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"The undiscovered country": digital special collections, scholarship, scale, and society

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“The undiscover’d country”: digital special collections, scholarship, scale, and society

For decades scholars have been using digital technologies to discover, locate, and view libraries' special collections. Increasingly these collections are available online, and their readers come from far beyond the academy, everywhere that people have access to the internet. Use of online resources is driven by curiosity and pleasure, as well as research. Digital tools and technologies with these collections—record, image, text—speed up traditional enquiry and enable entirely new questions to be imagined and answered. This talk gives a broad overview of the field, illustrated by case studies from the Bodleian Digital Library.
This talk was given as a Friends of the Bodleian public lecture, in the Weston Library, University of Oxford, 1 December 2015.

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"The undiscovered country": digital special collections, scholarship, scale, and society

  1. 1. Digital Special Collections, Scholarship, Scale, and Society Friends Of The Bodleian Lecture, Weston Library, Oxford Pip Willcox Centre for Digital Scholarship, Bodleian Libraries @pipwillcox BodleianFirstFolio,Hamlet,f.OO5r,Histories,p.265. Bodleian First Folio, title page. 1 December 2015 http://www.slideshare.net/PipWillcox/the-undiscoverd-country-digital-special-collections-scholarship-scale-and-society
  2. 2. Image: Paramount Pictures, 1991. http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3881806848/tt0102975
  3. 3. Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD The other undiscovered country Google search:“the undiscovered country”, 30 November 2015
  4. 4. The many forms of digital Metadata Image Optical Character Recognition Handwritten Character Recognition Transcription Encoded Edited Shared editions Early English Books Online Early Modern Letters Online Google Books Transcribe Bentham EEBO Text Creation Partnership Poetical Essay Digital Renaissance Editions Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Bodleian First Folio
  5. 5. Metadata:descriptions and provenance Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD By tedeytan from Washington, DC (Library of Congress Reading Room Open House 14) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/
  6. 6. Metadata:descriptions and provenance ✦ Information without context is just orphaned data ✦ Information with context is a path to knowledge Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
  7. 7. Metadata:descriptions and provenance Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD http://www.culturesofknowledge.org/ Detail from Pier Francesco Mola, ‘A Caricature of a Man with Four Flying Letters’. V&A Museum, London Iva Lelkova, Comenius Fellow—Robin Buning, Hartlib Fellow
  8. 8. Metadata + image Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD http://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ http://bav.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ http://quartos.org/
  9. 9. What we don’t digitize ✦ Small ✦ Large ✦ Heavy ✦ Unwieldy ✦ Fragile ✦ Rare ✦ Old ✦ Uncut ✦ Foldouts Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD MiniatureLibrary,DepartmentOfRareBooks,BodleianLibrary. Photograph:PipWillcox
  10. 10. What we can’t digitize ✦ Haptic: paper quality, heft, fragility ✦ Material: scale, layout, impression ✦ Experiential: smell, sound, aura Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Material Text Network, university of Oxford. Mak, Bonnie. How the Page Matters. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011.
  11. 11. Metadata + image + text Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD http://eebo.chadwyck.com http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/ http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ http://quartos.org/
  12. 12. Revolutionizing research Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD But the sad truth is that much of what it has taken me a lifetime to build up by painful accumulation can now be achieved by a moderately diligent student in the course of a morning. Keith Thomas http://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n11/keith-thomas/diary
  13. 13. Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Digital is more than digitization Scaling research Heikenwaelder Hugo: Wikimedia Commons
  14. 14. Scaling research Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Reusable, recyclable, repurposable...* Distant reading — CREME, Morph Adorner, DocuScope, Duhaime and Zimmer, Linguistic DNA Close reading — Verse Miscellanies Online, F21, FORM: (Forms Online: Renaissance to Modern) * David De Roure: https://twitter.com/dder/status/455707549593919490/photo/1
  15. 15. Linked Data Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ✦ A lingua franca for machines ✦ An inference engine ✦ Inferring implicit knowledge from explicitly declared facts TerhiNurmikko-Fuller
  16. 16. Linked Data…in 60 seconds Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ✦ Uniform Resource Identifier—URIs as “words” ✦ Resource Description Framework—RDF as the “sentences” ✦ Ontologies as the “grammar” TerhiNurmikko-Fuller KevinPage
  17. 17. Linked Data…in 60 seconds Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD KevinPage
  18. 18. Linked Data…in 60 seconds Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ✦ Combining fields of scholarly expertise to make a complex web ✦ Making associations between information with common meaning KevinPage
  19. 19. Enabling,connecting,augmenting Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ElEPHãT: Early English Print in the HathiTrust http://www.oerc.ox.ac.uk/projects/elephant KevinPageandPipWillcox
  20. 20. The dangers of digitization ✦ Ethics ✦ Available ≠ accessible ✦ Your useful isn’t my useful ✦ Apparent homogeneity ✦ Restricted access to material ✦ Nil returns ≠ no data ✦ Image set ≠ facsimile or surrogate but “avatar” — Ségolène Tarte Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD DOI: 10.1093/llc/fqr010
