Paul Turnbull & Mark Fallu. Making cross-cultural history in networked digital media

Detailed paper

Too often, solutions in e-humanities complicate rather than supporting work. The point of e-research is to enable work.

Building on existing web project on the history of the South Seas with NLA. Political, cultural, and technical problems have been encountered. They have made a point to use techniques and technical standards for web-based scholarship. Historians have disputed that they used the web instead of computers to communicate -- but they do anyway.

Will now use TEI P5 markup, which they couldn't use in 2000. Want web-based collaborative editing. Images with Persistent identifiers; can scrape metadata off Picture Australia, and otherwise capitalise on other existing online resources.

Collaboration with AUSTeHC allowed solid grounding of knowledge management.

By 2000 the future of digital history was distributed/collaborative editorship. Visual appraisal of historical knowldge is important (Yet Another Google Maps Mashup; also timelines) (CIDOC CRM ontology entries) --- this is now feasible, not really back then.

Complex and contested knowledge: a nodal architecture, using ontologies and based on PLONE (CIDOC-CRM, with Finnish History Ontology (HISTO) and ABC Harmony). Lots of tools now available, should be able to integrate rather than redesign.

Information will not stay static or be represented in a single way; need to create connections between information on the fly. TEI P4 markup is sound foundation, stores the original textual record; TEI P5 introduces model of relation between content and real world (semantics). They have built on that with microformats --- not embedded in the original XML, but in annotation.

Migrating content online: build conditions of trust. Without a solid architecture, cannot trust presentation of knowledge enough to build scholarly debate on it.

Must be careful of language use in persuading academics to adopt technology. e.g. you are representing Knowledge, not mere Content.

e-history is a partnership between historian and IT: it is not just the historian's intellectual achievement. Yet the problem in the past has been foregrounding IT, rather than what IT can do for scholarship.

No comments: