History Beyond the Facts

September 29th, 2010

I’m looking for people to collaborate with to build linked datasets for history. Historical knowledge can be vague and uncertain. The form in which historical knowledge is communicated is as much a part of its content as the “facts,” yet typical approaches to open and linked data focus solely on facts and very little on form. What can the open and linked data community learn from the challenges of grappling with history? What new forms of public history might emerge if historians open up their research notes and intermingle them with those of genealogists, archivists, curators, hobbyists and tourists? What forms of “historical logic” are amenable to formalization, if any? How might “distant reading” techniques be applied to historical scholarship to find, for example, patterns of emplotment?

For more of my thoughts on some of these topics, see my recent article in the Bulletin of ASIS&T.

A grab-bag of session ideas

September 29th, 2010

There are numerous topics that I’m interested in discussing at THATCampSF.  Here are a few:

  • Rapid digital tool-building experiments.  I can share insights from my work on CHNM’s One Week | One Tool team.
  • Using WordPress’ CMS features for building an online CV/portfolio.  Recently I used WP3.0 as a platform for Chapman University’s Faculty Promotion & Tenure ePortfolios, and can share my work on that project as well as suggest possibilities for future plugin/widget development that would streamline this process.
  • Strategies for building local DH communities, via sites like DHSoCal, and also through creating & hosting a California-based DH summer institute that’s loosely-modeled on the work done by University of Victoria’s DHSI.
  • The impact of social media on the terrain of humanities scholarship.  I can contribute my experience based on promoting and podcasting Yale’s “Past’s Digital Presence” conference.
  • Also, I would very much like to attend BootCamp sessions on: writing WordPress plugins and open-source tools for mapping projects.

Session idea: Data, Data Everywhere: What’s Happening on the Metadata Front

September 29th, 2010

The title is silly, so free to change it.

Thank you, Jon, for suggesting I suggest this.  The basic idea is such — digital collections thrive and decline in part on the metadata, and there’s a lot going on in the area of data. Linked Data appears to promise the implementation of the Semantic Web that we’ve all been waiting for, and Open Data has becoming a rallying point in the private and public sectors. A session on what people are working on in terms of acquiring, enhancing and/or disseminating metadata for their library, archival and other collections would be very informative, I believe.  What successes have been seen/experienced, what attempts failed to yield results, what questions/doubts remain? Are institutions and vendors on-board?

Feel free to hone this, give it more focus, break it up …

Cheers, Eli

My bio:

A major reason why I went to law school is to learn more about legal issues that affect libraries, especially in the digital arena (copyright, cyberlaw and First Amendment/free speech). I’m interested in library technology, especially the use of Web 2.0 software and protocols to make information more accessible to  information seekers, students, users, etc. I see THATCamp Bay Area as a great juxtaposition of tech, formal and informal education initiatives, and open information flows (Creative Commons, Open Access, Open Content, Big Data). I hope to be able to contribute my legal and library knowledge and be part of the ongoing library/open content/tech community.

Introducing Fall 2010 Campers

September 23rd, 2010

I’m excited to announce that camper bios for the Fall 2010 THATCamp Bay Area have been posted on the site.  I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of sessions and bootcamps will come out of this group, but I’ve no doubt they are going to be incredible.

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