Notes from Our Digital Future event (part 1)

My employers kindly sent me to the Our Digital Future event back in October, organised by LCACE and hosted by the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College London. The event was aimed at cultural heritage organisations (museums, libraries and archives) and looked at digital projects and the potential of collaboration. I’m going to use a few posts to put my bullet-point notes from several of the event’s sessions online in case anyone else finds them helpful!

Below the cut are my notes from the presentation on Collaboration given by Simon Tanner, director of King’s Digital Consultancy Services.

Collaboration: working together to build the digital future – Simon Tanner, director of King’s Digital Consultancy Services

  • KCL’s Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) works by starting with research questions, then using tech to enable those questions to be answered.
  • List of projects available at http://www.cch.kcl.ac.uk/research/projects (all are free to access)
  • Current projects
    • are often published online – not necessarily resulting in a book any more
    • use multiple source types and formats – not just scanning documents. e.g. AV, maps…
    • are multi-disciplinary as no-one can do everything alone
    • stakeholder needs override technical demands – not technology for its own sake
  • Collaboration isn’t easy, but allows you to achieve more! Make sure you always give partners due credit.
  • Digital preservation is a growing issue.
  • If you need infrastructure, give IT staff plenty of warning. e.g. if streaming video – do you have a video server? Do the firewall settings need alteration?
  • Always document what you do – aids changes/fixing problems in future.
  • When pitching a project, define solid objectives, goals and deliverables – helps senior management understand project.
  • Be prepared to ‘sell’ the project – e.g. a Welsh 19th century journal digitisation project was presented as ‘a century of Welsh thoughts and ideas’ – gained support and funding!
  • AHDS has rebranded – now Centre for E-Research (CERCH)
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