UCL Centre for Digital Humanities


Paper in the brave new digital world: why we still need the physical book and what digital research adds to its history

25 January 2011, 1:05 pm–1:50 pm

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Foster Court, G31

In this Painless Introduction Anne Welsh will discuss the impact of the computer on Historical Bibliography (the study of the book, its manufacture and use). From online catalogues and full-text digitization of rare books and manuscripts to the analysis of large collections of texts, we will look at new ways of accessing and understanding books and their readers. 

We'll also consider areas of the History of the Book that are still undertaken manually and interrogate why these research techniques persist and what they reveal that the computer, so far, cannot. 

Whether you're a traditional historian or literary scholar who wants to know what Digital Humanities can do for you, or an engineer looking for ideas for future project, this session will provide you with an overview of key issues and research involving the Book and its technologies. 

Anne Welsh is Lecturer in Library and Information Studies in the UCL Department of Information Studies and a member of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. A librarian for fifteen years before becoming a full-time academic, her research and teaching is rooted in Historical Bibliography and Knowledge Organization more generally. Current work includes assessing the impact of poet Walter de la Mare's working library on his own writing and investigating how feminist information is presented and accessed. She is the module coordinator for Historical Bibliography on the MA LIS and MA Archives which will also be an optional module for the new MA Digital Humanities.