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www.sas.ac.uk
Professor Lorna M. Hughes
School of Advanced Study
University of London
@lornamhughes
Digital Humanities, Bi...
‘We are all digital humanists now…’
• The content we use is
increasingly ‘digital by
default’
• We produce, curate and
man...
Core elements of Digital Humanities
Digital Content
• Digital collections, and projects with digital outputs
Methods
• ‘Sc...
Rhyfel Byd a’r profiad Cymreig /Welsh experience of the
Frirst World War: http://Cymru1914.org
• Unified digital archive o...
Production and re-use of data: http://cymru1914.org
5
Variants on “Belgian refugees”
InWelsh and English, 1914-19
cymru1914.org
1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
Re-using digital n...
Traw: BedwyrWilliams
14-18NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commission
www.1418.NOW.org.UK
8
Macroscopic analysis
• Distant reading
methodologies to
work with datasets
• KyffinWilliams Online
• Lloyd Roderick, Abe...
9
Visualising Data
• WelshTraditional Music
• Integration of sources
to map traditional
music and its cultural
reception
•...
Digital methods in the humanities highlight
challenges of Big Data
1. The underlying data and metadata
2. Linking datasets...
1. Underlying data and metadata
http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk
2. Better linking of digital content
“We hoped to be able to
send send all these people to
Glasgow at Easter…”
19th April,...
3. Rights management and copyright
4.Transparency of Method: ‘Showing our workings’
Debate about
sentiment analysis
and the Syuzhet
Package: Annie
Swafford a...
5. Bringing together research questions, data,
methods, and tools…
Addressing the challenges
• Better collaborations with the cultural heritage sector
• Better partnerships around data crea...
Conclusions
• Humanities research questions build an enquiry-led
understanding of the essential elements of data
• The key...
Thank you!
• Twitter: @lornamhughes
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Digital Humanities, Big Data, and New Research Methods

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Keynote at Digital Music Lab workshop, British Library, March 13th 2015.

The talk sets out to review digital humanities projects that show the use and re-use of data, and to use these examples to frame a debate about how DH approaches to working with data can test new methods and approaches to working in the humanities

What does this mean for humanities research that use Big Data, and in return, what do the humanities have to offer the wider Big Data community through these approaches: what do the humanities, especially the digital humanities, bring to the big data party?

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Digital Humanities, Big Data, and New Research Methods

  1. 1. www.sas.ac.uk Professor Lorna M. Hughes School of Advanced Study University of London @lornamhughes Digital Humanities, Big Data, and New Research Methods Digital Music Lab: Analysing Big Music Data, Final workshop British Library March 13th 2015
  2. 2. ‘We are all digital humanists now…’ • The content we use is increasingly ‘digital by default’ • We produce, curate and manage vast quantities of data, and are getting better at data management • We publish digital resources, and digital outputs, that increasingly include data • Our content is re-used for unforeseen purposes
  3. 3. Core elements of Digital Humanities Digital Content • Digital collections, and projects with digital outputs Methods • ‘Scholarly primitives’ to gain new knowledge: Discovering, annotating, comparing, referring, sampling, illustrating, and representing digital content Tools • For processing and analysis Researchers in the humanities are creating, managing, and using data • To enable existing research processes to be conducted better and/or faster • To enable researchers to ask, and answer, completely new research questions
  4. 4. Rhyfel Byd a’r profiad Cymreig /Welsh experience of the Frirst World War: http://Cymru1914.org • Unified digital archive of 220,000 pages of text, image; audio, film • Collaborative development between Libraries & academics • Exposing content for widest harvesting • Incorporated use and re-use of content into development • Fully bilingual and accessible user interface
  5. 5. Production and re-use of data: http://cymru1914.org 5
  6. 6. Variants on “Belgian refugees” InWelsh and English, 1914-19 cymru1914.org 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 Re-using digital newspaper content
  7. 7. Traw: BedwyrWilliams 14-18NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commission www.1418.NOW.org.UK
  8. 8. 8 Macroscopic analysis • Distant reading methodologies to work with datasets • KyffinWilliams Online • Lloyd Roderick, Aberystwyth University and National Library ofWales
  9. 9. 9 Visualising Data • WelshTraditional Music • Integration of sources to map traditional music and its cultural reception • Andrew Cusworth: Open University and National Library of Wales
  10. 10. Digital methods in the humanities highlight challenges of Big Data 1. The underlying data and metadata 2. Linking datasets from disparate collections 3. The human infrastructure: data sharing, rights management, open data and open access… 4. Invisibility of digital methods in scholarly outputs: we do not ‘show our workings’ 5. Bringing together research questions, data, methods, and tools…
  11. 11. 1. Underlying data and metadata http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk
  12. 12. 2. Better linking of digital content “We hoped to be able to send send all these people to Glasgow at Easter…” 19th April, 1916:War Refugees Committee cymru1914.org W.D. Roberts manuscripts, NLW MS 9982E
  13. 13. 3. Rights management and copyright
  14. 14. 4.Transparency of Method: ‘Showing our workings’ Debate about sentiment analysis and the Syuzhet Package: Annie Swafford and Matt Jockers
  15. 15. 5. Bringing together research questions, data, methods, and tools…
  16. 16. Addressing the challenges • Better collaborations with the cultural heritage sector • Better partnerships around data creation and management • Pay more attention to the human infrastructure: the scholarly ecosystem around digital research • Develop new approaches to documenting and describing digital methods within traditional publications
  17. 17. Conclusions • Humanities research questions build an enquiry-led understanding of the essential elements of data • The key to big data is its unpredictability and un- structured nature: moving beyond scaling up, into the realm of the Known Unknowns • Understanding the complexity of data is transferrable across disciplines and genres • From small things, big things one day come…
  18. 18. Thank you! • Twitter: @lornamhughes

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