Archive for the ‘Digitalclassicist admin’ Category

Reflecting on our (first ever) Digital Classicist Wiki Sprint

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

From (Print) Encyclopedia to (Digital) Wiki

According to Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert the purpose of an encyclopedia in the 18th century was ‘to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the people with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come’.  Encyclopedias have existed for around 2,000 years; the oldest is in fact a classical text, Naturalis Historia, written ca 77 CE by Pliny the Elder.

Following the (recent) digitalization of raw data, new, digital forms of encyclopedia have emerged. In our very own, digital era, a Wiki is a wider, electronic encyclopedia that is open to contributions and edits by interesting parties. It contains concept analyses, images, media, and so on, and it is freely available, thus making the creation, recording, and dissemination of knowledge a democratised process, open to everyone who wishes to contribute.

 

A Sprint for Digital Classicists

For us, Digital Classicists, scholars and students interested in the application of humanities computing to research in the ancient and Byzantine worlds, the Digital Classicist Wiki is composed and edited by a hub for scholars and students. This wiki collects guidelines and suggestions of major technical issues, and catalogues digital projects and tools of relevance to classicists. The wiki also lists events, bibliographies and publications (print and electronic), and other developments in the field. A discussion group serves as grist for a list of FAQs. As members of the community provide answers and other suggestions, some of these may evolve into independent wiki articles providing work-in-progress guidelines and reports. The scope of the Wiki follows the interests and expertise of collaborators, in general, and of the editors, in particular. The Digital Classicist is hosted by the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, and the Stoa Consortium, University of Kentucky.

So how did we end up editing this massive piece of work? On Tuesday July 1, 2014 and around 16:00 GMT (or 17:00 CET) a group of interested parties gathered up in several digital platforms. The idea was that most of the action will take place in the DigiClass chatroom on IRC, our very own channel called #digiclass. Alongside the traditional chat window, there was also a Skype voice call to get us started and discuss approaches before editing. On the side, we had a GoogleDoc where people simultaneously added what they thought should be improved or created. I was very excited to interact with old members and new. It was a fun break during my mini trip to the Netherlands, and as it proved, very focused on the general attitude of the Digital Classicists team; knowledge is open to everyone who wishes to learn and can be the outcome of a joyful collaborative process.

 

The Technology Factor

As a researcher of digital history, and I suppose most information system scholars would agree, technology is never neutral in the process of ‘making’. The magic of the Wiki consists on the fact that it is a rather simple platform that can be easily tweaked. All users were invited to edit any page to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a regular web browser without any extra add-ons. Wiki makes page link creation easy by showing whether an intended target page exists or not. A wiki enables communities to write documents collaboratively, using a simple markup language and a web browser. A single page in a wiki website is referred to as a wiki page, while the entire collection of pages, which are usually well interconnected by hyperlinks, is ‘the wiki’. A wiki is essentially a database for creating, browsing, and searching through information. A wiki allows non-linear, evolving, complex and networked text, argument and interaction. Edits can be made in real time and appear almost instantly online. This can facilitate abuse of the system. Private wiki servers (such as the Digital Classicist one) require user identification to edit pages, thus making the process somewhat mildly controlled. Most importantly, as researchers of the digital we understood in practice that a wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape.

 

Where Technology Shapes the Future of Humanities

In terms of Human resources some with little involvement in the Digital Classicist community before this, got themselves involved in several tasks including correcting pages, suggesting new projects, adding pages to the wiki, helping others with information and background, approaching project-owners and leaders in order to suggest adding or improving information. Collaboration, a practice usually reserved for science scholars, made the process easier and intellectually stimulating.  Moreover, within these overt cyber-spaces of ubiquitous interaction one could identify a strong sense of productive diversity within our own scholarly community; it was visible both in the IRC chat channel as well as over skype. Several different accents and spellings, British, American English, and several continental scholars were gathering up to expand this incredibly fast-pacing process. There was a need to address research projects, categories, and tools found in non-english speaking academic cultures.  As a consequence of this multivocal procedure, more interesting questions arose, not lest methodological. ‘What projects are defined as digital, really’, ‘Isn’t everything a database?’ ‘What is a prototype?’. ‘Shouldn’t there be a special category for dissertations, or visualisations?’.  The beauty of collaboration in all its glory, plus expanding our horizons with technology! And so much fun!

MediaWiki recorded almost 250 changes made in the 1st of July 2014!

