In the past, the role of the library was clear: if you needed a book or access to a database, the library was the place to get it. But what can the library do for the digital humanities?
In this session, I can talk about the services and tools our library currently offers. Other may have examples of what they’ve seen elsewhere. But most of all, I want to hear what you would like us to do. Should the library offer consultancy? Tools? Hosting for project websites? Or maybe you just want a space where your group can meet and work together.
A little background: our library (at Utrecht University) calls itself “Partner in science”. We have already developed some tools that our researchers can use, but we are always looking for new things to offer. And we believe that the best way to find out what scholars need, is to ask them. So if you ever thought “I wish the library would do X”, then this is your chance.
Spatial and graphic technologies including GIS, spatial and graphic network analysis, georeferencing and data visualization in general are increasingly used in the arts and humanities. In this session we will focus upon graphic network analysis (graphic SNA). We will discuss the programs that can be used (eg. Netdraw, Gephi,..), but also the data-requirements and methodological challenges. Where and how can we learn working with this software? Does graphic SNA require different scholarly publication platforms and strategies? What are your experiences? Why do(n’t) you consider using digital tools for the analyses of presentations of (part of) your research?
See you on tuesday,
Hans en Christophe
Together with some colleagues I set up an International Network for Theory of History (INTH) which aims to foster collaboration and the exchange of ideas among historical theorists worldwide. After having talked about it for a long time, we started intensively preparing the establishment of the network in 2011 and finally launched it early 2012. Because our research field is very fragmented — with many scholars working in different linguistic and academic traditions, often at the periphery of long-established academic disciplines and frequently in relative isolation — we wanted our network to be as inclusive as possible. We figured it was best not to define in advance what should be considered as historical theory and what not. Rather we wanted to take a community-based approach in which potential participants would identify themselves, their/our field and its main problems and potentialities.
It was clear to us from the start that we would need a wide range of digital tools: we definitely needed a website, we wanted an online community-based bibliography for which we used Zotero, wanted a worldwide directory of researchers for which people could make their own member-pages, we wanted a news function based on a blog-structure to which people could freely contribute, etc.
Yet, the very openness and community-based character of our network and its digital tools also posed some challenges: mainly evolving around the question how we could guarantee a certain qualitative standard and a certain thematic coherence to our network. A lot of dilemmas, some of which we think we solved, while other remain on the table. I would like to share our findings and am very interested in any of your ideas on how to solve particular problems concerning a community based research network.
I would like to talk about the open source program Zotero which I use to organize my personal bibliography for my PhD research and for the collaborative bibliography for the International Network for the Theory of History. Since discovering Zoterto, I have been able to organize myself in new ways that were impossible in the days of pen and paper. I save time because its much easier to add new books to my list with a click of the button instead of copying out the reference information like I used to do. I used to have to copy out the library reference number each time I wanted to check out a book but now its saved on my zotero.
But what I especially like about the system is the way it lets me classify references with as many labels as I like. This gives me a lot more flexibility organizing the books I need for different topics and issues. I’ve been working on my PhD for two years now and every organization system I have used has become obsolete as my project and interests develop. I’m hoping that zotero’s flexibility will mean that I can use it for the long term. Hopefully other zotero users will come to the discussion and share some tips on the program or superior ones that I may not know about.
posted by Kenan
Digital Humanities you say?
Digital evolutions are changing the way we do research but do they change science? A lot of debate is going on wither or not digital humanities is a new discipline. Does it need its own defenition, methods, courses and theory? Participants of THATCamp Paris helped the matter somewhat further by calling Digital Humanities a ‘transdiscipline’…
Read the Manifesto for the Digital Humanities in English or French.
When I look at the internet I see lots of online source collections but hardly any narratives that contextualize them. On the other hand I see researchers wrestle with alternative ways to present their work. It seems like both sides – the heritage institutions who hold the key to the collections and the research institutions who hold the key to the narratives – have something to gain in working more closely together.
An open platform that makes it possible to collect/present collections as well as the context and narratives that surround them is Omeka, made by the Roy Rosenzweig Centre for History and New Media. Recently I used it for www.Gent1913Virtueel.be and before that for www.30jaarovam.be During this session I will present the basic workings and different types of use of Omeka holds for researchers, educators and heritage workers. We can talk about the pro’s and con’s of this platform and wither or not it holds some solutions to bridge the gap between collections of sources and research presentation.
I’m also interested in the ways you present your research and/or sources. Do you use alternative platforms that manage to integrate research and sources, narratives and collections?
Cee you in two weeks!Fien
On May 28th 2013 the first ever THATCamp in Belgium will be organised in Ghent.
THATCamp Ghent forms part of the ELAG Conference 2013 but can also be followed as a separate free (!) event.
It is hosted by the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities and the Faculty Library of Arts & Philosophy at Ghent University.
Please register here.
Further details will be published here when known. Meanwhile, read more about the THATCamp movement and browse other THATCamps at thatcamp.org.