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Updated: 33 min 16 sec ago

CFParticipation: Hands Up for Digital Humanities Survey

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:00

About the survey:

This survey is concerned with the knowledge gaps around DH within University and Further Educational settings, however, you don’t have to be currently attending or working in education to respond to this survey. Your engagement with Humanities might stem from previous jobs or qualifications, employment in a related area such as libraries or charities, or you may simply have an individual interest. Whatever your position, your response will help to highlight gaps in DH and enable them to be addressed. I believe that a more streamlined and transparent approach to DH will improve skill-sets developed throughout the years of study, and help to provide a more coherent trajectory as students leave education and embark on a career.

Read more here.

CFParticipation: Network Analysis + Digital Art History Workshop

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:30

From the CFParticipation:

The NA+DAH Workshop is a Getty Foundation-supported event that will bring together art historians, network scientists, and digital humanists to advance research at the intersection of these fields. Directed by Alison Langmead (University of Pittsburgh), Anne Helmreich (Texas Christian University), and Scott B. Weingart (Carnegie Mellon University)—all scholars engaged with digital art history and network analysis—the Network Analysis + Digital Art History Workshop will unfold over a full year and will be framed by two face-to-face convenings held at the University of Pittsburgh, a schedule that will allow participants to learn advanced digital methods and project management skills while fostering a close-knit interdisciplinary community.

Read more here.

Editors’ Choice: Digitization ≠ Repatriation

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:00

This week over at Hyperallergic, I wrote about new exhibits at the British Library and the Victoria & Albert Museum which both engage with the cultural heritage of ancient and medieval Ethiopia. An examination of the Ethiopian cultural heritage held in the libraries and museums of Britain can perhaps demonstrate a seminal point about digitization and the digital humanities more broadly: Digital editions can never fully replace an analog object. No matter how many manuscripts we digitize and make available online or 3D scans we create of the Parthenon frieze, they are not a replacement for repatriation.

One reason for both of the UK exhibits this year is the 150th anniversary of the British army’s Abyssinian Expedition of 1868. The campaign was ostensibly in reaction to the holding of British hostages by Tewodros II (also called Theodore), who was the Coptic Christian ruler of Abyssinia; the core of what is today called Ethiopia. Ethiopia has been a Christian country since the fourth century CE, making copies of the Gospels and the stories of saint a central part of their rich manuscript tradition in later years.

The emperor ultimately committed suicide as 13,000 British military troops descended upon the capital city of Maqdala (or Magdala). The hostages were freed unharmed, but the expedition ultimately became more about treasure than human life. It reportedly took 15 elephants and 300 mules to haul all of the loot from the decimated region. In a manner rather reminiscent of the Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE) and the , priceless cultural objects were pilfered and then sent to London for sale.

Many of the manuscripts, royal crowns, and other precious cultural patrimony were sold at auction to various British cultural institutions: the British Museum, the Royal Library, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the John Rylands Library, the South Kensington Museum (later renamed the Victoria & Albert), the Museum of Mankind, and the National Army Museum (Ofcansky and Shinn 2004: 48). Although not online, it has been widely reported that at the Bodleian Library there is a penciled notation on a manuscript (MS Aeth. d. 1) that states in English,“taken from a church at Maqdala in 1868.” There is little question where many of these objects originally came from and how they were acquired.


Read the full post here.

Job: Creation and Innovation Services Librarian, Miami University

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 13:30

From the ad:

Miami University Libraries seeks a dynamic and creative Creation and Innovation Services Librarian for the Create and Innovate department, one of six newly formed departments that emerged from a 2017 Libraries master planning process that examined services, organization and facilities.  This position will join a team currently working and supporting digital scholarship, digital humanities, GIS services, open educational resources, 3D printing, collaborative learning spaces, and high-end multimedia labs.

Read the full ad here.

Job: Digital Scholarship Research Developer, Stanford University

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 13:00

From the ad:

The Stanford University Libraries’ Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR) is seeking a full-time Digital Scholarship Research Developer to build sophisticated, sustainable, and generalizable tools and platforms in order to support interdisciplinary research in the computational social sciences and digital humanities at Stanford. Regular tasks will include programming, analyzing, designing, developing, deploying, modifying, and maintaining computer programs in systems of moderate size and complexity or segments of larger systems.