The best news, however is that this, first ever wiki sprint was not the last.  In the words of the Organisers, Gabriel Boddard and Simon Mahony,

‘We have recently started a programme of short intensive work-sprints to
improve the content of the Digital Classicist Wiki
(http://wiki.digitalclassicist.org/). A small group of us this week made
about 250 edits in a couple of hours in the afternoon, and added dozens
of new projects, tools, and other information pages.

We would like to invite other members of the Digital Classicist community to
join us for future “sprints” of this kind, which will be held on the
first Tuesday of every month, at 16h00 London time (usually =17:00
Central Europe; =11:00 Eastern US).

To take part in a sprint:

1. Join us in the DigiClass chatroom (instructions at
<http://wiki.digitalclassicist.org/DigiClass_IRC_Channel>) during the
scheduled slot, and we’ll decide what to do there;

2. You will need an account on the Wiki–if you don’t already have one,
please email one of the admins to be invited;

3. You do not need to have taken part before, or to come along every
month; occasional contributors are most welcome!’

The next few sprints are scheduled for:
* August 5th
* September 2nd
* October 7th
* November 4th
* December 2nd

Please, do join us, whenever you can!

 

 

CfP: Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin 2012/2013

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

(German version below)

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the newly established Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin, which will run for the first time in the Winter Term 2012. This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar, is organised in association with the German Archaeological Institute and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI.

We invite submissions on research which employ digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable increased understanding of the ancient world at large. Abstracts, either in English or in German, of 300-500 words max. (bibliographic references excluded) should be uploaded by midnight MET on September 14, 2012 using the special submission form.

Themes may include digital text, linguistics technology, image processing and visualisation, linked data and semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can lead to crossing disciplinary boundaries and answer new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.

Seminars will run fortnightly on Tuesday evenings (17:00-18:30) starting in October 2012 in the TOPOI Building Dahlem, hosted by the Excellence Cluster TOPOI. The full programme will be finalised and announced in late September. It is planned to grant an allowance to speakers for travelling and accommodation costs. Further details will be available once the program is finalised. (more…)

Classical panels at DRHA

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

This year’s Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts conference (Cambridge, September 14-17) included a two-part panel on Digital Classicist (sadly divided over two days), organized by Simon Mahony, Stuart Dunn, and myself. Despite some apparently last-minute (and unannounced) scheduling changes, the panel was very successful. I post here only my brief notes on the papers involved, and hope that some of my colleagues may post more detailed reactions or reports either in comments, or as posts to this or other blogs.

Gabriel Bodard

I kicked off the first Classicists’ session on Monday morning with a brief history of the Digital Classicist community and a discussion of the different approaches to studying the use of digital methods in the study of the ancient world (contrasting the historical approach of Solomon 1993 with the forward-looking theme of Crane/Terras 2008, for which authors were asked to imagine their field within Classics in 2018). I talked in general terms about the different trajectories of two very early digital classical projects, the TLG and LGPN, both of which were founded in 1972. The TLG, while a technological innovative project from the get-go, and one which changed (and continues to be indispensible to) the study of Greek literature, has not made a great contribution to the Digital Humanities because of its closed, for-profit, and self-sufficient strategy. The LGPN on the other hand began life as a very technologically conservative projects, geared to the production of paper volumes of the Lexicon, and has always been reactive to changes in technology rather than proactive as the TLG was; as a result of this, however, they have been able to change with the times, adopt new database and web technologies as they appeared, and are now actively contributing to the development of standards in XML, onomastics, and geo-tagging, and sharing data and tools widely. Finally I argued that any study of the community of digital Classics needs both to consider history (lessons to be learned from projects such as those discussed above, and other venerable projects that are still currently innovative such as Perseus and the DDbDP), and consider the newest technologies, standards, and cyberinfrastructures that will drive our work forward in the future.

(David Robey pointed out that Classics has an important and unique position with the UK arts and humanities community in that the subject associations give validity and respectability by their support of and recognition for digital resources and research.)

Stuart Dunn

In a paper titled The UK’s evolving e-infrastructure and the study of the past, Stuart discussed the national e-Science agenda and how it relates to the practices and needs of the humanities scholar, using as a basis the research process of data collection, analysis, and publication/dissemination. The essential definition of e-Science is that it centres around scholarly collaboration across and between disciplines, and the advanced computational infrastructure that enables this collaboration. e-Science often involves working with huge bodies of data or processing-intensive operations on complex material, and the example of this kind of research Stuart offered was not Classical but Byzantine: the use of agent-based modelling by colleagues in Birmingham to simulate the climactic battle of Manzikert. After some general conclusions on the opportunities for advanced e-infrastructure to be used in the study of the ancient world, there was some lively discussion of geospacial resources in the British and European academic spheres.

