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SCA Scotland Forum 210508 Paul Ell


Sca Scotland Forum 21.05.08: Paul Ell: View from Northern Ireland

Sca Scotland Forum 21.05.08: Paul Ell: View from Northern Ireland

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  • 1. e-Research Resources for Ireland: Opportunities and Challenges Paul S Ell Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis Queen’s University Belfast p [email_address]
  • 2. Summary
    • Introduction
    • Focus on DLCMI – what, why, how, and then …
    • Other key strategic datasets developed by CDDA
    • Challenges from a Northern Ireland perspective
    • Future developments
  • 3. CDDA background and objectives
    • Research unit based at Queen’s University Belfast with 20 staff, bespoke accommodation, and specialised data capture hardware and software
    • Fully grant-funded with an income of around £7,000,000 over the last 7 years
    • Aims to develop strategic humanities e-resources
    • Aims to use these resources in its own research and publish scholarly books and journal articles
    • Aims to develop methodologies that assist in the management and interrogation of the source materials to produce new perspectives and scholarship
  • 4. Digital Library of Core Materials on Ireland exemplar
    • £620,000 grant from JISC to digitise journals, monographs and manuscripts relating to Irish Studies and create the foundations of a digital library resource
    • Initial archive of around 470,000 pages
    • 100 journals covering 200 year period and about 400,000 pages
    • 2,500 pages of manuscript
    • 205 key monographs
    • Machine-readable text for all journals and monographs and some manuscripts
    • Detailed ‘object’ level metadata
  • 5. Project Partners
    • Driven by the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at Queen’s University Belfast with long track record of key e-resource development
    • Analogue Content Partners – Queen’s University Library, Linen Hall Library, Robinson Library, journal publishers, Royal Irish Academy
    • e-Content Partners – AHDS (Centre for e-Research), CDDA, University College Dublin, Digital Humanities Observatory
    • Dissemination Partners – JSTOR, QUB Library
    • Preservation Partners – AHDS, JSTOR
  • 6. Project Imperatives
    • Access to rare resources without visiting Belfast
    • Resource discovery – use of less common journals
    • New, complex searching using detailed metadata and semantic searching
    • Serendipity
    • A one stop shop for journals – and more
    • Enhanced research developing from better access
    Insert image
  • 7. Content Selection
    • Consultation patterns
    • Site usage statistics
    • Academic recommendation
    • International Advisory Panel
    • Journals prepared to sign licence (or out of copyright)
  • 8. Technical challenges
    • Sheer amount of material to be digitised in two years – Initially set at 470,000 pages to be digitised, now 670,000 (and in fact 830,000 pages of journals now on desirable list)
    • Very highest image quality required following JSTOR-set standards - post-printing annotations removed, optimal scanner settings required
    • Use of historical journals which JSTOR has almost no experience with
    • Very detailed metadata requirements: not just journal level, issue level, but article level including editorials, book reviews, notices and announcements
    • Reference Linking implemented
  • 9. Why the DLCMI project works
    • Diaspora of Irish Studies
    • Content chosen by academics for academics
    • Provides basic research materials - humanities scholars not required to change the way they work - a model suggested by the British Academy
    • Critical mass: Significant body of material which will continue to be augmented – it won’t be a dead archive with new journal issues added, and new journal titles
    • A fully working technical solution in place with CDDA and JSTOR
    • Sustainable business model with JSTOR with subscriptions outside Britain and Ireland and free access within
  • 10. And experience
    • CDDA people (+20), hardware and software. QUB investment of £300,000 in buildings and equipment outside the project. Capacity built
    • Outstanding analogue content partners – 600 Irish Studies journal titles held by QUB Library augmented by holdings of other libraries. No better collection anywhere
    • Robust dissemination partnership completely sustainable building on JSTOR experience and established infrastructure
    • Use of AHDS archiving experience – now group of Expert centres of which CDDA is a part
  • 11. Ongoing development
    • Adding additional materials within the JSTOR collaboration - manuscripts and monographs now, e-publications, datasets, images, video in the future?
    • Complex searching of the archive - the semantic web. Search by place, person and subject in context with UC Berkeley thanks to an NEH grant
    • Requirement of funding to demonstrate a step-change in Irish Studies research. As a result QUB will work with leading US institutions including UC Berkeley, IUPUI, Notre Dame, with RIA, and others
  • 12. Other e-resources we have and have made available
    • Act of Union Virtual Library: www.actofunion.ie £250,000 from NOF-Digitisation
    • Historical Hansard: www.stormontpapers.ahds.ac.uk £303,000 from AHRC
    • GIS e-Science: £20,000, spatial searching
    • US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): $400,000 with UC Berkeley for context sensitive searching
    • Database of Irish Historical Statistics: £250,000
    • British and Irish Historical Census Project: www.histpop.org.uk , £900,000
    • Parliamentary Papers referring to Ireland with BOPCRIS: www.bopcris.ac.uk £300,000
    • Hart Diaries Project: £25,000 ongoing
    • Basic Historical Geographical Information System for Ireland thanks to a £130,000 AHRC award in October 2007.
  • 13. Act of Union Virtual Library
    • 60,000 digital objects 1798 - 1803
    • Parliamentary Papers
    • Pamphlets
    • Newspapers
    • Manuscripts
    • In-house solutions to cut costs
    • www.actofunion.ac.uk
  • 14.  
  • 15. British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland
    • Led by the University of Southampton
    • Image scans of key papers linked to the BOPCRIS database
    • CDDA has digitising 10,000 pages of numeric data
    • www.bopcris.ac.uk
  • 16.  
  • 17. Stormont debates
    • £303,330 Arts and Humanities Research Board Resource Enhancement Grant
    • 90,000 pages of ‘Hansard’ from the House of Commons and the Senate from 1921 to 1973
    • Full text and page image searchable by MP, place, date, subject and free text
    • Will link to texts of contemporary debate www.oireachtas-debates.gov.ie and www.niassemby.gov.uk
    • Official launch November 2006
  • 18.  
  • 19.  
  • 20. The Database of Irish Historical Statistics - Project Aims
    • To construct a relational database for the period 1821 - 1971
    • To facilitate regional, national and comparative research on Ireland
    • To act as an information clearing centre
  • 21. Historiographical imperatives
    • Restricted availability of published census returns
    • Technological advances make possible large scale database projects
    • Opportunity to further the quantitative study of Irish history
  • 22. The Database of Irish Historical Statistics
    • 32,934,018 data values from 1821 to 1971, and then linked to contemporary digital sources
    • Mostly census data but also annual agricultural statistics, civil registration information, crime statistics . . .
    • Topics include population statistics, crop and stock data, language, literacy, religion, occupations, employment, housing, emigration, industry and industrial structure, trade and commerce, wages, pauperism etc
    • www.qub.ac.uk/cdda/iredb/dbhme.htm
  • 23.  
  • 24.  
  • 25. Challenges for the future
    • Interlinking QUB e-resources and then using the Data Grid to associate disparate Irish Studies resources - early exemplars ECAI and Vision of Britain
    • The need to demonstrate advancement of an Irish Studies research agenda
    • Challenge of managing the ‘data deluge’ and the implications it has for metadata and contextual searching
    • Sustainability – How do we maintain what we have and build on it
  • 26. And in a Northern Ireland context
    • Vagaries of DENI funding within a devolved government: subscription to JISC programmes, viring of budgets
    • Lack of cohesive data management structure in Northern Ireland. In terms of educational resources work conducted by QUB, NISRA, NMNI, Education and Library Boards, PRONI
    • Lack of all-Ireland data archive worsened by withdrawal of funding from AHDS and challenged by significant investment in academic e-resources in the Republic
    • Reinvention and revisiting of basic issues relating to e-resource development
  • 27. Integrating e-resources by place and chronology: Irish Studies Research Resources: statistics, maps, photographs, text, manuscripts, existing e-resources, websites, museum objects . . .