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20111031 - Online Jewish content in a broader context


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Presentation at the Judaica Europeana Digital Humanities workshop at the British Library, 31 October 2011. The focus is on digital resources for European Jewish history.

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Technology
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20111031 - Online Jewish content in a broader context

  1. 1. Internet  resources  for  historical  research:  Jewish  content  in  a  broader  context Judaica  Europeana  Digital  Humani<es  Workshop 31  October  2011  -­‐  Bri0sh  Library Gerben  Zaagsma Huygens  Ins*tute  for  the  History  of  the  Netherlands Royal  Netherlands  Academy  of  Arts  &  Sciences 1
  2. 2. Introduc)on Digital Agenda for Europe: Digital Libraries Initiative Europes cultural and scientific riches at a click of a mouseIn ancient times, the library of Alexandria was said to contain up to 70% of all human knowledge. The challenge for the digital age is to do even better than that – and make the result last longer.Source:  h@p:// 2
  3. 3. Introduc)onSource:  Study  Report  Numeric-­‐  Sta0s0cs  on  digi0sa0on  of  cultural  materials  in  Europe  (2009):h=p://­‐digicult/numeric-­‐study_en.pdf. 3
  4. 4. Introduc)oneNumerate:  h=p://   4
  5. 5. Introduc)onDigital  sources  avalanche...  ➡ increasing  amount  of  digital  content  in  Jewish  Studies...  but  do  we  ask  enough  ques<ons?• selec5on:  what  do  we  get  and  why?  • implica5ons  for  historical  research?➡ digital  source  cri5cism:  using  digital  resources 5
  6. 6. Outline1. overview  of  digital  sources  for  Jewish  historical  research2. using  digital  sources3. concluding  remarks 6
  7. 7.  Jewish  digital  sources:   an  overview 7
  8. 8. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview tekst 8
  9. 9. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview teksth=p://sammlungen.ub.uni-­‐ 8
  10. 10. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 9
  11. 11. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 9
  12. 12. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 9
  13. 13. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 9
  14. 14. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 9
  15. 15. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 10
  16. 16. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 10
  17. 17. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewh=p:// 10
  18. 18. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewCBN  Polona:  h=p://   11
  19. 19. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewPIONIER  Network  Digital  Libraries  Federa*on:  h=p:// 12
  20. 20. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewePaveldas:  h=p:// 13
  21. 21. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewh=p://­‐english.asp.   14
  22. 22. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 15
  23. 23. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewh=p://   15
  24. 24. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewh=p:// 16
  25. 25. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overview 17
  26. 26. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewh=p://www.judaica-­‐ 17
  27. 27. Jewish  digital  sources:  an  overviewJudaica  Europeana  is  different:• systema5c  publica5on  &  integra5on  of  digital   collec5ons  rela5ng  to  (urban)  Jewish  history  all  over   Europe• Europeana  built  for  the  seman5c  web:  Linked  Open   Data 18
  28. 28.  using  digital  sources 19
  29. 29. Life  cycle  of  historical  informa)onBoonstra,  Onno,  Leen  Breure  and  Peter  Doorn,  Past,  present  and  future  of  historical  informa0on  science  (Amsterdam,  2004),  p17. 20
