Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Stats: Wales data sources

Welsh Overview: http://wales.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/wales-summary/?lang=en
  • 3.1 million people (mid 2011).
  • The main urban areas are Cardiff (346,100), Swansea (239,000) and Newport (145,700).
  • About 1 in 20 of the UK population live in Wales.
  • The total land surface of Wales comprises nearly 2.1 million hectares, of which some 80 per cent is devoted to agriculture.
  • Life expectancy from birth in Wales is 78.2 years for males and 82.2 years for females (2010-12).5
  • Just over 52 per cent of local authority municipal waste was prepared for reuse, recycling or composting in 2012-13.8
  • 1,656 maintained schools, and approx 465,000 pupils. More than 500 schools teach through the medium of Welsh.
  • There were nearly 129,000 enrolments at higher education institutions in Wales in 2012/13.
  • In 2013 there were 9.5 million sheep and lambs about one quarter of the UK total.
  • There were around 35,200 babies born in 2012.
  • Around one fifth of the population of Wales say they can speak Welsh.
  • There were 9.6 million domestic UK tourist trips to Wales in 2012.

Need data on Wales?

Wales Government: http://wales.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/?lang=en
Data Unit Wales: http://www.dataunitwales.gov.uk/data
Stats Wales: https://statswales.wales.gov.uk/Catalogue
Census 2011: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-for-unitary-authorities-in-wales/stb-2011-census-key-statistics-for-wales.html
NHS: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/statisticsanddata/sourcesofdata
Police: http://data.police.uk

Saturday, 27 December 2014

A digital lib-bib-cell-hus

National Library of Wales [photo by Dylan Moore]



Which will stand the test of time?

  • Library (English) from librarium (Latin) - a chest for books.
  • Llyfrgell (Welsh) - from Latin a cell for books.
  • Bibliotheka - from Ancient Greek to Latin. Biblio- (from Byblos a port in today's Lebanon from where papyrus was imported to Greece) and -theke ( from Greek tithemi - to place or put).

We lost, in Middle English, bochus (from Old English) - a house for books.

In these digital days, do we need a place to store books, or a place to 'put' them. Printing a character on wood or paper seems quite similar to storing or 'printing' our digital data on magnetic or optical media - but we don't think of it like that very often and we can't see it without machines to translate back into our own languages. Our digital vaults (computer machine rooms) are more like the libraries of old - sealed, protected places where only the authorized may wander.

What about a digitheke - or is that the world-wide-web as we know it? The loss of the bibliothecary seems a shame, but lives on in the twittersphere - of course (@bibliothecary)

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Demise of Welsh History?

Huw Bowen's suggestions for sustainable Welsh History:


There are many things that we could do, but here are two suggestions.
First, there should be an annual festival of Welsh history.  We seem to have festivals of virtually everything in Wales, but for some reason not Welsh history.  This is a major omission from the cultural calendar, and it is one that History Research Wales is well placed to rectify.
Second, there should be a properly funded Welsh Institute of Historical Research to serve the needs of communities, local councils, national institutions, and government.  It should be the ‘go-to’ place for advice on the history that informs the development of every single form of activity that takes place.  Such an institute would not only represent a ‘world first’ but also demonstrate that Wales is fully in touch with its past and properly understands its place in the broader scheme of things.

Living Labs


The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) is the international federation of benchmarked Living Labs in Europe and worldwide. Founded in November 2006 under the auspices of the Finnish European Presidency, the network has grown in ‘waves’ up to this day. To this date, 8 Waves have been launched, resulting in 370 accepted Living Labs. The ENoLL international non-profit association, as the legal representative entity of the network, is headquartered in Brussels, at the heart of Europe.
What is a Living Lab?
A Living Lab is a real-life test and experimentation environment where users and producers co-create innovations. Living Labs have been characterised by the European Commission as Public-Private-People Partnerships (PPPP) for user-driven open innovation. A Living Lab employs four main activities: 
  1. Co-Creation: co-design by users and producers 
  2. Exploration: discovering emerging usages, behaviours and market opportunities 
  3. Experimentation: implementing live scenarios within communities of users 
  4. Evaluation: assessment of concepts, products and services according to socio-ergonomic, socio-cognitive and socio-economic criteria.

