Web Readings Weekly Roundup (28th June)

For some time now, Android users (and more recently, iOS users too) were able to use Goggles, a Google app for smartphones, that recognizes objects and gives more information about them, from Google. The process is simple: on my wall, I have a reproduction (in the form of a puzzle) of a photograph by Robert Doisneau, called “La cavalerie du Champs de Mars” and taken in 1969. I just need to open Goggles app, on my mobile, take a picture of the puzzle that the app returns some results (see the picture below). The first one (the green selection) recognizes the author (Doisneau) and if I click on it, I’ll get Google results for the photographer. The second one (the blue selection) recognizes the Eiffel Tower. Clicking on it, I’ll get more results for the subject. Besides landmarks and artworks, Goggles app recognizes books, DVD, businesses, logos and even text (which you can translate from within the app too).

But now, the Getty Museum created special mobile versions of their collections, some of them with audio too and Google incorporated them into Goggles technology. Which means that if you take a picture to the paintings in Getty (or even to a reproduction), the first result will be from Getty and you will have access to this kind of information.

Although this book was published at the beginning of the year, I only got it this week. If you have any interest in Digital History or Digital Humanities, you need to read this book.

From the PressForward Website, “The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University created PressForward to explore and produce the best means for collecting, screening, and drawing attention to the vast expanse of scholarship that is currently decentralized across the web or does not fit into traditional genres such as the journal article or the monograph.

By mining a database of the world’s books, Erez Lieberman Aiden is attempting to automate much of humanities research. But is the field ready to be digitized?

#alt-academy takes a grass-roots, bottom-up, publish-then-filter approach to community-building and networked scholarly communication around the theme of unconventional or alternative academic careers.

The #alt-academy project features contributions by and for people with deep training and experience in the humanities, who are working or are seeking employment — generally off the tenure track, but within the academic orbit — in universities and colleges, or allied knowledge and cultural heritage institutions such as museums, libraries, academic presses, historical societies, and governmental humanities organizations.

Web Readings Weekly Roundup (21th June)

The British Library and Google today announced a partnership to digitise 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library’s collections. Opening up access to one of the greatest collections of books in the world, this demonstrates the Library’s commitment, as stated in its 2020 Vision, to increase access to anyone who wants to do research.

In other words, far from helping to make knowledge freely accessible to all and sundry, the British Library is actually enclosing the knowledge commons that rightfully belongs to humankind as a whole, by claiming a new copyright term for the digitised versions.

What is in the Public Domain needs to remain in the Public Domain. Exclusive control over Public Domain works cannot be re-established by claiming exclusive rights in technical reproductions of the works, or by using technical and or contractual measures to limit access to technical reproductions of such works. Works that are in the Public Domain in analogue form continue to be in the Public Domain once they have been digitised.

Join the online conversation and help us to refine the emerging volume as a whole. At its core, each prospective essay must address our central question: How has the digital revolution changed how we think, write, and publish about the past? We welcome ideas for innovative essays that incorporate first-person perspectives, collaborative authorship, divergent viewpoints, digital images, and links to online media. Between now and June 30th, comment on any of the possible themes below and/or post your own one-paragraph idea at the bottom of this page.

Two posts by Lisa Spiro about her preliminary findings of the “analysis of 134 syllabi to understand how the DH curriculum is being conceived“.

The workshop focuses on a suite of tools developed by TAPoR and focused on the act of enriching the object of study through examination using computational methods, following the concept of algorithmic criticism as described by Stephen Ramsay.  These tools support interpretive activity to supplement close reading as conceived by Franco Moretti.

One could say then that the humanities are the victors in the theory wars; nearly everyone now dances to their tune. But this conceptual triumph has not brought with it a proportionate share of resources or institutional support.

Web Readings Weekly Roundup (14th June)

From the website, “The Old Bailey Proceedings Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate’s Accounts between 1676 and 1772. It allows access to over 197,000 trials and biographical details of approximately 2,500 men and women executed at Tyburn, free of charge for non-commercial use.

A wordpress plugin that allows to pull and organize items from a Zotero library into a WordPress site.

Checking in on the Library of Congress’ Twitter archive, one year later.

All historians encounter them, at some point in their careers: Vast troves of data that are undeniably useful to history–but too complex to make narratively interesting. For Stanford’s Richard White, an American historian, these were railroad freight tables. The reams of paper held a story about America, he knew. It just seemed impossible to tell it.

The Spatial History Lab at Stanford University is a place for a collaborative community of scholars to engage in creative visual analysis to further research in the field of history.

Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour presents an innovative geo-database (geographic database) and website that references the work of two 18th century masters of Roman topography: Giambattista Nolli (1701-1756), who published the first accurate map of Rome (La Pianta Grande di Roma, 1748); and his contemporary Giuseppe Vasi (1710-1782), whose comprehensive documentation of the city and its monuments, especially in Delle Magnificenze di Roma antica e moderna, published from 1747-1761, establishes him as one of Rome’s great topographers.

(…) playing with data is an incredibly useful act for historians and we need to start thinking more about how to collaboratively collect, curate, and share the increasingly digitized historical record.

Web Readings Weekly Roundup (7th June)

The annual international conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations (ADHO), hosted by the Stanford University Library, will be held between 19th and 22th of June. You can already check the book of abstracts here and some interesting visualization map of everyone participating in DH2011.

Matthew Jockers told EuroMACHS that the “keynotes will be recorded” and “some papers may get published“. If you can’t go and want to follow the conference via Twitter the hashtag being used is #dh11

From the website, “Thanks to the development of “crowdsourcing” or collaborative transcription of manuscript materials, libraries are now able to use the knowledge and interest of the general public to meet goals that they would never have the time, financial, and staff resources to achieve on their own. Please help us transcribe the 3011 diary pages in this collection.

Now, YouTube allows you to license your content with a Creative Commons CC-BY license, which means that other users can share and remix your work, so long as they give you credit.

A blog post (the unedited text of a talk at the NINES Summer Institute) by Bethany Nowviskie about how and where to give credit for collaborative work.

A blog post by Jasper Visser about the project “x was hier” (“x was here“, in English) launched last week.

Xwashier gives physical and digital access to locations around the world that are relevant to Dutch history. It does so with physical markers at the actual locations where history happened, with an iPhone app and a website. For each location we work together with local partners, connect with local activities and team up with education to get a wide audience to enjoy the tangible history available in your neighbourhood.

Hacking the Academy: the edited volume

Exactly a year ago, we talked here about Hacking the Academy, a crowdsourced book about education, scholarship, academic employment, libraries and other subjects related with new digital environments and a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University.

Today, Tom Scheinfeldt announced the Table of Contents of the edited book, which you can find here as well as information regarding the printed book.

We want to extend our sincere thanks to the nearly two hundred scholars who participated in this experiment. We apologize that we weren’t able to include everyone’s work in the print volume. Even those of you whose work is included may find it considerably abbreviated. These hard editorial choices reflect the constraints of space and the requirements of coverage and coherence we placed upon ourselves, not a lack of quality. Every contribution remains available on the main Hacking the Academy website.

From the announcement.