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CHI Articles & Discussions

Katy Meyers

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April 25, 2011

The Trials and Tribulations of Open Access Bioarchaeology

April 25, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

This past week was the annual Paleopathology Association conference, which took place in Minneapolis, MN on April 12-13th. During the final session of talks, Charlotte Roberts, a paleopathology professor from Durham University (and one of my academic heroes), discussed the need for an international database for bioarchaeological collections.

http://www.paleopathology.org/images/ppalogo2.jpg

Roberts reviewed 20 years of journal articles from the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology and found that two thirds of the material used was taken from only four collections: York, Bradford, Birmingham and the Museum of London. While restudies are a good way to test methods, the materials have been so overused that they are becoming damaged and other collections are being overlooked. Roberts argues that we need to consider the implications of all these restudies. In order to create more representative and nuanced interpretations of the past it is important to study a wide range of collections. If our Read More

Katy Meyers

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March 14, 2011

Linked Data: Uniting Scotland’s Past

March 14, 2011 | By | One Comment

One of the best parts of asking for research help at the library is the way that the librarians can link data. If I’m researching haggis, they can not only lead me to recipes and history of haggis, but will also know that overall Scottish history is pertinent and may suggest some sources I never would have thought of checking- like a biography of a Scottish chef. I am able to get access to sources that I wouldn’t have been able to find through a simple online search. Linked data, however, is changing this.

Linked data consists of any information which has been connected and integrated with other information within the semantic web. The semantic web is a way of building relationships between items that are often easily connected in the human mind but not in computers. By defining rules for connecting information, the semantic web allows for once disparate information to Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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March 7, 2011

Asian Pacific American Digital Archives: Three Examples

March 7, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

This week, I came across this post on Angry Asian Man about a new digital archive collection of posters, artwork, and photographs documenting the work of the Kearney Street Workshop, a multidisciplinary Asian Pacific American artist collective, founded in San Francisco in 1972. The collection includes works primarily from the 1970s and 80s. I thought this open access archive was a fantastic example of a collection focused on APA community activism. I decided to do a quick search to see what more is out there in terms of Asian Pacific American Digital Archives. For this blog, I’m going to talk about three that I found that I thought were quite good.

To say a bit more about the Kearney Street Workshop collection, it is housed at Calisphere, which is a University of California archival project focusing on “the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.” Read More

alex.galarza

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February 4, 2011

Collaboration in Zotero

February 4, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

I recently gave two workshops on Zotero to give an overview of its features, evangelize for its use, and to suggest models for collaboration that take advantage of group libraries. One workshop was conducted as a departmental lunch-and-learn for historians, and the other for librarians interested in Zotero’s sharing capabilities. Each group was excited by the examples of collaboration I provided and provided their own stimulating ideas on how they might use Zotero. Here are some examples from my own collaborate work that I showcased:

Fostering a Field

My first example was the group library I have assembled for the Football Scholars Forum, an academic monthly book club that invites authors via Skype to discuss their work. In the Zotero library, we have a folder that contains all of the sessions we have conducted so far, with attachments to each citation that include review essays, news stories, and the audio recording of the Read More

Katy Meyers

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January 28, 2011

Open Access Archaeology: Two Different Approaches

January 28, 2011 | By | 4 Comments

Archaeological site information is a precious commodity; once material is fully excavated it is the only knowledge we have of the site. After spending, years (or even decades) excavating a site the information can become packed away in a few notebooks or boxes, lost in the realm of gray material, and not uncovered until needed by another regional specialist or graduate student. Some information becomes a heavily guarded secret to prevent loss of material, either due to looting of the site or forced return due to NAGPRA. A third option now exists: make the information visible on the internet. This is the option that I am advocating for: open access archaeology.

One of the problems for archaeologists is that what we do, the process by which we build hypotheses, create inferences, and the methods for analyzing the materials we use are not understood by the general public. The media has portrayed archaeologists Read More

Katy Meyers

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December 27, 2010

The Gothic Ivories Project, a Digital Museum Exemplar

December 27, 2010 | By | 3 Comments

One of the primary advantages of hosting an archive online is that it can be revised and expanded from anywhere in the world by any number of individuals. This the approach chosen by such projects as “The Gothic Ivories” (http://www.gothicivories.courtauld.ac.uk). It serves as a repository where institutions from around the globe can post descriptions, images and discussions on these ivory pieces into a single digital museum. The project launched in October 2010, and consists of material from 98 institutions from 15 countries. The project allows for anyone with ivories to add to the collection, from public museums to private collectors.

Wikimedia Commons 2010: Courtly scenes Gothic Ivory

Gothic ivories were popular in Western Europe from the 13th to mid 16th centuries. They consist of small carved elephant ivory figurines, including miniature statuettes, mirror backs, diptychs and triptychs (two or three hinged tablets of images). The pieces are primarily carved Read More

Katy Meyers

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December 1, 2010

The Mourners: A Unique Digital Archive

December 1, 2010 | By | One Comment

With the growing use of Digital Humanities, the question is whether or not this online format can aid scholars in revealing anything new, what can technology allow us to do that we couldn’t before? How can technology aid us in moving beyond the traditional forms of study? Digital archives are becoming increasingly common, creating open access to sources that previously would have been unavailable to most scholars. Not only do these materials become widely available from anywhere, but they can also be widely interpreted. Most frequently digital archives are serving as online repositories for text, such as the Early English Books Online, which displays over 125,000 texts from 15th through 17th century Britain, or the current Google sponsored project to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, digital archives are not limited to text.

The Mourners (http://www.themourners.org) is an online museum exhibit sponsored by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon and the French Read More