Future Everything Festival (link)

FutureEverything is an award-winning innovation lab for digital culture and annual festival, established in Manchester in 1995. For almost 20 years FutureEverything has been exploring the meeting point of technology, society and culture which lies at the heart of the digital debate. Through a community network and regular events it makes connections between thinkers, developers, coders, artists, designers, urbanists and policy makers – inspiring them to experiment and to collaborate in new ways.
The FutureEverything festival brings people together to discover, share and experience new ideas for the future. Pioneering the practice of city-wide ‘festival as laboratory’ it combines a large scale cultural event – encompassing art, music and discussion – with new technology, novel research methods and playful social experiments. It has been named by The Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Gwaith Dafydd ap Gwilym

Dafydd ap Gwilym website: http://www.dafyddapgwilym.net

The editors of the works of Dafydd ap Gwilym included on the site are visualised using Cytoscape. The layout is manually tweaked after being laid out by Cytoscape's algorithms. Raw data can be found here

Friday, 3 October 2014

Turning an Eye to Crime

Turing an eye to crime: South Wales Police crime data.

Cytoscape layout of crime data
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0. UK Crime data

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

CODAH: Centre on Digital Arts and Humanities

Swansea University's Centre on Digital Arts and Humanities was founded in summer 2014.

CODAH aims to deepen links and share knowledge between staff and students in Arts and Humanities and Computing (and other disciplines), in terms of research, teaching, public impact, resourcing and strategy.

Dr Tom Cheesman (Dept of Languages) and Dr Robert S Laramee (Computer Science) are joint directors.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

A World of Welsh Copper: Cu@Swansea

Hafod and Morfa Copperworks from White Rock Image Credit
If anyone has not become aware of the work of the Welsh Copper project then a trawl through some of the information available from it may be in order. Cu@Swansea has gathered huge momentum over the last few years, building on the innovative regeneration work begun in the 80's, and aiming now to create a heritage hub and industry, with space for people to enjoy and share.  "It's really copper that lies at the heart of Wales' development as an industrial nation" says Professor Huw Bowen at Swansea University, and it is this project that is bringing the global world of Welsh Copper back to life.

The project website, among many other interesting things, includes a bibliography, powered by Zotero, for copper related research material, and it is this use of Zotero to provide open access, online bibliographies that is a nice example of simple digital technologies that can enhance projects.

Keep up with the news and follow the project @copperhistories 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Network Visualization: word association & Cytoscape

Having used gephi, http://www.gephi.org for some time, I've been wanting to look at alternative network engines, as people keen coming up with interesting data sets that sometimes seem to cause me a problem in Gephi for one reason or another. Finally with a 7 hour train journey behind me I took a look at one of the options I had previously shortlisted. This is Cytoscape, http://www.cytoscape.org. and a graph of some word association data that I previously gathered. It is imported into Cytoscape as a .csv file and with very little tweaking draws graphs such as this. Click on the image for a larger version.
Cytoscape layout of chained word association data: (c) Steve Williams, Swansea University [cc-by]

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Digital Festival Italy

IHR Seminar, Senate House: Sir Deian Hopkin, Digitising the First World War

From: http://ihrdighist.blogs.sas.ac.uk

Next seminar – Tuesday 3 June 2014 – Digitising the First World War: opportunities and challenges
Posted on 13 May 2014 by Jane Winters

The IHR Seminar in Digital History would like to welcome you to its first seminar of the 2014 summer term.

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 atHistorySpot

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 nurses’ 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 People’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.

Speaker: 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 HistorySpot. To keep in touch, follow us on Twitter (@IHRDigHist) or at the hashtag #dhist.

Open Humanities Awards: closing date 30th May 2014


"We are excited to announce the second round of the Open Humanities Awards, running from 30 April until 30 May 2014. There are €20,000 worth of prizes on offer in two dedicated tracks:

Open track: for projects that either use open content, open data or open source tools to further humanities teaching and research

DM2E track: for projects that build upon the research, tools and data of the DM2E project

Whether you’re interested in patterns of allusion in Aristotle, networks of correspondence in the Jewish Enlightenment or digitising public domain editions of Dante, we’d love to hear about the kinds of open projects that could support your interest!- See more at: http://blog.okfn.org/2014/05/07/17209/#sthash.W7yblQDe.dpuf"

Software, Digital Art, Data Curation & Archives! The 2014 NDSA Innovation Award Winners

