Information Studies


DIS Centenary

Our Department is celebrating 100 years since our foundation as the first British School of Librarianship! Throughout the decades we have offered professionally grounded education, based on some fundamental principles, our history, the context and evaluation of information, whilst also focusing more recently on developments in digital technology. We are the only department in the UK which brings together the unique portfolio of programmes in library and information studies, information science, archives and records management, publishing and digital humanities.

DIS away day 2019
  • March - December 2019 - From Small Library Beginnings: a brief history of UCL Library Services – More information here.
  • Monday 3rd February 2020, 6-8pm, Gustave Tuck lecture theatre. Join us for the London premiere of Change the Subject, an exciting new documentary that was made to chronicle recent attempts to modify the “illegal alien” Library of Congress Subject Heading. After the documentary showing (60 mins), a panel of experts will lead a discussion on this controversy as well as its implication for future development. Free and open to all; registration details coming soon! Please contact Alison Hicks on a.hicks@ucl.ac.uk with questions. There is step free access to the lecture theatre through the South Cloisters building.

DIS Centenary Public Lectures 2019-2020

The Stevenson Memorial Lecture 2019: Taking Mapping to the World

Wednesday 30th October 2019, 6-8pm, in the Court Room at IES, Senate House

Taking Mapping to the World

Laurence Worms

An exploration of the ways in which British technical skills in map-engraving, printing, publishing and lithography were exported and made permanent in the wider world - pioneers in America, soldiers in India, missionaries in the Far East, convicts in Australia, and a whole cast of extraordinary lives and characters. 

Laurence Worms, a former president of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, has contributed to both the Chicago University Press History of Cartography and the Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, as well as compiling articles for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the Oxford Companion to the Book. He is the co-author of British Map Engravers, the standard work on the subject, and has written and lectured widely on various aspects of the British map trade. In this lecture he will break new ground, based on fresh and current research, in looking at the map trade transporting itself across the globe.

Further information and to book a free place: https://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/stevenson-lecture


Jenkinson Lecture in archival science


Are We Still at War with Eastasia? The Importance of Evidence in Orwellian Times

Dr Laura Millar

Reflecting on her new book A Matter of Facts: the Value of Evidence in an Information Age, Dr Millar argues for evidence as a counter to the "alternative facts" and outright lies that have become increasingly common in this disruptive post-truth age. She will make the case that authentic and accurate records, archives, data, and other sources of documentary proof are crucial in supporting and fostering a society that is respectful, democratic, and self-aware.

Dr Millar is an independent consultant and scholar in records, archives, and information management, based in Vancouver, Canada, an alumna of UCL and an Honorary Research Fellow in DIS. She has consulted with governments, universities, professional associations, and other agencies around the world and is the author of several award-winning publications. She has taught in several universities in Canada and internationally.

Further information: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/information-studies/jenkinson-lectures


The Susan Hockey Lecture in Digital Humanities

The Susan Hockey Lecture in Digital Humanities is named after Susan Hockey, Emeritus Professor of Library and Information Studies at UCL, and a leading figure in the establishment of Humanities Computing as an academic discipline. The aim of this annual public lecture series is to celebrate and promote work in Digital Humanities: the application of computational techniques within the arts, humanities, culture and heritage. 

23rd September 2020

We are delighted that this year's lecture will be delivered by Professor Ray Siemens, University of Victoria, Canada.
Ray Siemens (University of Victoria, Canada) is Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria, in English and Computer Science, and past Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing (2004-15); in 2019, he is also Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Loughborough University and Global Innovation Chair in Digital Humanities at University of Newcastle (2019-22). He is founding editor of the electronic scholarly journal Early Modern Literary Studies, and his publications include, among others, Blackwell's Companion to Digital Humanities (2004, 2015 with Schreibman and Unsworth), Blackwell's Companion to Digital Literary Studies (2007, with Schreibman), A Social Edition of the Devonshire MS (2012, 2015; MRTS/Iter & Wikibooks, with Crompton et al.), Literary Studies in the Digital Age (2014; MLA, with Price), Doing Digital Humanities (2017; Routledge, with Crompton and Lane), and The Lyrics of the Henry VIII MS (2018; RETS).

Further information: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/digital-humanities/events/2020/sep/ucldh-hockey-lecture-2020-some-preconditions-open-futures

Banner image - DIS Centenary exhibition

Geographies of Information: 100 years of Information Studies at UCL

2019 – 2020 marks the centenary of UCL Department of Information Studies. To celebrate the creation of the first School of Librarianship in the UK, the Curator Dr Alda Terracciano collaborated with students and members of staff to explore the history of the department and the role that teaching has played in the creation of an international, professional workforce over the past decades. Starting as the first British School of Librarianship in 1919, the department paved the way for other Higher Education institutions in Britain, leading training programmes for information professionals in an expanding job market. The success helped establishing its worldwide reputation, promoting professional standards that influenced information management practices worldwide through an international cohort of students.

In the spring 2020 the students involved in the project delivered a series of oral history interviews with alumni and former staff members to investigate key issues faced by information professionals in their jobs, including ethics of public engagement, development of digital humanities and artificial intelligence to mention just a few. These areas of critical enquiry will be situated alongside a selection of objects retrieved from UCL Special Collection and immersed in original sound compositions inspired by archive material, to create an interactive digital exhibition linking the past, present and future of information studies globally.

We plan to open the exhibition in November 2020, so please check this space for more information. Meanwhile you are invited to explore a number of fascinating topics covered in the interviews podcasts that we will progressively make available here, and to add your contribution to the creation of this digital space by sending your memories of UCL to f.santos@ucl.ac.uk.

Geographies of Information: interviews podcasts

Podcast interview soon to be available via UCL podcasts

Interview transcript

What do records and recordkeeping do for us?

Jess Conway’s interview with Chloe Anderson conducted on 9th March 2020 over Skype, with Jess in London and Chloe in the Falklands.