5 things we’ve learned about Digital Humanities in the last 5 years
Sun, 24 May 2015 14:51:13 +0000
At the end of May, 2015, it will be exactly five years since the formal launch of UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. Our mission is “is to champion, catalyse, promote, facilitate, undertake, advise and publicise activities in Digital Humanities (with as wide an interpretation of that phrase as possible) throughout the founding Faculties and UCL, […]Read more...
This week: UCL Laptop Orchestra (UCLOrk) at the UCL Festival of the Arts
Mon, 18 May 2015 11:27:55 +0000
The UCL Laptop Orchestra (UCLOrk) is performing this week on Wednesday 20th May at 1pm in the Quad Events Space as part of the UCL Festival of the Arts. The one-hour lunchtime session will comprise a lecture/recital on the history and practice of laptop orchestras, combined with performances of three pieces written by members of […]Read more...
UCLDH Research Projects
UCL Centre for Digital Humanities has a diverse Digital Humanities project portfolio, showing a wide-ranging technological engagement across the Arts, Humanities and Cultural Heritage sectors.
UCLDH is directly involved in a range of projects at varying scales, and with numerous collaborators. The Centre also supports and guides a number of associated endeavours across UCL and with external partners. To discuss potential new research opportunities please contact the UCLDH Associate Director for Research, David Beavan.
Digital Humanities Research Projects
The project will explore cultural aspects of European identity and how reference cultures have changed over the course of the past two centuries. Using innovative digital techniques the project team will mine and analyse digital collections from European libraries with large repositories of digitised newspapers and periodicals. Text mining and sentiment mining open up the perspective of a quantitative approach to the history of mentalities, allowing researchers to discover long-term developments and turning points in public debates.
Bridge to China aims to further the understanding of all aspects of the Chinese speaking world. China here is used in a very wide sense and includes mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and anywhere else where the Mandarin language is spoken. It gives particular importance to the understanding of the modern Mandarin language.
The ONS Longitudinal Study is a complete set of census records for individuals, linked between successive censuses, together with data for various events. It relates to a sample of the population of England and Wales. The sample comprises people born on one of four selected dates of birth and therefore makes up about 1% of the total population. The sample was initiated at the time of the 1971 Census, and the four dates were used to update the sample at the 1981,1991 and 2001 Censuses and in routine event registrations.
CHIPS explores the likely performance practices (and problems) that would result from having easily deployable, robust, creative, and reliable artificial music performers in mixed human-computer ensembles playing popular music. There are many systems that go some way to solving the technical problems of computer participation in this kind of music (e.g. beat trackers, chord estimators, interactive improvisers) but as yet no complete systems that can be deployed by non-expert users into common practice performance contexts and be relied upon to underpin the performances of popular music ensembles.
The Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research is one of the data support units funded under the ESRC Census Programme. CIDER provides access to and support interaction data sets produced from UK Censuses of Population. Census interaction data are data that relate to flows of people between places. Whereas most census data relate to counts of people at specific locations, interaction data describe interactions between origins and destinations.
The Day of Archaeology is an online project that will allow archaeologists working all over the world to document what they do on one day. Archaeologists taking part in the project will document their day through photographs, videos and written blog posts. These will then be collected on the website, which will provide a glimpse into a day in the life of people working in archaeology, from archaeological excavations to laboratories, universities, community archaeology groups, education services, museums and offices.
A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is a community publication project that brings together digital humanists from around the world to document what they do during a single day. Day of DH then weaves together the journals of the participants into a dataset that answers the question, “Just what do computing humanists really do?”. Participants document their day through photographs and commentary in a blog-like journal. The collection of these journals with links, tags, and comments make up the final work which is published online.
The DHOER project is creating Open Educational Resources (OER) from a comprehensive range of introductory materials in Digital Humanities, enriched with multimedia and Web 2.0 components, made freely available to anyone. As well as supporting the Digital Humanities, the DHOER project will benefit many cognate disciplines, including the whole spectrum of the Arts and Humanities, Cultural Heritage, Information Studies, Library Studies, and Computer Science.
Digital transformations mean that cultural and media organisations now find themselves in a new environment in which communities of participants interact to create, curate, organise and support cultural experiences. This research network draws together participants who believe that creative organisations need to explore the new relationships, new opportunities and new research questions created by digital transformations. The network will explore and investigate the opportunities, affordances and risks of this model through a network with world-leading partners, based around four themes: Production and creativity; Business models, rights and ownership; Design; and Learning.
