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UCLDH Seminar Series: Professor Jane Winters

Institute for Historical Research, University of London

Wednesday 28th January 2015

G31 Foster Court, UCL

Big data for humanities research: from digging into the parliamentary record to exploring the UK Web Archive

There is increasing interest among arts and humanities researchers in working with big data, as evidenced by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s recent big data funding call and the Digging into Data programme. However, working with data at this scale presents unique theoretical and methodological challenges which we are only now beginning to explore. This paper will present a number of approaches to big data research, focusing on the archive of UK web space for the period 1996–2013; 200 years’ worth of parliamentary proceedings for the UK, the Netherlands and Canada; and a corpus of historical material digitised by The National Archives spanning the middle ages to the twentieth century. It will consider prosopography, linked data, semantic mark-up and natural language processing, as well as the ethics of big data research. Finally, it will highlight some of the benefits of adopting a genuinely collaborative and interdisciplinary way of working when dealing with big data.

All welcome, and there will be drinks following the talk. Please note that registration is required.