Information Access Seminar

Digital Humanities and Penniless Scholars

Friday, September 26, 2014
3:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Michael Buckland, Clifford Lynch, and Ryan Shaw

A wide variety of impressive projects demonstrate the possibilities of applying digital techniques in the humanities, softer social sciences, and cultural heritage when substantial funding and technical expertise are available. In parallel, a variety of more of less complex standards have emerged (e.g. Linked Open Data). But the typical individual historian, editor, archivist, or curator does not have the financial or technical resources (technical knowledge or experience, time, resistance to opaque ‘black box’ options, IT support, and/or money) to take advantage of the techniques and tools that have been developed, usually at considerable expense. Even simple tools made available for free are unlikely to be adopted if they are not smoothly incorporated into existing work practices and standard office software suites and/or web browsers. Widespread adoption of new tools is likely only if they are well-understood, the marginal cost and effort of adoption is very low, the practical benefits are high enough to motivate use, and stability of support is assured. Join us for a discussion of these issues. For background take a look at and the “Light and Shadows” website.

Ryan B. Shaw, Ph.D. '10, is an assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and chief scientist in the "Editorial Practices and the Web" project. He will join the seminar via Skype.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015