The Text of Dot Porter’s “Reading, Writing, Building: the Old English Illustrated Hexateuch” Now Available Online

(an excellent paper that challenges the British Library’s crappy page-turning software)

3 February 2009 – The text of Dot Porter’s talk, “Reading, Writing, Building: the Old English Illustrated Hexateuch,” including accompanying slideshow and example videos, are now available on the DHO website. Ms Porter, Metadata Manager at the DHO, presented this paper at the Royal Irish Academy on 26 January, and it was simultaneously webcast as part of the Culture and Technology European Seminar Series sponsored by the Humanities Advanced Technology And Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow. Her talk focused on the expression of physicality in digital projects, proposing a new model for editions of text-based objects.
(thanks to Dot P for the link)

event: Imagining a History for the Future of the Book (London Seminar in Digital Text and Scholarship)

(Punters should come to this if in London. Ray is Good!)

No form of human knowledge passes into a new medium unchanged. Digital
technology is fundamentally altering the way we relate to writing,
reading, and the human record itself. The pace of that change has
created a gap between core cultural and social practices that depend on
stable reading and writing environments, and the new kinds of digital
artefacts – electronic books, being just one type of many – that must
sustain those practices into the future. This paper will discuss work
toward bridging this gap by theorising the transmission of culture in
pre- and post-electronic media, by documenting the facets of how people
experience information as readers and writers, by designing new kinds of
interfaces and artifacts that afford readers new abilities and by
sharing those designs in online prototypes that implement new knowledge
environments for researchers and the public (link).

World Summit of digital humanities centers directors and funders this July (2010) in London

(from US CentreNet list).We are pleased to announce that the centerNet steering committee has received a Digital Humanities Start Up Grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities to help it develop a robust and sustainable organizational infrastructure and to run a World Summit of digital humanities centers directors and funders this July in London, immediately preceding DH 2010.  centerNet currently has over 200 members from centers across the globe.  The grant will enable it to play a larger role on the world stage beginning with the Summit, which is intended to facilitate collaborations on a global level among centers, among funders, and between both groups–with the ultimate goals of building international cyberinfrastructure  for the digital humanities and developing centerNet regional affiliate groups in other parts of the world.  More information about the Summit and centerNet’s other new initiatives will be forthcoming on this list.

The co-chairs of the centerNet steering committee, Katherine Walter (CDRH, University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Neil Fraistat (MITH, University of Maryland) are co-principal investigators for the grant.  Other members of the steering committee are Dan Cohen (CHNM, George Mason University); Julia Flanders (Brown University Women Writers Project); Matt Kirschenbaum (MITH); Dean Rehberger (Matrix, Michigan State University); Geoffrey Rockwell (TAPoR, University of Alberta); Raymond Siemens (SDH/SEMI, University of Victoria, British Columbia); and John M. Unsworth (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign).

TILE project blog and website launched

TILE: Text-Image Linking Environment is pleased to announce the launch of its public blog and informational site:

Our first blog posting includes a description of anticipated TILE functionality.

Upcoming posts will include an invitation to participate in user testing, as well as announcements of software as it becomes available.

Visit often, or subscribe to the RSS feed for the latest news on TILE.

TILE is a collaborative project among the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO), and Indiana University Bloomington, funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Resources program (research and development focus). Over two years TILE will develop a new web-based, modular, collaborative image markup tool for both manual and semi-automated linking between encoded text and image of text, and image annotation.

The project is unusual in digital humanities tools development in that it is being designed from the start to support a wide variety of use cases. Several projects from the University of Indiana Bloomington, The University of Oregon and Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies are initial testbeds. In the second year of the project, TILE will turn to the user community for testing. If you are interested in participating, or in learning more about the project, please contact us at  (thanks to Dot P for the link)



Report: XXIII International Congress of History of Science and Technology in Budapest Hungary


(image of statues from ‘Memento Park’; the Communist statue park).

I recently attended the XXIII International Congress of History of Science and Technology in Budapest Hungary. The conference was a large and truly international event with 1400 delegates from 60 countries. Set in the Budapest University of Technology and Economics; the university is one of the oldest technological institutions in the world (1772) and has a long history of major contributions to Science and Technology (the conference was however, set in a rather grim building).

Broadly speaking, the History and Philosophy of Science and the Digital Humanities do cover some similar academic territory as both are concerned with understanding technology through humanities approaches. Whist HPS is about critically understanding the history of technology in broader social and cultural contexts, the Digital Humanities is about applying computing technology to humanities problems.

Continue reading “Report: XXIII International Congress of History of Science and Technology in Budapest Hungary”

A Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States

In preparation for the 2008 Scholarly Communications Institute (SCI 6), the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) commissioned a survey of digital humanities centers (DHCs). The immediate goals of the survey were to identify the extent of these centers and to explore their financing, organizational structure, products, services, and sustainability. The longer-term goal was to provide SCI 6 participants with a greater understanding of existing centers to inform their discussions about regional and national centers.

Digital humanities centers, Ms. Zorich writes, are entities “where new media and technologies are used for humanities-based research, teaching, and intellectual engagement and experimentation. The goals of the center are to further humanities scholarship, create new forms of knowledge, and explore technology’s impact on humanities-based disciplines.” (link)

Leaping Hurdles: Planning IT Provision for Researchers

I recently attended a workshop sponsored by the Joint information Systems Committee (JISC) that presented some of the findings from the JISC funded community engagement and virtual research environments (VRE) projects. The three community engagement projects presented were the engage project (engaging researchers with e-infrastructure), the e-uptake project (enabling uptake of e-Infrastructure Services), and the eius project (e-Infrastructure Use Cases and Service Usage Models).

And the Virtual Research Environments (VREs) presented were MyExperiment (sharing scientific workflows), the VERA project (Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology) and the BVREH Project (Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities).

Rob Proctor presented the findings from the e-uptake project, one of the community engagement projects concerned with understanding the barriers to researchers applying new e-infrastructures within their work practices. One of the aims of the project was to identify recurring and wide spread barriers rather than localised and contingent barriers. The people interviewed for the study were primarily researchers but alos intermediaries who provide support services.
Continue reading “Leaping Hurdles: Planning IT Provision for Researchers”