2018 – Working with the British Library’s Digital Content, Data and Services in your Research and Teaching (Lincoln)

Working with the British Library’s Digital Content, Data and Services in your Research and Teaching (University of Lincoln)

Organised by British Library Labs, History UK, and the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln as part of the British Library Labs Roadshow (2018).

To register follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-with-the-british-librarys-digital-content-data-and-services-for-your-research-university-of-tickets-44675592901

Hundreds of thousands of digital items and objects are being created and collected for researchers to use such as digitised manuscripts, sheet music, newspapers, maps, archived websites, radio programmes, performances, TV news broadcasts, and artworks, as well as the more expected items like scanned versions of books.

This wonderful cacophony of content is having a significant effect on how institutions like the British Library support the research and teaching needs of their users. Will people discover new information when they no longer have the restriction of viewing a single page from a single book at a time? How can the British Library build systems that provide a coherent route across its content, regardless of whether it is a televised news report or a unique signature drawn in the margins of a map? How can we use crowd-sourced information, computer vision and machine-learning techniques to provide people with better tools to evaluate and interpret the context of the item? How can we exploit animations and interactive infographics to better convey the information found in our holdings? This is the research space that British Library Labs explores and we want to encourage researchers to work with us and share their research questions and innovative ideas around this.

This event will include a series of presentations exploring the digital collections – at the British Library and elsewhere. Presenters will examine how they have been used in various subject areas such as the Humanities, Computer Science and Social Sciences and the lessons we have learned by working with researchers who want to use them. This will be followed by discussions and feedback around potential ideas of working with the British Library’s data. The Roadshow will showcase examples of the British Library’s digital content and data, addressing some of the challenges and issues of working with it, and how interesting and exciting projects from researchers, artists, educators and entrepreneurs have been developed via the annual British Library Labs Competition and Awards.

The BL Labs team is keen to learn about the services researchers, teachers and others would like to see developed at the British Library to support Digital Scholarship and there will be a presentation around some ideas that we have been developing. Delegates will be invited to discuss and give feedback, suggest improvements and present their own ideas.


Date and Time: Wednesday 16 May 2018, 12:00-17:00

Cost: Free

Location: Stephen Langton Building, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, UK.

Map: Please refer to the following link, which details how to get to the event: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studentlife/maps/



12.00: Lunch

12:30: Kate Hill (Lincoln) – Introduction and Welcome

12:40: Ben Steen (British Library Labs) – What is British Library Labs?

13:00: Bob Nicholson (Edge Hill) – Remixing Digital Archives

13:30: Eleni Kotoula (Lincoln) – Digital Heritage at the Crossroads: Visualization, Virtualization & Fabrication

14:00: Sharon Webb (Sussex) – The Sussex Humanities Lab and Extending DH into the Classroom

14:30: Break

14:45: Melodee Beals (Loughborough) – Oceanic Exchanges: Building a Transnational Understanding of Digitised Newspapers

15:15: Hazel Sadler (Lincoln) – Digital technology in museums and the communication of research and exhibitions to the public

15:45: Jennifer Batt (Bristol) – When what you’re looking for isn’t there: working with digitized collections of historic newspapers

16:15: Discussion – developing Services for BL Labs at the British Library

16.45: Conclusion and wrap up

17:00: Finish and wine reception sponsored by the School of History & Heritage, University of Lincoln


Speaker Biographies

  • Jennifer Batt is Lecturer in Eighteenth Century English Literature at the University of Bristol; her current research focuses on the poetic cultures of periodicals.
  • H. Beals is a lecturer in Digital History at Loughborough University, specialising in the interaction between migration and media. Her research concentrates on the practice of scissors-and-paste journalism, an unofficial process of viral news dissemination in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and her website, ScissorsAndPaste.net, allows users to track textual reuse across an expanding number of online databases. Her current project is Oceanic Exchanges, which explores how newspapers transformed the international into the local by linking digital newspaper collections from around the world and exploring the role of digital curation in historical research.
  • Eleni Kotoula specialises in digital heritage, mainly in advanced computer visualization, digital imaging, 3D recording and modelling, virtual reconstruction and 3D fabrication, with an emphasis on the development of novel computational approaches for restoration, preventive conservation, investigation, analysis and display of artefacts. Eleni holds a BSC in Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art from the Athens University of Applied Sciences, MSc and PhD in Archaeological Computing from the University of Southampton.  Prior to her current research fellowship at the School of History and Heritage, University of Lincoln, Eleni completed postdoctoral research at the University of Central Lancashire and Yale University.
  • Bob Nicholson is a historian of Victorian popular culture and a Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University. He works on the history of jokes, journalism, and transatlantic relations. He tweets @Digivictorian and @VictorianHumour.
  • Hazel Sadler is an MA student at the University of Lincoln, studying for the MA in Historical Studies. She has been designing an app that aims to encourage further on-site and off-site engagement the Imperial War Museums’ research and collections.
  • Sharon Webb is a Lecturer in Digital Humanities Lecturer in the Sussex Humanities Lab and the School of History, Art History and Philosophy. She is a historian of Irish associational culture and nationalism (eighteenth and nineteenth century) but has also studied computer science at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Sharon has practical experience with digital archiving and digital preservation, and has contributed to the successful development of a major national digital infrastructure. Sharon’s current research interests include community archives and identity, social network analysis (method and theory), and research data management.