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Europeana and Copyright

Europeana and Copyright

What is Europeana? It is Europe’s largest digital, online, freely accessible collection of cultural heritage data.

Simply put, it houses collections of Europe’s musical, artistic and historical heritage from over 2,500 European institutions. According to the Europeana website, approximately 10% of Europe’s heritage has been digitised and harnessed by the organisation – that’s around 300 million digitised books, paintings, letters, recordings, interviews, photographs and so on. Once this has been done, Europeana then aggregates the files, organises them and presents them to the viewer in an engaging and interactive manner.

However, Europeana is experiencing a problem with making its material available to the public.Only 34% of this material is available online as much of it is held behind copyright barriers, locked away in archives and libraries from the public. In an effort to increase the amount of publicly-accessible digital heritage, Europeana is actively involved in lobbying the European Parliament for improved copyright laws. (“Europeana Strategy 2020: ‘We Transform The World With Culture'”) Continue reading “Europeana and Copyright”

Cork City Library – It Seems History is to Blame

Cork City Library – It Seems History is to Blame

Launched in 2013, the It Seems History is to Blame programme is being run by Cork City Library. The aim of the programme is to augment our understanding of the events from 1913-1923 – what happened, and why – and also “to learn lessons for our own time.”

So far, projects as part of this programme have included The Crucial 100: one hundred books which inspired a revolution and Europe’s Last Summer, amongst othersOne of the 2015 projects sought public suggestions on an Irish National Day.

As I was exploring the City Library website, however, what caught my eye was a digital centenary map of the major events of 1913-1923 around Cork City.

Continue reading “Cork City Library – It Seems History is to Blame”

Redesigning My Blog

Redesigning My Blog

As part of my Concepts and Collaboration module for Second Year, I am required to come up with a specific digital-humanities-related theme for my blog – something that would help orientate me towards a specific career and prepare me for work experience next year. Since I have a strong interest in languages and history (my minor subject is German), I have decided to go along this route and give my future blog posts a history/ language-related slant.

More specifically, I would be interested in embarking on a project that would help others understand some aspect of their heritage, be it national or international. Digitising a history project – for example, preparing a digital presentation for a local library, heritage centre or museum – would be an ideal task for me. I remember when my History teacher took my history class on a trip to London in my Leaving Cert year and we visited as many museums and historical places as we could schedule into two days. What I remember from that trip is how skilfully history was digitised and presented in places like the Winston Churchill museum and the British War Museum; the entire learning experience was much more vivid and didactic. Or take for instance Frederick Kaplan’s TED Talk, in which he explains his ideas for digitising Venice’s priceless archives dating back centuries, so that they can be viewed and explored by anyone. If I had the opportunity, I would like to work on this kind of digitisation of knowledge.

An equally ideal area of work for me would be something German-related. As I mentioned, this is is my minor subject and I have been learning the language for the past six years. A job in which I could combine my German with my IT skills is something that I would find very appealing.

Visually Analysing “Pickwick Papers”

Visually Analysing “Pickwick Papers”

For my final Digital Humanities assignment this year, I was asked to experiment with some visualisation tools and then see what I can learn from a text by visualising it through an analytical process. This text can be anything that is publicly available – such as a book, film script or document, and the tool I decided to use is Voyant 2.0.

I chose to analyse  Dickens’ Pickwick Papers not only because it is such an enjoyable read, but also because Dickens is a master at shaping characters through their use of language. Every character has his or her own particular way of expressing themselves when speaking; so much so that certain colloquailisms in the English language can be easily recognised and associated with Dickensian characters – “Bah! Humbug!”, for instance. Therefore, I thought that the process of analysing various patterns and word recurrences in Pickwick Papers would prove to be both stimulating, fruitful and would answer questions such as

  • Out of the numerous characters in such a large text, which are the main ones?
  • How does Dickens develop/ cast off his idea of the Pickwickian club as the novel continues?
  • What were the differences in language use between the upper- and working-classes in the 19th century?

cirrus Continue reading “Visually Analysing “Pickwick Papers””

My Experience with OpenStreetMap

My Experience with OpenStreetMap

Recently, I used OpenStreetMap, a digital tool for mapping, as part of my assignment for one of my Digital Humanities modules. I chose to map Rathcormac, a village in North Cork which I personally know. I found the experience enjoyable, beneficial and enlightening. In order to increase my readers’ understanding of this experience, I will explore it under the following points: the process I undertook; the implications of what I contributed; what I learned from the experience and how I feel that I might be able to apply the spatial or the crowdsourced initiatives in my own work, be it now or in the future. Continue reading “My Experience with OpenStreetMap”