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The Past, Present and Future of
Digital Scholarship with
Newspaper Collections
DH2019, Utrecht, July 2019
The Past, Present and Future of Digital
Scholarship with Newspaper Collections
• Short Project Presentations:
• Living wit...
Our Partners Our Funders
Living with Machines
Dr Mia Ridge, British Library, Co-Investigator
Paper authors/project team: M...
Project vision
• We aim to facilitate new historical findings about the impact of
technology on the lives of ordinary peop...
Why newspapers?
• Large digitised corpus available if requested
• Opportunity to tackle the challenges of working at scale...
The British Newspaper Archive
• Nearly 33 million newspaper pages
• Site by Findmypast Limited in commercial partnership w...
British Library newspapers and periodicals
• British Library has 60m issues (450 million pages, 34,000 titles)
from 17thC ...
But what’s actually
available digitally?
Courtesy Yann Ryan @lievesofgrass and @BL_MadeDigital
Copyright ‘safe date’
discussions are on-going
and... complicated
Our early work with newspapers
Research questions tackled across various Labs include:
• How bad is the OCR, really? And w...
Ongoing questions
• To what extent does ‘convenience’ in digitisation and the quest for
geographical coverage affect schol...
Thank you!
Living with Machines @LivingWMachines
Sneak preview and newsletter signup:
http://livingwithmachines.ac.uk/
The Past, Present and Future of Digital
Scholarship with Newspaper Collections
• Short Project Presentations:
• Living wit...
Dividing the work into ‘Labs’
• Sources - showing the biases in the collection and processing of sources
• Language - comb...
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Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 1 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 2 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 3 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 4 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 5 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 6 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 7 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 8 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 9 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 10 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 11 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 12 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 13 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 14 Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections Slide 15
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Short paper on the Living with Machines project for a panel at the Digital Humanities 2019 conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. Living with Machines is a research project using data science with historical sources and questions at scale to rethink the impact of technology on the lives of ordinary 19thC people

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Living with Machines at The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections

  1. 1. The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections DH2019, Utrecht, July 2019
  2. 2. The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections • Short Project Presentations: • Living with Machines • impresso - Media Monitoring of the Past • Construire avec les usagers la numérisation des collections de périodiques (NewsEye) • Overview Papers • Digital Editions of Serials and media historians: an overview • Towards a Critical Framework for Digital Newspaper Scholarship • Q&A
  3. 3. Our Partners Our Funders Living with Machines Dr Mia Ridge, British Library, Co-Investigator Paper authors/project team: Mia Ridge, Giovanni Colavizza, with Ruth Ahnert, Claire Austin, David Beavan, Kaspar Beelens, Mariona Coll Ardanuy, Adam Farquhar, Emma Griffin, James Hetherington, Jon Lawrence, Katie McDonough, Barbara McGillivray, André Piza, Daniel van Strien, Giorgia Tolfo, Alan Wilson, Daniel Wilson.
  4. 4. Project vision • We aim to facilitate new historical findings about the impact of technology on the lives of ordinary people during the Industrial Revolution / long nineteenth century (c. 1780 – 1918) Or • Applying new methods to questions about the past to explore the future of collaboration between data science, history and digital humanities Or • Challenging library professionals, data scientists and historians to ‘radically collaborate’ and learn from and with each other
  5. 5. Why newspapers? • Large digitised corpus available if requested • Opportunity to tackle the challenges of working at scale: operational, methodological, organisational • Suitable for developing innovative computational models, tools, code, data and infrastructure reusable by other scholars and research projects
  6. 6. The British Newspaper Archive • Nearly 33 million newspaper pages • Site by Findmypast Limited in commercial partnership with the British Library • BL Labs previously facilitated access for researchers to JISC- funded digitised newspapers
  7. 7. British Library newspapers and periodicals • British Library has 60m issues (450 million pages, 34,000 titles) from 17thC to today • Majority UK/Irish (Legal Deposit from 1869), but also overseas esp. USA, India, Africa • New digitisation through ‘Heritage Made Digital’ and Living with Machines projects • 6.8% digitised (July 2019)
  8. 8. But what’s actually available digitally?
  9. 9. Courtesy Yann Ryan @lievesofgrass and @BL_MadeDigital
  10. 10. Copyright ‘safe date’ discussions are on-going and... complicated
  11. 11. Our early work with newspapers Research questions tackled across various Labs include: • How bad is the OCR, really? And what effect does that have on computational linguistic and nominal linkage methods? • Can digitising newspaper directories help us understand the difference in political and religious affiliations (etc.) between the overall potential corpus and what’s currently been digitised? • Can we use crowdsourcing tasks to reliably gather information about industrial accidents? Can we then use the results to train machine learning tools to find accidents at scale?
  12. 12. Ongoing questions • To what extent does ‘convenience’ in digitisation and the quest for geographical coverage affect scholarship? • Copyright dates, short vs long runs, microfilm vs hard copy • How do we show the impact of OCR quality on both keyword searches and data processing at scale? • What kinds of derived datasets would be useful to researchers? • Planning for legacy: how do we integrate entity recognition etc. results into discovery systems? How do we ensure interoperability? • We can share public domain but not potentially copyrighted pages – what effect does that have on user experience? • How do we reconcile different ideas about ‘outputs’?
  13. 13. Thank you! Living with Machines @LivingWMachines Sneak preview and newsletter signup: http://livingwithmachines.ac.uk/
  14. 14. The Past, Present and Future of Digital Scholarship with Newspaper Collections • Short Project Presentations: • Living with Machines • impresso - Media Monitoring of the Past • Construire avec les usagers la numérisation des collections de périodiques (NewsEye) • Overview Papers • Digital Editions of Serials and media historians: an overview • Towards a Critical Framework for Digital Newspaper Scholarship • Q&A
  15. 15. Dividing the work into ‘Labs’ • Sources - showing the biases in the collection and processing of sources • Language - combining approaches from computational linguistics to corpora including newspapers and novels • Space and time - combining census data and event-based records to understand urban change with spatial and temporal analyses • Communities - a meta lab, amplifying results and engaging the public in meaningful crowdsourcing that contributes to the project's research • 3I (Integration, infrastructure and interfaces) - connects the IT infrastructure with work done in the other labs and vice-versa, thinking about computational processes and integration of data science. • Data acquisition and wrangling – managing practical aspects of data ingest including rights and data management

Short paper on the Living with Machines project for a panel at the Digital Humanities 2019 conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. Living with Machines is a research project using data science with historical sources and questions at scale to rethink the impact of technology on the lives of ordinary 19thC people

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