Winner at the Delta County Fair, Colorado, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsac.1a34201
Winner at the Delta County Fair, Colorado, 1940 Oct. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs,http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsac.1a34201
The National Digital Stewardship Alliance Innovation Working Group is excited to announce the winners of the 2014 NDSA Innovation Awards. Each year the Innovation Working Group solicits nominations for  projects, individuals, and organizations doing innovative and substantive work in digital preservation. This is the third year we have handed out these awards and previous blog posts list the 2012 recipients and the2013 recipients.
From more than thirty nominations, the awards committee selected the following four winners. The winners illustrate the diversity of the digital preservation community, including students, educators, and practitioners and representatives from library, archives and museum communities. Please join us in congratulating them for their hard work.
Institution: National Software Reference Library, National Institute for Standards and Technology: Recognized for their substantial leadership in building a national collection of software, developing and sharing workflows and approaches for software preservation, and for modeling approaches to corpus analysis of born digital collections. You can learn more about the NSRL in this interview.
Project: XFR STN, The New Museum. “XFR STN” (Transfer Station) acts as “an open-door artist-centered media archiving project.” The project is recognized in particular for how it stands as a model for community-driven digital preservation activity, utilized existing platforms like the Internet Archive for long term preservation, and worked directly with artist and media creators to preserve their work.
Individual: Trevor MuñozAssistant Dean for Digital Humanities Research at the University of Maryland Libraries and an Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.  Recognized for his work developing and teaching best practices in data curation in the digital humanities and for his work advocating for digital preservation as a core function of librarianship, archival work, and scholarship.
Future Steward: Emily Reynolds, National Digital Stewardship Resident, The World Bank. Recognized for the quality of her work in a range of internships and student positions with ICPSR, University of Michigan Libraries, the Library of Congress, Brooklyn Historical Society, Storycorps, and, in particular, her recent work on the World Bank’s eArchivesproject.
The 2014 NDSA Innovation Awards will be presented at the upcoming Digital Preservation 2014, which will be held July 22-24 in Washington DC. More information on the conference will be available soon.

Leonardo Symposium

Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks
— 5th Leonardo satellite symposium at NetSci2014

on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

For the fifth time, it is our pleasure to bring together pioneer work in the overlap of arts, humanities, network research, data science, and information design. The 2014 symposium will follow our established recipe, leveraging interaction between those areas by means of keynotes, a number of contributions, and a high-profile panel discussion. 

In our call, we are looking for a diversity of research contributions revolving around networks in culture, networks in art, networks in the humanities, art about networks, and research in network visualization. Focussing on these five pillars that have crystallized out of our previous meetings, the 2014 symposium again strives to make further impact in the arts, humanities, and natural sciences.

Running parallel to the NetSci2014 conference, the symposium provides a unique opportunity to mingle with leading researchers in complex network science, potentially sparking fruitful collaborations.
Program Schedule: ^

9:00 Roger Malina
Opening Remarks

9:10 Maximilian Schich

9:30 Keynote Lada Adamic

10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Anamaria Berea
The Network Of the 'Byzantium after Byzantium' Fresco Style in the UNESCO Monasteries of Moldova

11:30 Giorgio Caviglia, Nicole Coleman and Dan Edelstein
Idiographic Network Visualizations: Bringing the Construction and the Manipulation of Network Graphs Up Front

12:00 Claire Kovacs
Mapping Paris: Social and Artistic Networks, 1855-1889

12:30 Jaimie Murdock, Robert Light, Katy Borner and Colin Allen
Using Visualizations to Deconstruct 'The Two Cultures'

13:00 Lunch
14:00 Arram Bae, Doheum Park, Yong-Yeol Ahn and Juyong Park
Network Landscape of Western Classical Music

14:30 Kim Albrecht, Marian Dörk and Boris Müller
Culturegraphy, Visualizing Cultural Network Dynamics

15:00 Dmitry Zinoviev
The Pain of Complexity

15:30 Heidi Boisvert
Echoing Narcissus: Bio-Adaptive Game-Based Networked Performance

16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Panel discussion
17:30 End

New Republic Article: The Immense Promise of the Digital Humanities

From: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117711/digital-humanities-have-immense-promise-response-adam-kirsh

"Adam Kirsch’s recent piece in The New Republic on the “false promise” of the digital humanities doesn’t probe very deeply into the broad range of experimental approaches to humanistic scholarship that have been bubbling up over the past decades. But it does make some misleading assertions that merit a response."

