[Humanist] 22.440 John Bradley receives Mellon Award

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jan 10 08:22:45 CET 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 440.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 10:11:07 -0600
        From: "J. Stephen Downie" <jdownie at uiuc.edu>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.432 John Bradley receives Mellon Award
        In-Reply-To: <20090109064555.DB06124788 at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear John:

A hearty congratulations from your friends and colleagues at the 
Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of 
Illinoi, Urbana-Champaign.

Keep up the brilliant work!


Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 432.
>          Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>         Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 06:24:40 +0000
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         > 
> John Bradley receives Andrew W Mellon Foundation 'Award for Technology 
> Collaboration'
> http://www.kcl.ac.uk/
> -----
> A computer software tool developed by a King’s College London academic 
> has won a Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration. John Bradley of the 
> College’s Centre for Computing in the Humanities was awarded $50,000 for 
> creating Pliny, a scholarly annotation tool.
> The Mellon Awards honour not-for-profit organisations for leadership in 
> the collaborative development of open source software tools with 
> application to scholarship in the arts and humanities, as well as 
> cultural-heritage not-for-profit activities.
> Pliny is a software tool which facilities note-taking and annotation 
> while a person is actually reading (a key element of Humanities research 
> for many scholars), and furthermore allows readers to integrate their 
> initial notes into a representation of an evolving personal 
> interpretation. Pliny has components that go beyond annotation to help 
> manage and organise the notes, even if there are thousands of them to 
> work through. It can be used with materials in both digital (web sites, 
> images and PDF files) and non-digital (books, printed journal articles) 
> format. It may be downloaded at http://pliny.cch.kcl.ac.uk/. Pliny was
> first presented at the Digital Humanities conference in Paris, 2006,
> where it won the Poster Prize.
> The software is named after the classical Roman author, naturalist and 
> military commander Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), who was famous for 
> expressing his curiosity about all things by constantly recording notes 
> about them. According to his nephew, Pliny the Younger, he left behind 
> 160 books in very small handwriting.
> In making the award to John Bradley, at an event in December in 
> Washington DC, Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist 
> of Google, a man often called the ‘Father of the Internet’, said in his 
> citation:
> ‘Within the crowd of scholarly annotation tools, Pliny stands out for at 
> least two reasons. First, it can handle both direct annotation, marking 
> up content which the scholar is permitted to modify, and indirect 
> annotation, storing annotations separately from content. Second, and in 
> contrast to many annotation tools, it has received widespread praise for 
> working in ways that humanists actually work. Our Committee also praised 
> Pliny for its re-use of widely available open source technology, the 
> Eclipse project, as a foundation.’
> John Bradley is Project Leader and Senior Analyst in the Centre for 
> Computing in the Humanities (CCH), The primary objective of the CCH is 
> to study the possibilities of computing for arts and humanities 
> scholarship and, in collaboration with research partners across the 
> disciplines, to design and build applications which implement these 
> possibilities, in particular those which produce online research 
> publications. In the recent Research Assessment Exercise CCH was ranked 
> either first or as equal second within its sector.
> John Bradley said: ‘We at CCH are very aware of the huge potential of 
> computing methods and tools for Humanities research, with much of this 
> potential still to be realized. I very much hope that Pliny can help to 
> promote fundamentally new thinking about how computing can help scholars 
> in the actual conduct of their research.’
> Harold Short, Director of CCH, said: ‘The Mellon Award is richly 
> deserved. It can be seen not only as just recognition of the 
> intellectual innovation that underlies the Pliny software, but also as 
> marking in a symbolic way his exceptional contribution to scholarship in 
> the Digital Humanities over many years.’
> One of the CCH‘s Professors of Humanities Computing, Willard McCarty, 
> has been using Pliny intensively in preparation for study leave, and has 
> this to say: ‘Pliny is one of those very rare software programs that 
> embodies a profound understanding of the human activity that it enables. 
> It is designed in the best tradition of computing, not to automate human 
> work but to augment human intelligence. The particular activity it is 
> designed to enable is one of the most ancient scholarly acts, perhaps 
> also the most essential: the making of commentaries. The scholar's 
> central role is to mediate between cultural artefacts and the society of 
> which he or she is a part. Commenting is how the scholar does that. 
> Pliny is the best tool for the job I have ever encountered --and I've 
> been looking for decades.’
> The awards event marked the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s third annual 
> Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC) competition, in which 
> a total of $650,000 was awarded in prizes to ten not-for-profit 
> institutions. The panel that decided the awards included Sir Timothy 
> Berners-Lee (Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and inventor of 
> the World Wide Web), Mitchell Baker (CEO, Mozilla Corporation), John 
> Seely Brown (former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corp.), John Gage (at the 
> time, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office, Sun 
> Microsystems, Inc.; now, Partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and 
> Byers), and Tim O'Reilly (Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media).

    "Research funding makes the world a better place"
J. Stephen Downie, PhD
Associate Professor,
Graduate School of Library and Information Science; and,
Center Affiliate, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
[Vox/Voicemail] (217) 649-3839
M2K Project Home: http://music-ir.org/evaluation/m2k

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