  21. 21. Reflect Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Bodleian First Folio, Troilus and Cressida, f.¶¶1r,Tragedies, http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/.
  22. 22. Share ✦ “The coolest thing to do with your data will be thought of by someone else.” ✦ “The set of useful things one can do with a given informational resource is always larger than can be done (or even thought of) by one individual or group.” Rufus Pollock and Jo Walsh Open Knowledge Foundation Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD http://blogs.talis.com/nodalities/2007/05/xtech_day_3_rufus_pollock_and_.php
  23. 23. 2012:Sprint for Shakespeare HELP US OPEN THE BODLEIAN’S FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS TO THE WORLD Shakespeare’s First Folio is one of the greatest treasures in the Bodleian collection, and we would like your help opening it up for anyone anywhere in the world to enjoy exploring its pages. Now, in the year of the Cultural Olympiad, we invite Shakespeare lovers and Bodleian supporters to join our Sprint campaign to digitize and publish our First Folio online for the benefit of everyone, from schoolchildren to scholars. By making a contribution of any size – from as little as £20 per page – your support will enable us to publish a speech, a scene, an act or even a whole play of the First Folio online, on a specially created website, which will inspire readers today and in the future. The Sprint for Shakespeare campaign aims to raise £20,000 through a large number of donations of all sizes.Any surplus beyond the target will go towards future online projects to open up the Bodleian collections. All supporters of this campaign will be recognised on a special page on this website, with the opportunity to dedicate their gift to someone who inspires them. Like the patrons and subscribers of books in the past, the names will live on with this digitized book through this website. FOR Shakeßpeare TO FIND OUT MORE AND LEARN HOW TO BE INVOLVED VISIT OUR WEBSITE http://shakespeare. bodleian.ox.ac.uk B D L S S Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
  24. 24. Social augmentation Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ✦ The Zooniverse ✦ EEBO-TCP hackfest ✦ The Great War Archive ✦ Digital Manuscripts Toolkit ✦ DIY Digitization
  25. 25. Multilateral collaboration Photograph: PipWillcox Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ✦ Knowledge of analogue books and digital methods: tools to understanding digital artefacts ✦ Augmenting our knowledge and understanding of the human record ✦ Libraries at the heart of research: supporting, facilitating, sharing knowledge ✦ The analogue—digital continuum: sustainable, creative, flexible
  26. 26. Multilateral collaboration Photograph: PipWillcox Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Quod feliciter vortat academici Oxoniens bibliothecam hanc vobis reipublicaeque literatorum T.B.P. Thomas Bodley has built this library for you and for the Republic of the Learned. May the gift turn out well.
  27. 27. References and acknowledgements ✦ With particular thanks to: David De Roure, Christine Madsen, Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller, Kevin Page, Judith Siefring, Emma Stanford, Ségolène Tarte, Daniel Wakelin, the TORCH Material Text Network Bodleian Libraries UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ✦ Anon, A full and true relation of the elephant that is brought over into England from the Indies, and landed at London, August 3d. 1675. Giving likewise a true account of the wonderful nature, understanding, breeding, taking and taming of elephants (London, 1675). Via EEBO: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl? ctx_ver=Z39.88-2003&res_id=xri:eebo&rft_id=xri:eebo:image:184581. ✦ Bodleian First Folio: http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ ✦ CREME VARD: http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/vard/about/ ✦ Coryate, Thomas, Thomas Coriate traueller for the English vvits: greeting From the court of the Great Mogul, resident at the towne of Asmere, in easterne India (London: 1616). Via EEBO — http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2003&res_id=xri:eebo&rft_id=xri:eebo:image:9182 ✦ Cultures of Knowledge: http://www.culturesofknowledge.org/ ✦ David De Roure, ‘The R Dimensions’. Via Twitter — https://twitter.com/dder/status/455707549593919490/photo/1. Digital Manuscripts Toolkit: http:// dmt.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ ✦ DIY Digitization: https://www.flickr.com/groups/bodspecialcollections; http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/digital/2015/09/28/diy-digitization/ ✦ Docuscope: https://www.cmu.edu/hss/english/research/docuscope.html ✦ Douglas Duhaime and Mary Erica Zimmer: http://douglasduhaime.com/blog/co-citation-networks-in-the-eebo-tcp-corpus ✦ Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com ✦ EEBO-TCP hackfest: http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/digital/2015/04/22/early-english-books-hackfest/ ✦ ElEPHãT: http://www.oerc.ox.ac.uk/projects/elephant ✦ Folger Shakespeare Library: http://www.folger.edu/ ✦ FORM: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/centres/lsc/people/staff/academic/lizscottb.aspx ✦ Great War Archive: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa ✦ Linguistic DNA: http://hridigital.shef.ac.uk/linguistic-dna ✦ Mak, Bonnie. How the Page Matters. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011. ✦ MorphAdorner: http://morphadorner.northwestern.edu/ ✦ Pollock, Rufus and Jo Walsh. Open Knowledge Foundation: http://blogs.talis.com/nodalities/2007/05/xtech_day_3_rufus_pollock_and_.php ✦ Shakespeare Quartos Archive: http://quartos.org/ ✦ Sprint for Shakespeare: http://shakespeare.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ ✦ Tarte, S.M. ‘Papyrological Investigations: Transferring Perception and Interpretation into the Digital World’ in Lit Linguist Computing, 26(2):233–47, 2011. DOI: 10.1093/llc/ fqr010. ✦ Text Creation Partnership: http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/ ✦ Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page ✦ Verse Miscellanies Online: http://versemiscellaniesonline.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ ✦ Zooniverse: https://www.zooniverse.org/

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