Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Digitization links with Digital Humanities

This post sketches the relationship between digitization and Digital Humanities. Considering the processes and how these map to John Unsworth's Digital Primitives and the research benefits of digitization for the digital humanities.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Magic Box - wonderful interactions between physical and digital

Saw this new product and thought I'd share - it is a wonderful exhibition technology that keeps the physical object in the exhibition space but allows an amazing experience through a transparent and touch sensitive layer of digital content.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Text Capture and Optical Character Recognition 101

This blog will introduce text capture by describing the different methods with a focus upon historical documents. I will introduce the basics of OCR and rekeying with discussion of handwriting and voice recognition.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Digital Futures Workshop 2015, Ghana

All the delegates for the workshop outside the Balme Library, University of Ghana
Recently I gave a short Digital Futures workshop as part of the International Conference of African Digital Libraries and Archives (ICADLA4). Hosted at the University of Ghana we had a superb 2 day course with 41 participants from 11 countries. This is a visual record plus some materials from the workshop.

Friday, 5 June 2015

In memoriam: Felix Ubogu a great Librarian

Felix Ubogu, the University Librarian at the University of Witwatersrand has sadly passed away.

I have just returned from an excellent ICADLA conference in Ghana. Felix was missed by all there and now we know his illness was worse than many of us thought. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Apple Watch $10k price isn't crazy, it's an Anchor

Orbiting the sun "at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."
(Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Want to sell lots of $350 watches that do cool stuff but are really first generation products that will only work usefully with an associated $300 plus iPhone nearby? Put them on sale next to a $10,000 watch that does the same thing. Anchoring is a powerful sales tool and Apple are using it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Building Digital Marketplaces

Jerusalem Marketplace by Simon Tanner 
Research shows that “more than 90% of the conversations about products, services and brands that take place every day” happen offline or face-to-face [1]. Thus billions of product, services and recommendations conversations happen in this offline space and only a small percentage are currently happening in online spaces, whether driven by social media or commercial spaces.

Even a small percentage of billions is a significant number, of course, but there remains considerable scope for growth in digital modes of community based discussion, sharing and recommendation. Especially in specialist areas where there is not currently a strong digital space for such conversations then promoting the building and delivery of communities that can share experience, knowledge and most importantly requirements, needs and recommendations could be an important innovation.

Monday, 2 February 2015

3 reasons why REF2014 was good for digital humanities scholars

What can the digital humanities learn from the REF2014 results that gives the discipline a boost and holds out hope for all of us who ply our scholarly trade as digital humanists?

Here I lay out 3 reasons to be cheerful in the midst of the detritus of the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Tate launches world-wide access to unpublished archives of key British artists

Graham Sutherland, colour study,
Tate Archive
Tate has announced that intimate love letters from Paul Nash to his wife, touching family photographs of Jacob Epstein, unpublished images revealing Eduardo Paolozzi’s playful nature, 45 volumes of Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture records and correspondence from William Nicholson to his son Ben are among the first batch of items to be made available on Tate’s website for a world-wide audience as part of the Archives and Access project.

The project draws on the world’s largest archive of British Art – the Tate Archive - and brings it together online with Tate's art collection, making this one of the richest and most comprehensive digital art and archival resources in Europe. It is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a grant of £2 million.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Despair over Timbuktu Manuscripts as Funding Pulled

Manuscript image courtesy of UNESCO
In January 2013 I reported on the war driven disaster in Mali that was putting at huge risk rare manuscripts in the Timbuktu region. I was thankful then to eventually find they had been secured and saved by the heroic efforts of the local people and the (partially South African funded) Ahmed Baba Institute. Now, at the end of 2014, South Africa is formally withdrawing its financial support by closing its Timbuktu trust fund and thus clearly putting those rare manuscripts back at risk. I despair.