Rahman

When: 13.00—14.00, Friday 3 February 2017

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

Access: open to all

Booking: reservation is required

In this session, we will consider how visualization can be used in digital scholarship projects. We will cover basic concepts of visualization as well as examine existing visualization techniques and applications.

This seminar first ran as a training session at the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, on An Introduction to Digital Humanities workshop strand.

Alfie Abdul-Rahman completed her PhD in Computer Science at Swansea University, focusing on the physically-based rendering and algebraic manipulation of volume models. She is a Research Associate at the Oxford e-Research Centre, Oxford University. She has been involved with the 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. Her research interests include visualization, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction. 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.

Access: If you have a University or Bodleian Reader’s card, you can get to the Centre for Digital Scholarship through the Mackerras Reading Room on the first floor of the Weston Library, around the gallery. You will need to check any bags into a locker (£1 returnable deposit) before you head upstairs. If you do not have access to the Weston Library you are more than welcome to attend the talk: please contact Pip Willcox before the event (

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