Read the full ad here.

Job: Librarian – Research, Instruction and Digital Humanities, New College of Florida

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:30

From the ad:

The Research, Instruction and Digital Humanities Librarian collaborates with a team of librarians in delivering research and instruction services while providing leadership and expertise in services supporting digital humanities/scholarship and technology-based research. This librarian will work collaboratively with faculty, students, staff and fellow librarians on established digital projects, support for new digital projects, providing instruction in digital research methods and technologies in all disciplines. In collaboration with other librarians, the incumbent will deliver contemporary services in support of cutting-edge approaches in instruction, research and outreach.

Read the full ad here.

Editors’ Choice: Meaning chains with word embeddings

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:00

Matthew Lincoln recently put up a Twitter bot that walks through chains of historical artwork by vector space similarity.
The idea comes from a Google project looking at paths that traverse similar paintings.

This reminds that I’d meaning for a while to do something similar with words in an embedding space. Word embeddings and image embeddings are, more or less, equivalent; so the same sorts of methods will work on both. There are–and will continue to be!–lots of interesting ways to bring strategies from convoluational image representations to language models, and vice versa. At first I though I could just drop Lincoln’s code onto a word2vec model, but the paths it finds tend to oscillate around in the high dimensional space more than I’d like. So instead I coded up a new, divide and conquer strategy using the Google News corpus. Here’s how it works.

1. Take any two words. I used “duck” and “soup” for my testing.
2. Find a word that is, in cosine distance, *between* the two words: that is, that is closer to both of them than either is to each other. Select for one as close to the midpoint as possible.* With “duck” and “soup,” that word turns out to be “chicken”: it’s a bird, but it’s also something that frequently shows up in the same context as soup.
3. Repeat the process to find words between “duck” and “chicken.” That, in this corpus, turns out to be “quail.” The vector here seems to be similar to the one above–quail is food relatively more often than duck, but less overwhelmingly than chicken.
4. Continue subdividing each path until no more intermediaries exist. For example, “turkey” works as a point between “quail” and “chicken”; but nothing intermediates between turkey and quail, or between turkey and chicken.

The overall path then sketches out an arc between the two words. (The shape of the arc itself is a component of PCA, but it’s also a useful reminder that the choice of the first pivot is quite important–it sets the entire region for the rest of the search.


Read the original post here.

Editors’ Choice: reconstitute the world

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 11:00

[The following is the text of a talk I gave (with changes) as “Reconstitute the World: Machine-Reading Archives of Mass Extinction,” in two different contexts last week. First, I opened the summer lecture series at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School, where I’m privileged to be a faculty member and supporter. Next, I closed the first week of the 2018 Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria and opened a Digital Library Federation (DLF) unconference on social justice and digital libraries, DLFxDHSI. I started my UVic talk by noting that we met on the unceded, traditional territory of the Lkwungen-speaking peoples of that part of the Pacific Northwest, and I therefore acknowledged the Songhees and Esquimalt, and also the WSÁNEĆ peoples who are among the First Nations with historical and enduring relationships to that land. I note this here, because the talk I gave is relevant, I think, to the need for humility, respect, and reparation and to the celebration of endurance and renewal (or, better, reclamation) that such statements, still uncommon in the United States, suggest.]

This is a talk on digital stewardship and heritage futures at a strange confluence. Now, I’m more used to saying “cultural heritage”—cultural heritage futures—and I will certainly be addressing those today: possibilities for the strongly future-oriented digital stewardship of human expression as we encounter it in transitory, embodied performances, as intangible culture, and of course in ways that leave more lasting, material traces. But I use the broader phrase “heritage futures” deliberately, because this is a talk that moves me beyond my training and my various cultural comfort zones in two big ways.

