18 01, 2012
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See me speak

By |January 18th, 2012|Announcements, blog|2 Comments

If you'd like to see what a Digital Victorianist looks like in the flesh (hint: pasty and out of shape) then you might like to come and see one of my forthcoming talks. Over the next 6 months I'll be giving at least four conference papers: 17th March 2012 - "Goodbye, old fellow, I must skedaddle!": Reading the American Voice in the Late-Victorian Press London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar, Institute of English Studies, 11:00-17:00. Free entry [details available here]   16th -17th April 2012 - Imagining America: W. T. Stead's Vision of the New World W. T. Stead: Centenary Conference for a Newspaper Revolutionary, British Library. Registration (until 31 January 2012): £70 (£60 postgraduates / over 65s); Day rate: £45 (no concessions). [details available here]   21st - 23rd June - "Goodbye, old fellow, I must skedaddle!": American Slang and the Victorian Popular Press 5th Annual British Scholar Conference, University of Edinburgh. [details available here]   5th July- 7th July - The Laughter of Good Fellowship? Negotiating the past, present, and future in Anglo-American humour, 1870-1900 History and Humour - 1800 to Present, Freiburg University. [details available soon]   As of next week I'll also be leaving Manchester to take up a temporary lecturing [...]

10 01, 2012
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Unlocking the Potential of Digital Archives

By |January 10th, 2012|blog, Digitisation|2 Comments

Last night Jim Mussell posted an excellent review of the British Newspaper Archive on his blog. He makes a number of really important points that I skirted over in my own review. I recommend reading Jim's post in its entirety. However, one of his arguments is particularly worth emphasizing:   This leads me to my second point: the way brightsolid have digitized this material also restricts possible uses. This is a resource for finding articles, not reading newspapers, and this is done by brightsolid’s search engine and database on the user’s behalf. There is no scope here for data mining, for analysis of textual transcripts, or for the interrogation of metadata. This actually runs counter to the dominant trend within both the digital humanities and commercial digital publishing, making BNA seem a little old fashioned. Gale Cengage’s NCCO, for instance, allows users to carry out rudimentary data mining. This is no mere moan about the way the project was executed. Taking advantage of the digital properties of digitized materials is the way in which we learn new things about them. Locking the data away means that users are stuck with old methodologies, treating the articles as if they were printed paper even though they clearly [...]