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—The Quill Project: Recreating the process which wrote the United States Constitution

James Madison’s diary written during the Constitutional Convention (image from the Library of Congress)

James Madison’s diary written during the Constitutional Convention (image from the Library of Congress)

BOOK TICKETS!

What: The Quill Project: Recreating the process which wrote the United States Constitution

Who: Nicholas Cole and Alfie Abdul-Rahman

When: 13.00–14.00, Tuesday 14 February 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

The Constitution of the United States was written between May and September 1787 by a group of delegates working in secret and in a highly formal process.  The records of that process include an official journal and a series of private diaries, all of which present significant challenges for general readers and researchers.  Chief among these is the difficulty of understanding and describing the particular context within which decisions were made.

The Quill Project provides an entirely new platform for the study of negotiated texts, developed by Dr Nicholas Cole (Pembroke College) and Dr Alfie Abdul-Rahman (Oxford e-Research Centre). We focus especially on the creation of constitutions, treaties, and legislation.

The platform is designed to make it easier to understand the contexts in which decisions are made, the relationship between documents, and the influence of individuals and delegations within a formal process of negotiation.

The structure of decision making at the Constitutional Convention

The structure of decision making at the Constitutional Convention

The Quill Project offers a new, twenty-first century approach to the publication of a digital edition of these records, with an emphasis on interactive visualization, a collaborative approach to material held elsewhere on the internet, and a multi-author approach to the creation of commentaries and other resources needed for a variety of research, teaching, and public-engagement needs. 

This talk will explore the challenges of designing a platform such as this with a wide variety of users in mind, and the opportunities for research and collaboration that are created through taking a new approach to the study of these records.

Dr Nicholas Cole is a Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, and a member of the History Faculty. 

Dr Alfie Abdul-Rahman is a Research Associate at the Oxford e-Research Centre.

Research Uncovered—Interrogating Truth and Objectivity in Syrian Conflict Reporting

Book tickets!

WNate Rosenblatthat: Interrogating Truth and Objectivity in Syrian Conflict Reporting

Who: Nate Rosenblatt

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 7 February 2017

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

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

The recent uproar over “fake news” in the so-called “Western world” is not new to observers of the ongoing Syrian conflict. For years, participants have fought a physical war as well as one over competing claims of “truth.” This presentation will uncover some of these competing claims from the perspective of an observer, analysing how truth is manipulated and for what purpose, as well as its consequences on how we research and understand conflicts in the digital age.

Nate Rosenblatt is an MSc student in the Sociology Department studying conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2016, Nate conducted ceasefire violations monitoring in Syria by triangulating satellite imagery analysis, social media monitoring, and on the ground reporting. From 2011-2014, Nate helped train and manage field research teams reporting primarily on local governance in the Syrian conflict, and designed and managed research utilizing mapping technology to chart conflict dynamics in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. Find him online: @naterosenblatt.

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 (pip.willcox@bodleian.ox.ac.uk).

Representing and Exploring Negotiated Texts: Quill Platform Workshop

Book tickets!The structure of decision making at the Constitutional Convention

 

What: Representing and Exploring Negotiated Texts: Quill Platform Workshop

Who: Nicholas Cole, Alfie Abdul-Rahman, and Grace Mallon

When: 13.30 – 16.30, Wednesday 25 January 2017

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

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

Quill (www.quillproject.net) is a platform for the study of negotiated texts, developed by Dr Nicholas Cole (Pembroke College) and Alfie Abdul-Rahman (Oxford e-Research Centre). We focus especially on the creation of constitutions, treaties, and legislation.

The platform is designed to make it easier to understand the contexts in which decisions are made, the relationship between documents, and the influence of individuals and delegations within a formal process of negotiation. It also allows for more detailed, collaboratively written, commentaries and other supporting material to be presented to users, as appropriate for a range of research, teaching, and public-engagement tasks.  There is a strong emphasis throughout the platform on ways to interface with material presented by other digital platforms.

Quill was originally conceived to assist research in to the documentary history of the 1787 Constitutional Convention in America by presenting researchers with a reconstruction of the documents available to the members of the convention at every single moment of a complicated, four-month-long process, but developed in to a generic platform that can assist with the understanding of any formal process that involves presenting, considering, and voting on changes to a document.

This half-day workshop will guide participants through the range of tools that the Quill platform provides, including the data-entry interfaces.  Users who might wish to bring their own datasets are requested to contact nicholas.cole@history.ox.ac.uk in advance to discuss the suitability of their material for the Quill platform.  Otherwise, the workshop will use records provided by the U.N. on the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (http://research.un.org/en/undhr/introduction) to guide users through the process of using the editorial and data-entry tools provided by the Quill Platform.

This workshop is aimed at those whose research involved the study of parliamentary or quasi-parliamentary processes and the records that they produce.  It will be an opportunity to discuss the design of the platform and the ways in which it could be used for future research projects.