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Live and Kicking: The Impact and Sustainability of Digital Collections in the Humanities by Lorna M. Hughes

Proceedings of the Digital Humanities Congress 2012
Edited by Clare Mills, Michael Pidd and Esther Ward

"This paper discusses an initiative at the National Library of Wales to build a research programme around the digital collections of Wales. The programme seeks to document the impact and use of these digital collections for research, teaching and public engagement: and to develop new digital initiatives that will fulfil core remit of the National Library over the long term, set within to context of the “digital transformation of the Library” that “has caught everyone’s attention” (McGann). The NLW research programme seeks to understand this transformation, and its impact internally and on the Library’s users, and to address questions of sustainability of digital collections in the humanities. In order to frame this narrative, this paper will outline the development of technological innovation at the Library, and the ways in which digital collections and digital development are part of a continuum of the adoption of new technologies with a resultant effect on the mission of the organisation, and indeed on the institution itself. Understanding how digital collections are used is key to understanding their impact, and to making provision for the long term-sustainability of valuable digital content. Understanding the impact of the digital transformation in the Library also signposts how the institution itself remains relevant, with a continuing role as a custodian and advocate for documentary cultural heritage in an increasingly challenging economic climate – remaining not just alive, but kicking."

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Europeana Labs: http://labs.europeana.eu

"This new Europeana Labs website is intended to provide all you need to get started using the Europeana APIs. Learn about the data, see what others have created, and find out how to build simple but powerful queries to extract bespoke results from a dataset of over 30 million objects - books, photos of art and artefacts, audio clips and more.

Last year we consulted with the developer community asking them what things would help them to make best use of the Europeana APIs. This Europeana Labs Beta site is the first major step towards putting in place the things we were told, but also a chance for us to learn more and make improvements before a full launch in late June."

Monday, 28 April 2014

A Centenary History of Swansea City FC

This project is headed by Dr. Martin Johnes and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in conjunction with Swansea University and the Swansea City Supporters’ Trust.

The ‘Swans100’ project is exploring, conserving and celebrating the heritage of Swansea City FC and commemorates Swansea City FC’s centenary. It has established an online archive, consisting of fans’ memories, photographs and other historic documents. The online archive that was created for the project includes education packs that schools can use to utilise football to teach maths, literacy and history. The project ran two museum exhibitions, community events, a children’s competition and produced a book of fan memories. Although essentially seen as completed the project still accepts submission to the ever growing digital archive that it has conceived.

Project website: http://scfcheritage.wordpress.com/
(Alex Berry)

Sunday, 27 April 2014

85,000 historic films available from British Pathe & YouTube

If you have not explored the British Pathe channel on Youtube, take a look.

From the British Pathe blog:

Newsreel archive British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 historic films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel. This unprecedented release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible to viewers all over the world.

“Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them,” says Alastair White, General Manager of British Pathé. “This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.”

This clip shows the aftermath of gales in the Bristol Channel, as the former battleship Warspite is aground off Cornwall and the SS Samtampa is lost off Porthcawl with the loss of 47 lives - including the loss of all the crew of the Mumbles Lifeboat during the rescue attempt. (more info)

The Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: Second Millennium BCE

This work has been the recipient of the Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant, worth £158,220, and is headed by Dr. Kasia Szpakowska with the support of two PhD students, Zuzanna Bennett (Swansea University) and Felicitas Weber (Bonn University), at Swansea University for three years starting in January 2013.

The Project explores the world of demons in 2nd millennium BC Ancient Egypt (2000-1000 BC or Middle-New Kingdoms). The term “demon” is used within the project as categorizing term that includes ghosts, guardians, monsters, and other supernatural entities that appear between the categories of god, man, and king. It aims to provide a data-driven classification of Ancient Egyptian demons and related paraphernalia from the second millennium BCE. To establish an interactive database, accessible through a website, allowing data to be shared and augmented by other scholars and researchers and to apply new methods of data visualization to convey the results effectively and engagingly to scholars and the public alike.

Project Website: http://www.demonthings.com/demonology2k/
(Alex Berry)

What are the odds?

'What are the odds? Capturing and exploring data created by online political gambling markets': Headed up by Dr. Matthew Wall on an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project – worth £76,001 – along with his Co-Investigators (Dr Stephen Lindsay – Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Swansea University and Dr Rory Costello – Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick).

The project will last for 15 months and builds on the intuition that the odds offered on gambling markets inform us about participants’ perception of the likelihood of possible outcomes for a given event. As these odds are published online, it is possible to gather them automatically, and to compile records of how the markets fluctuate over time. The project aims to gather information from these betting websites and analyse them in regard to referendum and election results and their odds.