Simon Mahony

Simon gave a detailed presentation of the Humslides 2.0 project that he is conducting with the Classics department at King’s College London. Building upon the work carried out in a pilot project in 2006-7 to digitise the teaching slide collections of the Classics department (as a pilot study for the School of Humanities), which adopted a free trial version of the ContentDM management system (trial license now expired, and not renewed), the new project will utilize Web 2.0 tools to present and organize some 7000 slides with more metadata and more input from students and other contributors. A Humslides Flickr group has been established, inspired in part by the Commons group set up by Library of Congress and now contributed to by several other major institutions. As well as providing a teaching resource (currently restricted to KCL students until some thorny copyright issues have been wrinkled out), students will be set assessed coursework tasks to contribute to the tagging and annotating of images in this collection.

Elpiniki Fragkouli

Due to illness, Elpiniki’s paper on Training, Communities of Practice, and Digital Humanities was not delivered at this conference. We shall see whether she would be willing to upload her slides on the Digital Classicist website for discussion.

Amy Smith (Leif Isaksen, Brian Fuchs)

The paper on Lightweight Reuse of Digital Resources with VLMA: perspectives and challenges, originally commissioned for the Digital Classicist panel, was at the last minute and for unknown reasons switched over into a panel on Digital Humanites on Tuesday morning. Amy presented this paper, which discussed lessons learned from the Virtual Lightbox for Museums and Archives project (discussed in detail in their article in the special issue of Digital Medievalist journal we edited). Some conclusions and discussion followed on the topic of RDF and other metadata standards, and on browser-based versus desktop applications for viewing and organizing remote objects.

John Pybus (Alan Bowman, Charles Crowther and Ruth Kirkham)

John’s presentation on A Virtual Research Environment for the Study of Documents and Manuscripts gave a succinct and very useful summary of the history of the VRE research that has been carried out by the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents and the humanities VRE team in Oxford. The project is one of four demo projects conducted by the second phase of work that begin with a user requirements survey in 2006-7. Built using uPortal, the VRE allows remote, parallel, and dynamic consultation and annotation of texts, images, and other resources by multiple scholars simultaneously. John showed some examples of the functionality of the VRE platform, including: the ability to show side-by-side parallel views of a tablet (different images or different renderings of the same image); the juxtaposition of multiple fragments in a lightbox; the ability to share views and exchange instant messages between scholars.

Emma O’Riordan (Michael Fulford, et al.)

In a paper that discussed another project related to the Oxford VRE programme, the Virtual Environment for Research in Archaeology: a Roman case study at Silchester, Emma discussed the origins of the VERA system in the Integrated Archaeological Database (IADB) that has been in use at Silchester for several years. The VERA system allows almost instant publication of the years results (as compared to waiting several months for paper notes to be transcribed); is cheaper than manual transcription; and more reliable than manual transcription; perhaps most importantly, the system enables live communication and collaboration between the archaeologists in the field and scholars in other parts of the world. Emma stressed one lesson from this project which was the importance of working alongside computer scientists, so that development of functionality can take into consideration the needs of the archaeologists as well as the research and interests of the programmers. It was interesting, however, that she also noted the potential pitfalls of too much tinkering with a tool while at work in the field.

Claire Warwick (Melissa Terras, et al.)

Originally scheduled in the second “Digital Humanities” on Tuesday morning, this paper followed logically on from Emma’s, and discussed Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology (VERA): Use and Usability of Integrated Virtual Environments in Archaeological Research. Claire focussed on the evaluation of documentation of the unique needs of archaeologists in the field, and some conclusions the VERA team have been able to draw by the use of questionnaires, diaries, and anonymized interviews with the Silchester workers. Learning new IT skills was considered to be a burdern by students who were already having to learn fieldwork skills on the job; there were also new problems with the technology, as compared to the “pencil and paper” methods for which workflow and solutions had been developed over time. We look forward to a full report on the feedback and usability study that the UCL participants in the VERA project are conducting.