First, I’ll step out of the humanities to gesture at projects in preservation, access, and scientific analysis that address our broader, global heritage of biodiversity. That’s a heritage we share with all living things. And where we’ve failed in stewarding living environments, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve only moderately well succeeded in documenting them—which in this case are two radically different things. Our success is particularly mixed—though improving—in documenting them with an eye toward the activist, artistic, or reflective work we may soon wish to do in radically changed ecosystems.


Read the full post here.

Job: Digital Humanities Librarian, University of Alabama

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 13:00

From the ad:

The University of Alabama seeks an energetic and innovative librarian to continue our excellent support of digital humanities at The University of Alabama University Libraries. The successful candidate will serve as an ambassador within the University of Alabama faculty to promote the resources and community of the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC).

Read the full ad here.

Job: DHLC Specialist, Michigan State

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:30

From the ad:

The College of Arts and Letters (CAL) at Michigan State University seeks a continuing system specialist in Literature, Cognitive Science, and Digital Humanities (DH) to participate in ongoing initiatives in history of the mind, literary cognition, and digital humanities as manager of the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab (DHLC) and academic specialist in digital humanities. This is a 12-month position at 100% time. This specialist will join the Digital Humanities & Literary Cognition Lab (DHLC), an international leader in cultivating interdisciplinary projects across literature, cognitive science, digital humanities, and disability studies, including experiments in literary neuroscience, research in the history of the mind, outreach in the form of accessible art exhibitions, as well as the development and application of a creative array of digital technologies for interdisciplinary research and teaching.

Read the full ad here.

Opportunity: KB Researcher-in-residence 2019

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:00

About the opportunity:

Are you an early career social scientist, data scientist, computer scientist, humanities scholar, or more simply put, a researcher working with or interested in our digital collections, such as the web archive, 60 million pages digitised text or anonymised user log data? Then we’re looking for you!

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands is seeking proposals for its fully paid Researcher-in-residence program in 2019. This program offers a unique chance for early career researchers of all disciplines to work in the library with the Digital Scholarship team and KB data. In return, we learn how researchers use the data of the KB, what kinds of possibilities it offers and how we can improve our services.

Read more here.

Resource: Digital Mappa 1.0 – A New, User-Friendly Platform for Digital Scholarship

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 11:30

About the resource:

April is a busy month, so things tend to get lost in the innumerable number of tabs I have open on my browser, meaning to get to later. Launched in April, Digital Mappa is a “Digital Humanities workspaces, editions, scholarship, collaboration & publications for the rest of us.”

From the press release:

The premise of DM is simple: if you have a collection of digital images and/or texts, you should be able to produce an online resource that links together specific moments on these images and texts together, annotate these moments as much as you want, collaborate with others on this work, have the content you produce be searchable, and make this work available to others as you wish. And you should be able to do this with little technical expertise.

Read more here.

Editors’ Choice: Mechanical Kubler – Visual Paths Through Time

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 11:00

I finally got the chance to push through a little idea about walking through visual time with a new Twitter bot I’m calling @MechaKubler.

Inspired by Google Cultural Institute’s “X Degrees of Separation”, I was curious to see if it was possible to recreate that app by hand using a more focused collection of works, and constraining the kinds of paths that would get drawn between two given images.
Was it possible to make this path move only forward in time? Or only backwards? To only consider a certain set of objects by type or nationality? The idea had been gnawing at me for some time.

Once an hour, @MechaKubler assembles an 8-image-long path between two objects from the Rijksmuseum, trying to find pictures that are roughly evenly separated across an expanse of visual similarity space. I used the penultimate max pooling layer of the pre-trained VGG-16 convolutional neural network1 to produce this space of multidimensional features (an involved way of saying “a list of 512 numbers per image”) for over 200,000 images of artworks in the Rijksmuseum collections.

Rather than just find the closest object at hand, it will take a chronological path, expressly moving either forwards or backwards in time as it traverses this visual space. Hence the homage to George Kubler, who considered the seriation of visual form through history in his 1962 Shape of Time. One of his core arguments was that there exist “prime objects”: ideal solutions to visual problems that artists then manifest through physical variants. This not unlike how @MechaKubler works. Using a R package I wrote to generate nearest-neighbor paths through numeric matrices, it identifies several ideal points sitting on a line evenly spaced between two randomly-chosen objects. These ideal points in the VGG-18 feature space can’t be directly translated back into images2 – alone, they’re just separate lists of 512 numbers. But it is possible to search through the real objects to find those whose own 512-number long feature vectors are very close to the ideal points.