This research that will be useful in judging shifts in electoral trends during a campaign at much more regular intervals than traditional polling. What are the odds?’ is a cross disciplinary project between political scientists and computer scientists. It aims to create a bespoke project website with a ‘research’ face containing the open-source tools, techniques and data generated by the project. The project received funding that allowed the employment of a Computer Science student at Swansea University who will develop and test an algorithm for scraping and analysing the data created by these online political gambling markets.
(Alex Berry)

The early History of the internet in Wales

Dr Rhys Jones' work is currently being written as a chapter for the Routledge Companion to Comparative Internet Studies (forthcoming in 2015).

It focusses on the portrayal of the Internet in the English-language press in Wales, and in the Welsh-language press, 1990-1996. These are the years when the Internet could be regarded as being in its infancy. Taken as a whole across both languages, the press articles demonstrate competing and complementary discourses regarding a new technology during a relatively early stage of its enculturation: the largely technophilic attitude towards new media during this time, characterised as ‘Internetphilia’ by Patelis (2000), is critically analysed, together with elements of moral panic in some other stories.

In a comparative context, the Welsh-language press emphasises language, cultural pressures and nationhood as the key factors likely to be shaped by the internet. The English-language articles, whilst concerned about Wales as a nation, adopt the rhetoric of the ‘information superhighway’ as a key driver of economic progress.
(Alex Berry)

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Twitter and the Welsh Language

Work from Dr. Rhys Jones recently published jointly with D. Cunliffe and Z.R. Honeycutt : ‘Twitter and the Welsh language’, in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Vol. 14 No. 7, pp. 653-671).

The project used an online questionnaire in order to gain an insight into the thoughts and feelings of Welsh speakers towards Twitter. It showed that Twitter provided a new domain for the production and consumption of the Welsh language, as well as enabling new connections between members of the Welsh-speaking community. It was in turn also a new domain for the production and consumption of the English language by Welsh speakers.

The intention is to continue research in this area via the use of further online questionnaires in order to gain a wider insight into the impact of Twitter.
(Alex Berry)

National Library of Wales: projects

NLW Research leads, or is a partner in, a number of collaborative e-Research projects. Current projects include:
  • Cymru1914
    Funded by JISC, this is a mass digitization project in collaboration with the special collections and archives of Wales to digitize the hidden sources about the impact of WW1 on all aspects of Welsh life: language, culture, politics, and community.
  • Europeana Cloud
    Europeana Cloud is a Best Practice Network, coordinated by The European Library, designed to establish a cloud-based system for Europeana and its aggregators.  Europeana Cloud will provide new content, new metadata, a new linked storage system, new tools and services for researchers and a new platform - Europeana Research
  • Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities (NeDiMAH)
    European Science Foundation Research Networking Programme documenting and classifying the practice of digital humanities across Europe. NeDiMAH builds on the AHRC ICT Methods Network to document how academic researchers engage with digital content, and the emergence of new approaches to linking, annotating, and using digital content.
  • The Great War and the Valleys
    An online exhibition reflecting on the reality of The Great War on the town of Merthyr Tydfil and the Cynon Valley at the heart of the south Wales coalfield.
  • Wales1900
    This project will develop a crowdsourcing platform for placenames of Wales, working in partnership with Galaxy Zoo, the People's Collection, Wales, and the University of Wales.
  • The Snows of Yesteryear
    Funded by the AHRC Landscape and Environment Programme, this research Network will investigate resilience and vulnerability to extreme weather in Wales, in collaboration with climate scientists and performance researchers.

The National Library of Wales (NLW) was one of 19 leading European research libraries involved in the Europeana Libraries Project, which, in a two-year period from 2011, aimed to provide free access to 5 million digital objects on the European Library and Europeana websites. Reflecting NLW's commitment to digitisation and allowing free access to digitized collections, the NLW aimed to provide the Europeana Libraries project with over 100,000 pages of text-based material, over 5,000 images from its Welsh Landscape collection of topographical prints, over 4,000 images from the John Thomas photographic collection and over 120,000 images from the Geoff Charles photographic collection.