Leif Isaksen

Original scheduled for the “Digital Tools” panel, in this paper, Building a Virtual Community: The Antiquist Experience, Leif spoke to a Digital Classicist audience about a parallel community, Antiquist (who focus on digital approaches to cultural heritage and archaeology). The Antiquist community has an active mailing list (a Google group), a moribund blog, and a wiki whose main function is announcements of events. Antiquist boasts multiple moderators, many of whom try to keep the list active, and from the start they actively invited heritage professionals who were known to them to join the community. There is no set agenda, and membership is from a wide range of industries. Over time, traffic on the list has remained steady, with an unusually high percentage of active participants, but the content of the list traffic has tended recently to become more announcement-focussed rather than long threads and discussions. They are currently considering inviting new moderators to join the team, in the hope of injecting fresh blood and enthusiasm into a team who now rarely innovate and introduce new discussions to the group. Compared to many mailing lists, the community is still very active and very healthy, however. (Leif has usefully uploaded his slideshow and commented in a thread on the Antiquist email group.)

Digital Classicist Podcast

Friday, July 18th, 2008

The Institute for Classical Studies and Digital Classicist Summer seminar series is about half-way through, and the first several audio recordings of the proceedings are now available as part of the Digital Classicist podcast. You can find a list of all seminars in this series, along with links for those that have audio and/or presentations uploaded, at:

Or you can subscribe to the podcast feed itself by pointing your RSS aggregator, iTunes subscription, aut sim., at:

We should welcome ideas for further events to add to this podcast series, and/or partnerships to podcast the results of seminar series of interest to Digital Classicists in the future.

Institute of Classical Studies Work-in-Progress seminars (London)

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Digital Classicist Work-in-Progress seminars
Institute of Classical Studies

Fridays at 16:30 in NG16, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HU
(June 20th, July 4th-18th seminars in room B3, Stewart House)
(June 27th seminar room 218, Chadwick Bdg, UCL, Gower Street)

**ALL WELCOME**

6 June (NG16): Elaine Matthews and Sebastian Rahtz (Oxford), The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names and classical web services

13 June (NG16) Brent Seales (University of Kentucky), EDUCE: Non-invasive scanning for classical materials

20 June (STB3) Dot Porter (University of Kentucky), The Son of Suda On Line: a next generation collaborative editing tool

27 June (UCL Chadwick 218) Bruce Fraser (Cambridge), The value and price of information: reflections on e-publishing in the humanities

4 July (STB3) Andrew Bevan (UCL), Computational Approaches to Human and Animal Movement in the Archaeological Record

11 July (STB3) Frances Foster (KCL), A digital presentation of the text of Servius

18 July (STB9) Ryan Bauman (University of Kentucky), Towards the Digital Squeeze: 3-D imaging of inscriptions and curse tablets

25 July (NG16) Charlotte Tupman (KCL), Markup of the epigraphy and archaeology of Roman Libya

1 Aug (NG16) Juan Garcés (British Library), Digitizing the oldest complete Greek Bible: The Codex Sinaiticus project

8 Aug (NG16) Charlotte Roueché (KCL), From Stone to Byte

15 Aug (NG16) Ioannis Doukas (KCL), Towards a digital publication for the Homeric Catalogue of Ships

22 Aug (NG16) Peter Heslin (Durham), Diogenes: Past development and future plans

**ALL WELCOME**

We are inviting both students and established researchers involved in the application of the digital humanities to the study of the ancient world to come and introduce their work. The focus of this seminar series is the interdisciplinary and collaborative work that results at the interface of expertise in Classics or Archaeology and Computer Science.

The seminar will be followed by wine and refreshments.

Audio recordings and slideshows will be uploaded after each event.

(Sponsored by the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, and the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King’s College London.)

For more information please contact gabriel.bodard@kcl.ac.uk or simon.mahony@kcl.ac.uk, or visit the seminar website at http://www.digitalclassicist.org/wip/wip2008.html

A note from the blog editors

Friday, March 21st, 2008

The authors and editors of the Stoa blog have been hesitant to post a new item to this blog that would take the obituary and memorial to Ross Scaife off the top of the page. However, we are determined that the blogging should go on, and that this site should continue to serve the functions for which Ross founded it.

This blog exists to report, highlight, and comment upon issues of interest to Classicists and Digital Humanists (since 2005 it has also been the official blog of the Digital Classicist community). Its core themes include digital research and publication, events, publications and jobs. We place particular focus on standards, Open Access, Open Source, and other issues that are vital to the future of our fields.

We are in communication with the Stoa Advisory Board, whose members are communicating with the various Stoa project leaders concerning steps for the maintenance and preservation of Stoa content. As their plans formalize, we will report on them here.