  30. 30. Life  cycle  of  historical  informa)on crea4on retrieval analysisBoonstra,  Onno,  Leen  Breure  and  Peter  Doorn,  Past,  present  and  future  of  historical  informa0on  science  (Amsterdam,  2004),  p17. 20
  31. 31. Crea)on  • crea5on  is  preceded  by  selec<on 21
  32. 32. Crea)onquan0ty  can  obscure  the  awareness  that  selec0on  takes  place 22
  33. 33. Crea)onquan0ty  can  obscure  the  awareness  that  selec0on  takes  place 22
  34. 34. Crea)on• crea5on  is  preceded  by  selec5on• selec5on  reflects:   -­‐ preserva5on  concerns -­‐ academic  research  agendas -­‐ public  discourses  on  the  past,  processes  of   memorialisa5on,  na5onal  interests 23
  35. 35. Crea)on• crea5on  is  preceded  by  selec5on• selec5on  reflects:   -­‐ preserva5on  concerns -­‐ academic  research  agendas -­‐ public  discourses  on  the  past,  processes  of   memorialisa5on,  na5onal  interests• selec5on  is  interlinked  with  funding 24
  36. 36. Crea)onRoy  Rosenzweig:“If  na5onal  archives  were  part  of  the  projects  of  state-­‐building  and  na5onalism,  then  why  should  states  support  post-­‐na5onal  digital  archives?”Roy  Rosenzweig,  ‘Scarcity  or  Abundance?  Preserving  the  Past  in  a  Digital  Era’,  The  American  Historical  Review  108  (2003)  735-­‐762,  752. 25
  37. 37. Crea)on• Germany:  systema5c  effort  to  save  the  printed  Jewish   past  for  the  digital  future• former  East  bloc:  a  sense  of  na5onal  pride  and  of  newly   found  independence  in  the  post-­‐communist  era• framing  the  European  project:  crea5ng  a  sense  of   European  heritage ...  oRen  the  na0on  or  suprana0on  looms  in  the   background,  either  in  terms  of  an  agenda  or  in  terms  of   funding  or  both 26
  38. 38. Crea)onWhat  about  “marginal”  and  non-­‐na<onal  topics?Example  =  Yiddish  :  Yiddish  does  not  belonging  to  one  par0cular  na0on:  who  takes  responsibility  for  saving  “transna0onal”  heritage?the  digital  paradox:  marginality  reinforced? 27
  39. 39. Crea)onfrom  philanthropy... 28
  40. 40. Crea)on...  to  supra-­‐na0onal  ins0tu0ons  coming  to  the  rescue:  Judaica  Europeana  as  an  online,  digital  con0nua0on  of  Council  of  Europe  ac0vi0es 29
  41. 41. Crea)on• why  do  we  get  it:  selec5on  &  funding• what  do  we  get:  type  of  sources 30
  42. 42. Crea)onPathfinder  Survey  Result.  Summary  analysis  of  a  survey  to  test  defini0ons,  terms  and  ways  of  measuring  digi0sa0on  ac0vi0es  in  cultural  ins0tu0ons  in  Europe  (Numeric  report  2007):h=p://   31
  43. 43. Retrieval“normal”  search  engines 32
  44. 44. Retrievalmetadata  search  engines  like  OAIster  and  BASE  (OAI-­‐PMH):h=p://;  h=p://www.base-­‐   33
  45. 45. RetrievalEHPS:  h=p://primary-­‐ 34
  46. 46. Retrieval• querying  digital  resources  • full-­‐text  search:  OCR  versus  non-­‐OCR• RTL  languages>  how  the  state  of  technology  can  create   uneven  possibili5es• metadata 35
  47. 47. Analysis• what  happens  to  context? 36
  48. 48. Analysis Historical  Jewish  Press:Bulle0n  de  l’Alliance  Israélite  Universelle:            full-­‐text  search  =  socialistes 37
  49. 49. Analysis Historical  Jewish  Press:Bulle0n  de  l’Alliance  Israélite  Universelle:            full-­‐text  search  =  socialistes 37
  50. 50. Analysis 37
  51. 51. Concluding  remarks• digital  sources  for  Jewish  history  and  the  place  of   Judaica  Europeana• crea5on:  selec5on  and  funding• retrieval:  loca5ng  and  querying  resources• analysis:  context,  context,  context... 38
  52. 52. Concluding  remarksThe  future:  historical  research  in  a  u<litarian  age>  from  offline  to  online?  if  so  we  have  a  responsibility  to  ensure  that  what  is  offered  online  represents  the  broadest  possible  spectrum  of  sources  related  to  the  subject  we  are  interested  in. 39