DM2E will develop the tools needed to convert content from diverse metadata sources into the Europeana Data Model. DM2E will also catalyse an active community of cultural heritage institutions wanting to openly license their metadata and submit it to Europeana through a series of hands-on workshops, scholarships and educational documentation provided through the Open GLAM initiative. DM2E will develop new tools for use within the Digital Humanities community. A consortium of cultural heritage institutions, leading research institutes, SMEs and open data NGOs are behind DM2E. It is led by the Humboldt Universität, Berlin.
Dynamic Dialects is an accent database, containing an articulatory video-based corpus of speech samples from world-wide accents of English. Videos in this corpus contain synchronised audio, ultrasound-tongue-imaging video and video of the moving lips. This resource is designed to aid phonetic training, language teaching and learning, and speech therapy, and improve people's understanding of how speech sounds are produced.
The Global Lab is a podcast about cities, global connectivity and the impact of technology produced by the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (UCL-CASA). Each episode features the latest news and perspectives from urban analysis, social complexity and innovation, as well as interviews with cutting-edge researchers from UCL-CASA and guests from further afield. The UCL Beacon Bursary scheme generously provided start-up funds for recording equipment.
The Great Parchment Book is an early 17th century survey of the County of Londonderry. It is a manuscript that has been completely inaccessible to scholars for over 200 years, since it was heavily damaged in a fire at Guildhall in 1786. It is hoped that the development of new digital methodologies will allow the opening up of the obscured text and enable the production of usable 3-D digital images and a transcription of the complete manuscript. These techniques have never been tried on manuscripts before, and so, if successful, would provide exciting possibilities for other damaged parchment manuscripts in the City of London’s collections and beyond.
The application of computing to the Humanities is not new. It can be traced back to at least 1949, when Fr Roberto Busa began researching the creation of an index variorum of some 11 million words of medieval Latin in the works of St Thomas Aquinas and related authors. Notes and contributions towards a history of the computer in the humanities have appeared in recent years; however, our understanding of such developments remains incomplete and largely unwritten. This project gathers and makes available sources to enable the social, intellectual and cultural conditions that shaped the early take up of computing in the Humanities to be investigated.
An interdisciplinary initiative spawned in the methodological commons of the digital humanities that seeks to understand the future of reading through reading’s past and to explore the future of the book from the perspective of its history. Learn more. For this essential work, INKE brings together researchers and stakeholders at the forefront of computing in the humanities, text analysis, information studies, usability and interface design into a network.
The QRator project is exploring new models for public engagement and informal learning in museums using handheld mobile devices and new interactive digital labels. QRator is creating small printed tags (QR codes) for museum objects, linked to an online database. These will allow the public to view curated information and, most notably, to send back their own interpretation and views via their own mobile phone or interactive digital label. This will enable the public to collaborate and discuss museum concepts and object interpretation with museum curators, and academic researchers.
This is an international project involving Archaeologists and Computer Scientists from Belgium, Greece, the UK and the US, in which UCL plays a lead role. Its goal is to assist archaeologists and conservators by digitising excavated fragments of wall paintings which have been preserved in volcanic ash since the sixteenth century BCE. Computer algorithms are used to semi-automatically search the fragments for matches. By creating an interface that bridges between automated match retrieval and the intuition of an experienced user, the hope is to greatly reduce the time that is currently spent manually testing large numbers of fragments for matches.
This resource provides teachers and students of Practical Phonetics with ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI) video of speech, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) video of speech and 2D midsagittal head animations based on MRI and UTI data. The website contains two main resources: an introduction to UTI, MRI vocal tract imaging techniques and information about the production of the articulatory animations; and a clickable International Phonetic Association charts links to UTI, MRI and animated speech articulator video.
How can advances in 3D imaging be best deployed in the cultural and heritage sector? In this 4 year EngD in Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation, sponsored by The Science Museum in conjunction with UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and UCL's Photogrammetry, 3D Imaging and Metrology group we investigate how models of museum spaces can be captured, reused, and their usefulness for the general public.
UCL’s Centre for Digital Humanities has received a UCL Arts and Humanities Small Research Grant to work with the Slade to undertake a pilot project with the Slade Archive – to see what is there, and how it can be exploited. We will explore ways in which this underused resource can be made more accessible through new research, online resources and publications. The project will trial various online platforms and tools to help unearth, track and bridge together the varied histories of the School, its former staff and students, and chart their impact in the art world – both nationally and internationally.
