This post was written by Martin Lugton, co-organiser of THATCamp London 2013 – The Humanities and Technology Camp. It is the first in a week of guest posts related to our GLAM-WIKI Conference, which takes place this weekend at the British Library, London.
I’m excited about THATCamp London 2013 because I’m trying to understand what digital technology might mean for culture.
What are digital’s possibilities for the creation, sharing and experiencing of meaning? How might digital help us understand ourselves and our works, or allow us to challenge and transform our understandings of the world?
My academic background is in ‘non-digital’ history, so I’m still quite new to this area of thought. While I encountered some weighty work with datasets in my time as an undergraduate – for example the work of the Cambridge Population Studies Group – my course did not explore digital humanities. My primary interest was in cultural history, and reading Chartier’s Forms and Meanings started me off thinking about forms, context and meaning. So I’ll be hoping to think about meaning and culture as well as seeing examples of work with large datasets at THATCamp London 2013.
I’ve been developing my skills to better enable me to actively participate in digital culture. In the last year I’ve started learning programming (Python and C), and I hope that THATCamp London 2013 will allow me to get a better idea of the types of projects I might be able to contribute to, and the directions in which I might like to develop these skills.
In addition to participant-run seminars and workshops, as part of THATCamp London 2013 we’re also hosting a Europeana hackathon. So there’s going to be lots of creative activity around the Europeana catalogue of cultural works, using the Europeana API. I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of things people are doing with APIs – or could be doing! It’ll be my first hackathon, so I’m interested to see what sort of scope and scale of activity can feasibly be carried out in such a short sprint.
I’m looking forward to a varied, challenging and exciting day, and to making some connections with other THATCampers.
If you’d like to join us, this free one-day unconference – supported by Wikimedia UK and held at the British Library – is taking place on Sunday 14 April. This comes at the end of the GLAM-WIKI conference, which brings Wikimedians and cultural institutions together to share experience and ideas.
We’d love for you to join us. To register your free place, please head over to the THATCamp London 2013 website.
To learn more about Martin’s work, visit his website here