Objectives:

      • To provide participants with experience using the Quill tools for exploring existing datasets.
      • To give participants an overview of and some experience with the Quill data-entry methodology and tools.
      • To help participants understand the kinds of dataset for which the Quill platform is useful and an opportunity to discuss with them potential future uses.

Participants are requested to bring a laptop to use during the workshop. If you do not have access to a laptop, please let us know beforehand.

This workshop is organized by:

  • Dr Nicholas Cole is a Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, and a member of the History Faculty. 
  • Dr Alfie Abdul-Rahman is a Research Associate at the Oxford e-Research Centre.
  • Grace Mallon is a graduate student at University College, University of Oxford.

Research Uncovered—Revisiting the effect of red on competition in humans

Book tickets!

Laura FortunatoWhat: Revisiting the effect of red on competition in humans

Who: Laura Fortunato

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 28 February 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

Bright red coloration is a signal of male competitive ability in animal species across a range of taxa, including non-human primates. Does the effect of red on competition extend to humans? A landmark study in evolutionary psychology established such an effect through analysis of data for four combat sports at the 2004 Athens Olympics (Hill & Barton 2005). We show that the observed pattern reflects instead a structural bias towards wins by red in the outcomes of the competition. Consistently, we find no effect of red in equivalent data for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which present a structural bias towards wins by blue. These results refute past claims of an effect of red on human competition based on analysis of this system. In turn, this undermines the notion that any effect of red on human behavior is an evolved response shaped by sexual selection. Results from the largest test of the effect to date, based on outcomes of contests in an online game, support this conclusion.

Laura Fortunato is Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Her work, at the interface of anthropology and biology, focuses on the evolution of human social and cultural behaviour.

Research Uncovered—The imagination of Ada Lovelace: creative computing and experimental humanities

Ada Lovelace, by Margaret Sarah Carpenter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ada Lovelace, by Margaret Sarah Carpenter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Book free tickets!

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

What: The imagination of Ada Lovelace: creative computing and experimental humanities 

Who: Pip Willcox

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 7 March 2017

CHANGE OF VENUE

Please note this seminar has moved venue: 

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

Centre for Digital Scholarship, Weston Library

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

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”.

Following the talk, we are delighted that David De Roure will demonstrate and explain the making of the tools we used for this work. There will be a short break between the two sessions.

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

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 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.

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.

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.

Digital Methods—Making the most of digital resources: a hands-on introduction to Early English Books Online

Book tickets!
Elephant (Coryate, 1616)

What: Making the most of digital resources: a hands-on introduction to Early English Books Online 

Who: Pip Willcox

When: 13.00—14.00, Friday 27 January 2017

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

Access: all members of the University are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, British North America, and works in English printed elsewhere between 1473 and 1700. It is a key resource for students of all aspects of the early modern period—history, language, literature, theology, philosophy, law, music, the history of science, medicine, mathematics, and more.

With the University of Michigan Library, the Bodleian Libraries led the Text Creation Partnership (TCP), a project that created digital editions of every unique title in English from EEBO. These texts are marked up in Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) compliant XML and used to power the full-text search via EEBO and other interfaces.

This one-hour workshop will introduce both EEBO and TCP, suggesting ways to make the most of this valuable resource. It will include an introduction and hands-on training. You may find it useful to bring a laptop.

The workshop is organized by the Centre for Digital Scholarship and the Bodleian iSkills training programme.

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. Between 2006 and 2014 she worked as an editor on the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership project.

Access: With your 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.

Research Uncovered—Visual recognition, image-matching and digital annotation

Book tickets!Esopo-1-Tagliato

What: Visual recognition, image-matching and digital annotation: early printed book illustration and the 15cBOOKTRADE Project 

Who: Matilde Malaspina and Abhishek Dutta

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 21 February 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

How was book illustration used, and how did it circulate in 15th-century printed editions, at a time when the spread of printing facilitated their availability to wider sections of society? What was its iconographic content and its relation to the text? Who were the artists who prepared the designs, and what were their relationships with the printers? What value does the iconographic apparatus have in reconstructing the transmission of a certain text from manuscript to print?

The 15cBOOKTRADE Project, in collaboration with the Visual Geometry Group (Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford) is experimenting the application to 15th-century printed images of a series of digital cataloguing and searching methods based on the integrated application of instance-based (i.e. image) and class-based (i.e. text) retrieval.

This co-operative project aims to provide scholars with new tools to systematically track and explore the production, use, circulation, and copy of the same woodblock, iconographic subject, artistic style, etc. in 15th-century printed editions, enabling people to tackle long-standing historical questions.