Delighted Beauty

We want to make digital tools to help us explore world culture, by comparing how the same work is translated differently, over time and space, in the same and different languages.  We want to develop text analysis and data visualization tools which will contribute to cross-cultural understandings and enable new research, new learning and teaching.”
A piece of work initially funded by RIAH (Research Institute for Arts and Humanities) and more recently by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council under their Digital Transformations’ theme: AH/J012483/1
It aims to apply the power of digital media in order to come to a greater understanding of images of world culture via the use of an innovative idea the ‘Translation Array’. The project’s initial global cultural text used as a case study for this idea was Shakespeare’s Othello. The project has carefully analysed the multitude of translations of this work via the creation of a system to clearly overlay these variations and present them in a clear format for comparison and investigation. The project is still on going and can be visited at its own website here: http://www.delightedbeauty.org/
(Alex Berry)

Austin's Cultural Campus

ARCW Digital Preservation Group 2009 report

Sally McInnes & Vicky Phillips 29th October 2009 On behalf of ARCW Digital Preservation Group
Recommendations and action plan
  1. Key policies and procedures – Provide advice and guidance on the types of key policies and procedures required to facilitate the deposit and preservation of digital material.
  2. Key documents relating to digital preservation – Raise awareness of the importance of the creation of key documentation, such as policy documents, digital preservation plans and provide templates.
  3. File formats – Provide training and guidance on file formats, such as the definition of file formats, issues to consider when selecting file formats, proprietary vs Open Formats etc.
  4. Digital material selection criteria – Raise awareness of the need to update selection criteria policies in order to incorporate digital material. Provide guidance on possible selection criteria.
  5. Digital preservation work of organisations and projects – Circulate information about relevant activities and projects. Create an easily accessible resource, which draws information together in one place. Create a mailing list to raise awareness of new initiatives.
  6. Standards – Raise awareness of standards and their importance. Provide examples of standards and their implementation.
  7. Data schemas – Raise awareness of the data schemas that are available and how these are used to safeguard digital material. Consider the creation of generic schemas.
  8. Digital and technological obsolescence – Raise awareness of digital obsolescence with in relation to storage media and file formats. Provide advice, guidance and training regarding the migration of these to robust storage media and the selection of appropriate file formats suitable for archiving. Ensure that measures in are in place to safeguard the integrity of the files. (Demonstrate use of open source software such as DROID so that Archives are able to discover exactly what is contained within their collection of digital material. Assist with implementation of Gaip or CDAS/Prometheus)
  9. Accessioning procedures – Provide advice and guidance on procedures and workflows relating to the accession of digital material and the content of forms / documents that will enable the accessioning process, e.g. metadata information, rights clearance.
  10. Providing access to material – Provide advice and guidance on the various ways of providing access to material, the potential rights issues, and awareness of the issues relating to the nature and level of access.
  11. Records Managers – raise awareness of digital preservation within the Records Management field. Provide advice and guidance on the embedding of digital preservation within the lifecycle management of electronic records and promote an integrated approach to digital preservation.
  12. Raising awareness at organizational level – Raise awareness of the critical role of digital preservation in maintaining access to information at the organizational level. Support collaboration between organisations through the sharing of knowledge, skills and expertise and applications for funding.
  13. Relationship with ICT support – Promote and sustain the working relationship with ICT support to ensure a robust, appropriate and integrated technical infrastructure.
  14. Open source software and tools – Raise awareness of the existence of relevant tools and share knowledge and experience of their implementation within Wales.
  15. Digital preservation projects and resources – Raise awareness of the numerous projects and resources regarding digital preservation that are available free of charge. These contain invaluable information and guidance for archives.
  16. Infrastructure of repository – Consider the options for developing institutional repositories at a local, regional or national level and undertake a feasibility and cost evaluation of the options.

About the Digital Adventure

In any great project there will be more than one strand, more than one thread, that will weave a path through activities, through participants, joining together communities in new endeavours.
The promise of the Digital Adventure is to create a truly great and global, welsh digital heartland. It should invigorate the local economy in Wales through encouraging the digital service infrastructure that will sustain the adventure; it should bring together the story, the community and the institutions; it should use the adventure to reflect the historical, technological, linguistic, cultural and political identities of Wales; and it should inspire academic research through Welsh Studies in a new, broadened guise that supports Wales’ own great adventure.
This digital adventure will require Welsh Institutions to come together in a way as yet unforeseen, adopting and creating methods as yet unknown, as exponential digital development is inherently impossible to plan. If we can build it, someone will do something completely unexpected and unexplored with it. The challenge is to build it, and build it in a way that will support a vibrant, emergent, digital and welsh culture.