Read the full post here.

Job: Team Lead – Digital Scholarship, Tufts

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 12:30

From the ad:

Reporting to the Head of Scholarly Communications & Collections, the Digital Scholarship Team Lead leads the library’s efforts in coordinating Tisch Library’s digital scholarship services for students, faculty, and staff in the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering. The position is responsible for conducting ongoing needs assessment and engagement with the community to develop and maintain a robust and integrated set of programs and activities that strengthen the library’s role in supporting digital scholarship, digital literacy, digital pedagogy, and the use of multimedia in teaching, learning and scholarship.

Read the full ad here.

Job: Special Collections Analyst, Columbia University Libraries

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 12:00

From the ad:

Columbia University Libraries (CUL) seeks an innovative and energetic librarian to provide support for Columbia’s digital library and scholarly technology systems by adapting, configuring and using relevant software tools and implementing standards and best practices. The Special Collections Analyst will work directly with Libraries and University stakeholders to research, develop and document technology solutions for digital library and digital scholarship initiatives.

Read the full here.

Job: Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow, Williams College Museum of Art

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 11:30

From the ad:

Williams College Museum of Art invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship. The Fellow’s work is part of WCMA Digital, a major initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that aims to make the museum’s collections open and accessible to all, and develop a set of digital tools to support new pedagogical, creative and intellectual explorations of the collection. WCMA’s Mellon Fellow for Digital Humanities will explore and encourage digital humanities scholarship and methodologies within a museum context, with access to collections and involvement in exhibitions and public programs.

Read the full ad here.

Report: A Framework for Aggregating Private and Public Web Archives

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 11:00

About the report:

Personal and private Web archives are proliferating due to the increase in the tools to create them and the realization that Internet Archive and other public Web archives are unable to capture personalized (e.g., Facebook) and private (e.g., banking) Web pages. We introduce a framework to mitigate issues of aggregation in private, personal, and public Web archives without compromising potential sensitive information contained in private captures.

Read the full report here.

Job: Project Manager, Colored Conventions Project

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 13:00

From the ad:

The University of Delaware seeks a Project Manager for the Colored Conventions Project (CCP). The Project Manager will lead efforts to continue existing projects and partnerships and implement new national initiatives. Collaborating closely with the CCP Team and the University of Delaware Library’s technical team, the incumbent will also work on the development of a new WordPress site integrated with the Library’s UDSpace repository and an Omeka-S database. This is a three-year, grant-funded position, with time split between the Colored Conventions Project and the University of Delaware Library.

Read the full ad here.

Announcement: Canada’s Early Women Writers project launches two websites

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 12:30

From the announcement:

The Canada’s Early Women Writers project is pleased to announce that their sister websites, Canada’s Early Women Writers and the Database of Canada’s Early Women Writers, are both fully populated and available online.

Canada’s Early Women Writers began in the pre-digital 1980s, with research using snail mail and typewriters; this now-static database is still available through the Simon Fraser University Library, but has been superseded by the updated CEWW housed within the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory.

Read the full announcement here.

CFParticipation: The Seven More Lessons No One’s Yet Written (but need writing)

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 12:00

From the CFParticipation:

The Programming Historian Needs YOU…to help historians digitally analyse!

We’ve now published more than 100 lessons in English and Spanish since we launched in 2012. The project is growing faster than we could ever have imagined. But there are still significant holes in our coverage that we’d like you to help us plug. While we always remain open to new lesson ideas on any topic related to your own work, we’d be particularly happy to hear from prospective authors interested in tackling some of the following:

Read more here.


Directory of DH Scholars

Looking for collaborators, expertise, or other scholars with related interests? 

Please see our list of affiliated scholars at KU.

If you would like to be included in this list please complete our affiliated scholars form.


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