Matilde Malaspina is a PhD student at the University of Oxford and a member of the 15cBOOKTRADE Project, led by Dr Cristina Dondi. She got her BA and MA from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan, Italy), where she specialised in Medieval and Humanistic Philology. Her doctoral research concerns 15th-century printed book illustrations, with a focus on Italian, and particularly Venetian, illustrated editions of texts of Aesop, the Classical author of fables extensively used for primary education over the centuries. In November 2015 she was awarded a six-months residential scholarship at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, in Venice, for collecting and analysing material from the Essling collection.

Abhishek Dutta is a Research fellow in the Visual Geometry Group at Department of Engineering Sciences of Oxford University. His research interests span a wide range of avenues in Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Computer Graphics. Abhishek received his doctorate at the University of Twente (Netherlands) in 2015 after which he joined the Product Lab of TomTom International as a Senior Engineer. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the Tribhuvan University (Nepal) in 2009 and MSc in Computer Science (by research) from the University of York (UK) in 2010.

 

Research Uncovered—Social Media: The risks, the opportunities and what it means for you and me

Jason Nurse

Book tickets!

What: Social Media: The risks, the opportunities and what it means for you and me!

Who: Jason Nurse

When: 13.00—14.00, Tuesday 24 January 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required

The impact of social media on society today is undeniable – sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have millions and even billions of users.  In this talk, Dr Jason R.C. Nurse considers the positive uses of social-media information, while also explaining the various security and privacy risks associated with having a digital footprint. 

Shedding light on what social media is, as well as how it works, Jason will show how to understand what you are telling the world when you join in with social media, and how to recognise good information from bad, as a reader. This talk will also touch on issues such as how to protect yourself online and recent developments in ‘fake news’ and online rumours.

Jason R.C. Nurse is a Senior Researcher (Oxford Research Fellow) in Cybersecurity at Oxford University’s Department of Computer Science and a JR Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford. His research focuses on pursing novel approaches to maintain organisational cybersecurity, and also creative ways to identify and address the security and privacy risks that individuals face in cyberspace. Jason is currently involved in several projects spanning topics such as the Internet-of-Things, Online Identity Risks, Cybercrime, and Cross-enterprise Security. Find out more @jasonnurse!

Digital Methods—Encoding Music and Text: an exploration

MS. Arch. Selden B. 26, 10r

MS. Arch. Selden B. 26, 10r

What: Encoding Music and Text: an exploration

When: 09:00–13:00, Wednesday 11 January 2017

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

Access: open to all

Admission: free

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

You are invited to join us for a multidisciplinary workshop exploring and articulating the current state of digital encoding for music and text, and where we might go next.

 

Creating digital editions of text and of music is well understood. Two established XML-based standards in common use are the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI). Both TEI and MEI are used to signify the encoding standard and the governing community that creates and uses it.

The TEI was founded in 1987 and is a mature and still developing standard with a large and lively international community. The MEI, founded in 1999, has been inspired by the TEI, and is equally the focus of an international, growing community.

While the two encoding initiatives are not formally related, they share many common characteristics and development practices. A TEI-encoded text can be embedded in an MEI-encoded document and vice versa. There has been work in this field already, including through the TEI Music Special Interest Group, and a repository of associated files is available online.

This workshop will explore how well this is working, and where there are spaces for improvement in documentation or in coding. Discussions will focus around case studies and will be generalizable.

Objectives

This workshop will bring together colleagues with a range of subject and disciplinary interests both to understand the scope of the current knowledge of the music- and text-encoding landscapes and to articulate fields for potential development. Our discussions will grow from questions such as:

  • What are our preferred methodologies and tools for encoding music and text in one document?
  • Is greater interoperability desirable?
  • What features of MEI and TEI do not currently interoperate happily?
  • How do we deal with competing hierarchies?
  • What tools and technologies are currently in use to work with, interrogate, and present music- and text-encoded documents?
  • How can we move seamlessly between music and text views, depending on a particular encoder’s or reader’s interests?
  • How might these tools be developed further to improve our understanding and facilitate our use of these documents?
  • What new tools do we need?

Schedule

  • 09.00 Coffee
  • 09.30 Welcome and introductions
  • 09.45 The view from here: MEI
  • 10.15 The view from here: TEI
  • 10.30 Reflections/discussion
  • 10.45 Case study
  • 10.30 Facilitated break-out groups (facilitated by organizers; designated reporters)
  • 11:30 Break for refreshments
  • 11:50 Facilitated break-out groups, continuation
  • 12:20 Reporting back (5 minutes per group)
  • 12:35 Responses and discussion
  • 12:50 Next steps
  • 13.00 Close

This workshop is organized by:

  • Xavier Bach, Queen’s College, University of Oxford
  • James Cummings, IT Services, University of Oxford
  • Andrew Hankinson, Faculty of Music/Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford
  • Raffaele Viglianti, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities
  • Pip Willcox, Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship, Bodleian Libraries/Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford