This is a practical event around the funding of collections. Its goal is to bring together funders and professionals from cultural heritage organisations, such as museums, libraries and archives, to discuss prospective funding opportunities and ideas for enhancing and strengthening collections across the country and beyond. As this year’s conference theme explores the digital shift in practices and collections, particular emphasis will be placed on the role of fundraising in facilitating digital innovation in the cultural heritage sector.
Delegates will have the chance to learn about current funding schemes and examples of projects that have championed innovation through collections in the digital age. This will include information on:
— A funded project fostering digital innovation in collections and the funding scheme which supported it.
— Advice on building successful collaborations between funders and grantees, including the possibilities opened through such partnerships and any challenges that these may involve.
— Any lessons learnt and recommendations to delegates wishing to apply for grants.
W1. Digitisation for digital scholarship: shaping requirements for a more strategic and coordinated approach to digitisation
This hands-on workshop will be an opportunity for participants to provide input into the strategic direction of Jisc’s work to support institutions with a more coordinated approach to digitisation in its broader sense, from planning to resourcing, partnership working, ensuring discovery and take up, demonstrating impact, and issues surrounding the purchasing of collections from commercial publishers.
The workshop will be relevant to colleagues both in strategic and operational roles within libraries and archives. It will include interactive group work to provide input at strategic level as well as prioritise concrete interventions to inform Jisc’s work with and across the sector.
W2. Digital scholarship and the modern research library
Judy Burg (Durham), Siobhan Convery (Glasgow), Stuart Lewis (NLS), Beth Clark (LSE), Anna Grigson (LSE), Paul Johnson (Reading)
This workshop will bring together practitioners and leaders to explore different perspectives on navigating the digital shift. The workshop will be presented and facilitated jointly by members of RLUK networks (relating to Digital Scholarship, Collections Strategy, Special Collections, and Leadership at Associate Director and Director level). We can all see the potential of linking our collections and the expertise of staff within libraries, with new digital technologies and the emerging research interests and teaching methods which they can enable. Through thought –provoking questions and discussions we will seek to offer ideas that bring together expertise and leadership to help realise this potential.
W3. Transcription in the age of machines: a workshop
Mark Bell, Senior Digital Researcher, The National Archives
Pip Willcox, Head of Research, The National Archives
Francesca Mackenzie, Digital Archivist, The National Archives
Louise Seaward, Academic Engagement Manager, The National Archives
Jane Whittle, Professor of Economic and Social History, Exeter University
Advances in Machine Learning enable computers to learn to ‘read’ handwriting. With millions of pages of digitised handwritten documents, heritage organisations have the potential to make these documents fully searchable, and to turn them into linked datasets, surfacing millions of connections between documents. Machines can’t do everything: in order to learn thousands of styles of handwriting they need help from people.
This workshop will present The National Archives’ work with the Transkribus platform, experiment with methods of engaging audiences with training in fun, educational and rewarding ways, and identify opportunities for collaboration in projects wishing to explore this technology.