[Humanist] 28.69 events: Hopkin (untruncated) on digitizing WWI

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri May 30 23:50:51 CEST 2014

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 69.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 30 May 2014 09:04:57 +0100
        From: John Levin <john at anterotesis.com>
        Subject: Re:  28.65 events: Hopkin on digitizing WWI
        In-Reply-To: <20140529201229.2F301680B at digitalhumanities.org>

Somehow the message got cut off. Here are the details for the Hopkin 
seminar next Tuesday.



Speaker:Professor Sir Deian Hopkin (President of the National Library
of Wales)

Title:  Digitising the First World War: Opportunities and Challenges

Date:  3 June, 2014

Time:5:15 PM (BST=GMT+1)

Venue:  Athlone Room, 102, Senate House, South Block, First floor, or
live online at LiveStream  http://www.livestream.com/historyspot .

Abstract:  One of the most important legacies of the commemoration of
the First World War will be an extensive range of new digital archives.
The Imperial War Museum is leading a partnership of many hundreds of
organisations, many of whom are involved in capturing records, visual
artefacts, memoirs and much else.  The National Archives now offers a
wide variety of resources, from war diaries and nursesÂ’ records to
interviews with prisoners of war and records of military service appeal
tribunals and has launched a crowd-sourcing site to identify data
contained within war diaries.  The National Library of Wales hosts the
PeopleÂ’s Collection, also a crowd-sourcing platform, which enables
individuals and organisations to upload diaries, letters, photographs
and other artefacts, and a dedicated website provides searchable access
to Welsh newspapers during the war, part of a much larger collection of
Welsh Newspapers Online.  And there is much else, on the same lines,
taking place in libraries, record offices and among informal groups
across the country.

In his acclaimed book, /Capital in the Twenty-First Century, /Thomas
Piketty pays a particular debt to improvements in the technology of
research, most specifically computers, which enabled him to process data
on a huge scale and offer a new synthesis; indeed he claims his work to
be as much about history as economics.  Twenty years ago, there was a
rush of enthusiasm for the use of computing technology by historians.

   Since then, despite huge technical advances and a communications
revolution, there is a sense that most historians have remained aloof
from these new developments.  Some of the tools available in the 1980s
and 1990s have not evolved and there is much less written nowadays about
techniques and methodology; indeed there appear to be little provision
for historians to develop the particular skills needed to exploit rich
digital archives, especially structured data.

While the new resources appear to offer exciting prospects, are we any
nearer being able to exploit them?  This presentation will discuss the
opportunities which are now available but the challenges that still remain.

Professor Sir Deian Hopkin spent 43 years in higher
education, retiring as Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University
in 2009. He was a co-founder of the Association of History and Computing
and active in the CTI, the History Data Archive and other initiatives in
the 1980s and 1990s. He is currently President of the National Library
of Wales, a trustee of the IHR Development Trust and Chair of the Wales
Programme Committee for the First World War Centenary.

Seminars are streamed live online at LiveStream
 http://www.livestream.com/historyspot . To keep in touch, follow us on
Twitter (@IHRDigHist) or at the hashtag #dhist
 http://twapperkeeper.com/hashtag/dhist .

John Levin

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