Communication through social media is becoming part of the fabric of everyday life for millions of people. A wide variety of public and private institutions use social media to share their goals and policies with the public, attract people to participate in activities they organise, and engage in dialogue with the users of their services. The AHRC Social Media Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) is a collaborative project that aims to give postgraduate students and early career researchers in the Arts and Humanities opportunities for knowledge exchange with social media practitioners in academia, museums, archives and libraries, and the voluntary sector.
Museums’ objects have too often been seen as purely historical objects. They aren’t. Rather, they are social objects, inspiring emotional attachment, discussion, debate and action. This project is at the forefront of capturing and representing what audiences feel and say in response to our collections and subjects. Social Interpretation aims to holistically represent the discussions about, and sharing of, our objects by audiences. We aim to do this seamlessly across all of our outputs (in-gallery, on-mobile and on-line). Social Interpretation is making museums objects truly social.
Talisman is developing new methods of geospatial data analysis and simulation, specifically models of spatial systems that emphasise potential flows at and between locations. The methods Talisman is developing are based on spatial interaction, agent-based models (ABM), cellular automata (CA), and microsimulation. Talisman is developing substantive extensions to these models by embedding them in new media, using Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies. In this way, the project aims to generate new and powerful methods with applications relevant to key policy questions.
TEI by Example is concerned with developing an online resource for teaching TEI (Text Encoding Initiative). Featuring freely available online tutorials walking individuals through the different stages in marking up a document in TEI, these online tutorials will provide examples for users of all levels. Examples will be provided of different document types, with varying degrees in the granularity of markup, to provide a useful teaching and reference aid for those involved in the marking up of texts.
Textal is a text analysis app for iPhone and iPad. It allows you to create wordclouds from your favourite text, website, tweet stream, or document. Textal then allows you to interact with the wordcloud, to drill down further and explore the statistics and the relationships between words in the text. It has been designed to be an easy introduction to text-analysis, whilst providing useful functionality missing from previous implementations of wordclouds. Textal transforms wordclouds into useful tools for analysis, research, and play.
Wouldn't it be great to link any object directly to a 'video memory' or an article of text describing its history or background? Tales of Things allows just that with a quick and easy way to link any media to any object via small printable tags known as QR codes. How about tagging a building, your old antique clock or perhaps that object you're about to put on eBay?
The Transcribe Bentham initiative is a highly innovative and novel attempt to aid in the transcription of Bentham’s work. A digitisation project will provide high quality scans of the papers, whilst an online transcription tool will be developed which will allow volunteers to contribute to the transcription effort. It provides a “crowdsourcing” tool which will be used to manage contributions from the wider audience interested in Bentham’s work, including school students, and amateur historians.
tranScriptorium aims to develop innovative, efficient and cost-effective solutions for the indexing, search and full transcription of historical handwritten document images, using modern, holistic Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology. tranScriptorium is a STREP of the Seventh Framework Programme in the ICT for Learning and Access to Cultural Resources challenge.
An historic move to further internationalize the Internet, the project involves the web’s biggest technical change since it was created four decades ago, and opens up access to millions of new global users, giving them the ability to express new names in their own languages and scripts. UCL is working with ICANN to evaluate applications for new generic Top Level Domain addresses (i.e. in addition to .com and .org etc.). As a result of the New generic Top Level Domain Program there will be new addresses in non-Latin script based scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese and Russian.
USEUM is the first ever crowdsourced art gallery exhibiting thousands of paintings, drawings and illustrations from the 14th century until today. USEUM creates a discourse between museums, artists and art lovers, who are an essential part of USEUM. Members of the platform can rate, curate, document and even upload artworks to USEUM’s Exhibition. The goal of USEUM is to make art more accessible to Internet users, by creating an online art gallery people can turn to when looking up artists, paintings, illustrations, or other related content, instead of going on a generic search engine.
Additional Digital Humanities Research Projects
- Assyrian Empire Builders
- Bentham Project
- CELM: Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700
- eSAD: e-Science and Ancient Documents
- Humanities Information Practices
- LAIRAH: Log analysis of Internet Resources in the Arts and Humanities
- Livingstone Online
- Open Learning Environment for Early Modern Low Countries History
- Physical Science Information Practices
- ReACH: Researching e-Science Analysis of Census Holding
- UCIS: User Centred Interactive Search with Digital Libraries
- VERA: Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology