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Digital FieldworkFrancesco SpagnoloThe Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & LifeBancroft Library, UC Berkeley<br />Jewish Mus...
Let’s try to clarify what Digital Fieldwork is NOT… I will use YouTube as an example.<br />This is what happens in doing “...
But on YouTube I can also find…<br />…my own wife (and primary sources on the development of new Jewish rituals)<br />
…or a primary source on Jewish-Christians co-territorial repertoires in Piedmont, Italy <br />Way better than the archival...
YET, DIGITAL FIELDWORK <br />IS NOT THE SAME AS<br />RETRIEVING AND VERIFYING THE AUTHENTICITY OF <br />INFORMATION ONLINE...
Analog sources kept in archival repositories worldwide include<br />texts (books, articles, etc.) about music<br />literar...
Digital sources kept in archival repositories worldwide and in the www jungle include:<br />(Some of) All of the above:<br...
Institutional Content: <br />The Digitized Book Repository of The National Library of Israel (Music Section)<br />Formerly...
JNUL Digitized Book Repository – Music: A. Z. Idelsohn Vol. 6 (DjVu format)<br />
Institutional Content: The National Library of Israel: National Sound Archives (NSA)<br />Full Catalog - Search Results fo...
Social Media (Crowdsourced) Content: piyut.org.il<br />Piyut.org.il includes user-contributed content (texts and musical r...
Disparity in access to sourcesakaanother aspect of the digital divide<br />"easy" access to digital sources online may pen...
Dubious status of audio sources available through social media:<br />lack of metadata, <br />lack of metadata control <br ...
The Very Pressing Problem of Sound Online<br />How can we negotiate the contrast between: <br />A superb commercial interf...
Options for digital sound online: The Internet Archive (archive.org)<br />The Holy Quran is the most downloaded audio file...
Multiple download options</li></li></ul><li>Options for digital sound online: The Internet Archive (archive.org)<br />The ...
Support for “comments”</li></li></ul><li>Options for digital sound online: The Internet Archive (archive.org)<br />Summary...
Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud(soundcloud.com)<br />
Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />Individual sound track view (“soundwave” visualization)...
Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />Sound-friendly metadata support<br />
Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />A host of dedicated applications<br />
Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />Summary:  <br />best metadata – best visualization – no...
Options for digital sound online: YouTube (youtube.com)<br />Summary:  <br />Worst metadata – visualization via images (st...
Options for digital sound online: content-specific aggregators<br />Black Sabbath (Idelsohn Society)<br />Aggregates cultu...
Options for digital sound online: content-specific aggregators<br />Summary:  <br />Horrible metadata – visualization via ...
Where is fieldwork in all this?<br />Music online offers a platform for <br />collaborative fieldwork<br />But it currentl...
Platform </li></li></ul><li>How collaborative fieldwork can, well, work: <br />The adoption of flickr.com by the Library o...
How collaborative fieldwork can, well, work: <br />Flickr’s support for exportable metadata standards, dating tools, geolo...
Digital Fieldwork<br />Emerging practice, based on:<br />collaborative tools & research practices rather than digital sour...
Digital Fieldwork<br />Agents of collaboration may include:<br />institutions <br />scholars<br />librarians & archivists<...
Digital Fieldwork<br />The absence of a dedicated tool may actually present us with the opportunity of crafting one that s...
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Jewish Music Online: Digital Fieldwork

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Presented in the panel, "Jewish Music Online: Analog Repositories, Digital Fieldwork, and the Web of Collaborative Tools," at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, Boston (Mass.), December 20, 2010.

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  • What “digital fieldwork” is not. This is what happens if you “research” Jewish music in Azerbaijan online. (This is a nationalist song from Azerbaijan, adapted by a local Habad Rabbi to the style of the Miami Boys Choir)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L3xg8-f2j4
  • Adon ‘olam set to the melody of I Will Survive, for “[Gay] Pride Shabbat” and Congregation Sha’arZahav in San Francisco.
  • Despite the grungy videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wkonoSTOBU
  • Issues:1. What sources are available?*Analog:,*Digital: all of the above (texts, literary sources, musical sources, recorded sources, video sources), plus discographic catalogs, library &amp; archives catalogs, AND social media (all of the above, but not only from institutional sources)—&gt;Disparity in access to sources (aka, &quot;digital divide&quot;) – &quot;easy&quot; access to digital sources online may penalize analog sources available onsite – yet, FIELDWORK today needs to include online sources and especially social media (where the notion of participant/observer is extremely present!)
  • Issues:1. What sources are available?*Analog:,*Digital: all of the above (texts, literary sources, musical sources, recorded sources, video sources), plus discographic catalogs, library &amp; archives catalogs, AND social media (all of the above, but not only from institutional sources)—&gt;Disparity in access to sources (aka, &quot;digital divide&quot;) – &quot;easy&quot; access to digital sources online may penalize analog sources available onsite – yet, FIELDWORK today needs to include online sources and especially social media (where the notion of participant/observer is extremely present!)
  • JNUL Digitized Book Repository – MUSIC
  • JNUL Digitized Book Repository – MUSIC: A. Z. Idelsohn Vol. 6 (DjVu format)
  • NSA Full Catalog - Search Results _nigun_
  • NSA Full Catalog - Search Results _nigun_
  • Issues:1. What sources are available?*Analog:,*Digital: all of the above (texts, literary sources, musical sources, recorded sources, video sources), plus discographic catalogs, library &amp; archives catalogs, AND social media (all of the above, but not only from institutional sources)—&gt;Disparity in access to sources (aka, &quot;digital divide&quot;) – &quot;easy&quot; access to digital sources online may penalize analog sources available onsite – yet, FIELDWORK today needs to include online sources and especially social media (where the notion of participant/observer is extremely present!)
  • Dubious status of sound sources available through social media: *lack of metadata, *lack of metadata control *lack of unifying standard, leading to...
  • The Very Pressing Problem of Sound Online: how can we negotiate the contrast between superb commercial interface (iTunes) and grim state of visual representation of sound on the web (including social media: no comparable platform to YouTube/Flickr for sounds – perhaps SoundCloud?)*Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • Black Sabbathhttp://www.idelsohnsociety.com/blacksabbath/Idelsohn Society iPhone app
  • *Available alternatives today:- Soundcloud: best metadata/best visualization/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot;- Internet Archive: good metadata/minimal visualization/exportable metadata (xml)/&quot;comments&quot;- YouTube: worst metadata/visualization via images/no directly exportable metadata/&quot;comments&quot; and &quot;tags&quot;—&gt; the many co-existing standards cause fieldwork and collaborative practices to juggle among varying standards
  • 4. Double status of music in Social Media not as digital repository, but as* a field for research* a platform for COLLABORATIVE FIELDWORK
  • 4. Double status of music in Social Media not as digital repository, but as* a field for research* a platform for COLLABORATIVE FIELDWORK
  • 4. Double status of music in Social Media not as digital repository, but as* a field for research* a platform for COLLABORATIVE FIELDWORK
  • 4. Double status of music in Social Media not as digital repository, but as* a field for research* a platform for COLLABORATIVE FIELDWORK
  • Transcript of "Jewish Music Online: Digital Fieldwork"

    1. 1. Digital FieldworkFrancesco SpagnoloThe Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & LifeBancroft Library, UC Berkeley<br />Jewish Music Online<br />Analog Repositories, Digital Fieldwork<br />and the Web of Collaborative Tools<br />Association for Jewish Studies<br />Boston, Dec. 20 2010<br />
    2. 2. Let’s try to clarify what Digital Fieldwork is NOT… I will use YouTube as an example.<br />This is what happens in doing “research” on Jewish music in Azerbaijanonline. (Link courtesy of Edwin Seroussi)<br />
    3. 3. But on YouTube I can also find…<br />…my own wife (and primary sources on the development of new Jewish rituals)<br />
    4. 4. …or a primary source on Jewish-Christians co-territorial repertoires in Piedmont, Italy <br />Way better than the archival recordings I researched worldwide (despite the grungy video) <br />
    5. 5. YET, DIGITAL FIELDWORK <br />IS NOT THE SAME AS<br />RETRIEVING AND VERIFYING THE AUTHENTICITY OF <br />INFORMATION ONLINE…<br />
    6. 6. Analog sources kept in archival repositories worldwide include<br />texts (books, articles, etc.) about music<br />literary sources describing musical practices<br />musical sources (manuscript & printed music)<br />audio recordings<br />video<br />
    7. 7. Digital sources kept in archival repositories worldwide and in the www jungle include:<br />(Some of) All of the above:<br />texts (books, articles, etc.) about music<br />literary sources describing musical practices<br />musical sources (manuscript & printed music)<br />audio recordings and video<br />+<br />Catalogs: libraries, archives, music publishers<br />+<br />Social media content <br />(Some of all of the above, but not only from institutional sources: also scholars, practitioners, culture bearers, performers, educators, collectors, listeners, fans…)<br />
    8. 8. Institutional Content: <br />The Digitized Book Repository of The National Library of Israel (Music Section)<br />Formerly known as Jewish National and University Library (JNUL): http://jnul.huji.ac.il<br />
    9. 9. JNUL Digitized Book Repository – Music: A. Z. Idelsohn Vol. 6 (DjVu format)<br />
    10. 10. Institutional Content: The National Library of Israel: National Sound Archives (NSA)<br />Full Catalog - Search Results for “nigun” (best searched in Hebrew)<br />The NSA is about to launch its digitization project online (currently non-public beta)<br />
    11. 11. Social Media (Crowdsourced) Content: piyut.org.il<br />Piyut.org.il includes user-contributed content (texts and musical recordings of Hebrew liturgical poems) derived in part from commercial recordings and from the holdings of the National Sound Archives (NSA) <br />
    12. 12. Disparity in access to sourcesakaanother aspect of the digital divide<br />"easy" access to digital sources online may penalize analog sources available onsite <br />yet, we all acknowledge that today’s fieldwork needs to include online sources, <br />including social media<br />In this presentation, I focus on sounds online<br />
    13. 13. Dubious status of audio sources available through social media:<br />lack of metadata, <br />lack of metadata control <br />lack of unifying standard, leading to...<br />
    14. 14. The Very Pressing Problem of Sound Online<br />How can we negotiate the contrast between: <br />A superb commercial interface (iTunes), dedicated to selling commercial recordings<br />The grim state of the visual representation of sound on the web (an eminently visual platform) <br />(this includes social media: there is currently no comparable platform to YouTube/video Flickr/images available to sounds)<br />
    15. 15. Options for digital sound online: The Internet Archive (archive.org)<br />The Holy Quran is the most downloaded audio file on IA<br />Note:<br /><ul><li>Streaming box
    16. 16. Multiple download options</li></li></ul><li>Options for digital sound online: The Internet Archive (archive.org)<br />The Holy Quran is the most downloaded audio file on IA<br />Note:<br /><ul><li>Exportable metadata (.xml)
    17. 17. Support for “comments”</li></li></ul><li>Options for digital sound online: The Internet Archive (archive.org)<br />Summary: <br />good metadata structure – minimal visualization of sound – EMBED CODES – exportable metadata (xml) – "comments” – LONGEVITY<br />
    18. 18. Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud(soundcloud.com)<br />
    19. 19. Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />Individual sound track view (“soundwave” visualization)<br />
    20. 20. Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />Sound-friendly metadata support<br />
    21. 21. Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />A host of dedicated applications<br />
    22. 22. Options for digital sound online: SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)<br />Summary: <br />best metadata – best visualization – no directly exportable metadata – licensing – embed codes – "comments” & “tags” – LONGEVITY???<br />
    23. 23. Options for digital sound online: YouTube (youtube.com)<br />Summary: <br />Worst metadata – visualization via images (stills, slideshows, videos) – embed codes – no directly exportable metadata – licensing – "comments” & “tags” – LONGEVITY? (google) – ANNOTATIONS – VARYING LEVES OF PERMISSIONS<br />
    24. 24. Options for digital sound online: content-specific aggregators<br />Black Sabbath (Idelsohn Society)<br />Aggregates culturally-specific content from social media (including YouTube & SoundCloud), a dedicated platform-specific application (iPhone), and marketing tools<br />
    25. 25. Options for digital sound online: content-specific aggregators<br />Summary: <br />Horrible metadata – visualization via images (stills, slideshows, videos) – no directly exportable metadata – no licensing – "comments” & “tags” – LONGEVITY??? – ANNOTATIONS via Social Media Aggregation – dedicated app – blurred lines between content and marketing are confusing<br />
    26. 26. Where is fieldwork in all this?<br />Music online offers a platform for <br />collaborative fieldwork<br />But it currently requires making some choices regarding<br /><ul><li>Metadata structures
    27. 27. Platform </li></li></ul><li>How collaborative fieldwork can, well, work: <br />The adoption of flickr.com by the Library of Congress and a host of other institutions worldwide joining the Flickr Commons established de facto a standard for images<br />
    28. 28. How collaborative fieldwork can, well, work: <br />Flickr’s support for exportable metadata standards, dating tools, geolocation, tags (also machine-generated), licensing, comments, varying levels of permissions AND annotations <br />looks like an excellent model for sounds online<br />
    29. 29. Digital Fieldwork<br />Emerging practice, based on:<br />collaborative tools & research practices rather than digital sources alone<br />notion of distributed rather than centralized knowledge brought forth by the digital humanities<br />pilot project<br />Jewish Digital Narratives<br />of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life<br />Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley<br />
    30. 30. Digital Fieldwork<br />Agents of collaboration may include:<br />institutions <br />scholars<br />librarians & archivists<br />practitioners,<br />culture bearers<br />performers<br />educators<br />collectors<br />listeners & fans<br />…<br />
    31. 31. Digital Fieldwork<br />The absence of a dedicated tool may actually present us with the opportunity of crafting one that supports all of the following:<br />Sound-specific metadata structure – dating tools – geolocation – sound-friendly visualization – embed codes – exportable metadata – "comments” & “tags” (including machine-readable tags) – annotations options – longevity (aka digital preservation) – licensing (including CreativeCommons)<br />
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