Joint Library Digital Classics accessions

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

The Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies and the Institute of Classical Studies has a new blog which will contains updates to, among other things, library news, accommodation and shelving issues, and major accessions. In addition, items of interest to the Digital Classicist community–whether studies of Classics and computing or digital resources on CDRom or online–will be posted with a “digitalclassicist” tag. I’m going to see if we can’t syndicate that list somehow…

Classicists and Text-criticism Technology?

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

I’ve just spotted this blog entry from back in October, but it raises questions worth addressing (questions of perception as well as practice…):

Last week, at the ITSEE launch, I –and several other people– had the opportunity to hear Michael Reeve. He delivered a talk called “Disembodying texts: inflammatory thoughts fuelled by the editing of Pliny’s Natural History,” during which he stated that classicists, unlike New Testament scholars and those in other fields, did not readily make use of computer technologies. An alarm went off in my mind, while images of Digital Classicist and Perseus flashed in front of my eyes. Is it possible –I thought– that I have just imagined these things?

Fortunately, a quick look at the Digital Classicist Wiki makes evident that Classicists clearly are making use of electronic resources. Well, then I am not as out of touch as I thought. However, the fact that classicists might be using some electronic resources does not mean that these resources concentrate in textual scholarship. Indeed, a survey of the Projects found in the DC Wiki shows that of the 20 listed projects, only 5 appear to present edited texts (Curse Tablets from Roman Britain, Digital Nestle-Aland Prototype, Electronic Boethius, Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project and Vindolanda Tablets Online). The other 15 projects are databases, archives, concordances and other tools for the study of classical texts. But there is even more, Netither the Digital Nestle-Aland nor the Electronic Boethius really fit in the “Classical box.”

(Note that the correct link to the Digital Classicist wiki should now be http://wiki.digitalclassicist.org/)

Full entry at: http://www.textualscholarship.org/blog/?p=5

Anti-spam

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

After installing Spam Karma 2 (a WordPress plugin), I’ve turned comments on as the default for this blog. We’ll see how it goes…

Digital Classicist: Announcement and Call for Participation

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Dieser Aufruf zur Beteiligung kann man auch auf deutsch lesen
Cet appel à participation se trouve aussi en français
Questa richiesta di partecipazione e’ disponibile anche in Italiano

We should like to announce the creation of a new project and community, hosted by the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (KCL), applying humanities computing to the study of the ancient world. The Digital Classicist has a pilot web site at http://www.digitalclassicist.org, which, as well as serving as a placeholder for further content, sets out our aims and objectives in a preliminary manner. As you will see, key sections of the website and summaries of articles will, where possible, be translated into the major languages of European scholarship: e.g. English, French, German, Italian, Spanish etc. The project also comprises a discussion list, a Wiki, and a Blog.

The project, which is committed to being ongoing and available in the long term, fills a gap in the current academic environment: there are countless important digital research projects in the classics, including many that offer advice and share tools; there are sites that discuss, host, or list such resources (the Stoa, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents in Oxford, EAGLE in Rome, to name but a few); but there is no single platform for scholars and interested experts in the international and polyglot community to discuss problems, share experiences, post news and advice, and go to for help on all matters digital and classical. We shall of course work closely with other organisations and projects that are active in these areas (in particular the Stoa, and other subject communities such as the Digital Medievalist, including specialists in archaeological, historical, and geographical technologies), to avoid excessive overlap and maximise co-operation and collaboration.

At this point we especially need members of the international scholarly community to contribute to the project. If you feel you could get involved in an editorial capacity, or you could recommend somebody else to do so, please do get in touch. There is no obligation that editors give up many hours of their time, of course–editorial roles are discussed in a posting at http://tinyurl.com/cpdsu . In addition we should be very grateful if you could suggest other people–especially those in non-Anglophone Europe–who might be interested in participating in this project in any way.

And in any case, please spread the word, join the mailing list and get involved in the discussions as we establish this new project and community.

Best regards,

The Editors
digitalclassicist.org

Digital Classicist blog on Stoa

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

This is probably self-evident by now, but I should like to announce that the Digital Classicist blog, formerly on eBlogger, has moved and merged with the Stoa blog. We intend to publish more news items on this site regarding events, projects, tools, publications, and job advertisements of interest to Classicists. (Much of the same as what Ross has been doing all of this time, just more of us now!)

To learn more about the Digital Classicist’s charter and agenda, or to get involved, please visit: http://www.digitalclassicist.org/