Do you find this blog useful? Have you been inspired by one of my talks or workshops? Do you use any of my tools?
I’m committed to making my various experiments and research projects publicly accessible, and I often hear anecdotally that people find my tinkering valuable. But when it comes time to apply for a job or a grant it’s hard to point to any real evidence. So I’ve created this testimonials page to try and collect some examples.
If I’ve helped you please feel free to add your thoughts below. Thanks!
From Christina Twomey (Monash University):
I have just used the NAA Archives viewer you created. It is simply fantastic and I wanted to write and say how much I appreciate it! As a longtime archives user, there have been years of frustration viewing those digitised pages one at a time. The capacity to save the whole file as a .pdf is also brilliant.
Many thanks again for your ingenuity and know-how.
THATCamp Digital Humanities and Libraries 2012
The second inspiration is the great work that Tim Sherratt (@wragge) has done and continues to do with digital collections at a variety of Australian institutions. (Seriously, someone give this man a job.) I particularly recommend looking carefully at the work Sherratt has done with digitized collections from the National Archives of Australia in projects like Invisible Australians.
Harold White Fellowship Lecture
From Doug Moncur’s Stuff, geeky stuff blog:
Tim’s preso was entertaining funny and deeply interesting. I’m not going to summarise it but to make a different and equally serious point. A lot of this text mining work was done on a laptop with scripts.
No Amazon elastic compute, no farms of VM’s crunching data, just a laptop, some inspiration and access to some large data sets.
We often talk about ‘citizen science’ and that usually brings up a picture of geeky individuals doing species censuses. What Tim has shown is that given time and inspiration it is possible to do citizen data science.
In a sense he’s reverse-engineering the bureaucracy that once determined who was a proper Australian and is using the record-keeping used to control and oppress people to restore their history. He’s also taking what cultural institutions do – preserve, sort, interpret, and present culture – and reorganizing it using different rules. His search is guided by his questions, not by the categories the cultural institution uses… It’s an exhilarating demonstration of what can happen with open data and an open mind.