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DigiCULT
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devoted to archiving endangered languages
were examined, as were many aspects of
image archives and visual resources.
Structure and content of digital libraries
and other collections were debated too,
several papers introducing very specific
new resources such as the Forced
Migration Online Portal (http://www.
forcedmigration.org/) and the TV Times
Digitisation Project. Other themes emerg-
ing from the grouped papers were: encod-
ing and mark-up, XML, and data standards;
changing scholarly communities; rehousing
historical data; places and spaces; new
approaches to cultural preservation; and an
excellent series of papers and exhibits on
resource discovery services for the arts and
humanities (Artifact (http://www.arti
fact.ac.uk/),The Arts and Humanities Data
Service (http://www. ahds.ac.uk), EDINA
(http://edina.ac.uk), Humbul Humanities
Hub (http://www. humbul. ac.uk/), and
the Resource Discovery Network
(http://www.rdn .ac.uk)).
T
he conference plenary speeches
reflected the overall themes of the
four days' activities. Meg Bellinger,
Associate University Librarian for
Integrated Systems and Technical Services,
Yale University Library, opened the con-
ference with a speech considering technol-
ogy related to the creation and use of
knowledge objects, and the implications of
transformative technologies on preserva-
tion of information. She went on to pro-
vide an overview of digital repository
developments.The two engaging and
entertaining speakers who closed the con-
ference,Theodor Nelson (founder of
Project Xanadu, the original hypertext
project, and Senior Fellow of the McLuhan
Institute,Toronto) and Kim Veltman
(Scientific Director of the Maastricht
McLuhan Institute and founder of E-
Culture Net), discussed the past, current
and future state of the Web and current
and new modes of access to the informa-
tion it presents.
ect-based and technical
papers and gave a well-
rounded and detailed
view of distinct areas of
the sector. Although the-
matically linked sessions
were deliberately organ-
ised, the extremely effi-
cient timekeeping of
session chairs allowed
attendees to pick and
choose individual papers
within each group.
Themes that arose from
linked groups of papers
were varied and offered a
comprehensive view of
the digital humanities
sector. Many themes were wide-ranging
and some more specific; from the confer-
ence as a whole, many pertinent issues
emerged, often posing more questions than
were answered!
S
pecific papers on how to digitise the
cultural past and present it in a mean-
ingful and accessible way included discus-
sions on maximising learning potential for
children, re-presenting historical data (in
projects such as 3D Virtual Buildings and
the Cromwell in Ireland `time-maps' proj-
ect), and the digitisation of community,
cultural and religious resources.There were
also many presentations devoted to issues
surrounding digital publishing and the
changing of texts and access to them.
Papers ranged from technical projects such
as using computers to assist in analysis of
fictional texts,
51
to presentation of E-
Books, to more abstract dialogues on the
changing nature of publishing, and a panel
of publishers discussed the approaches to
and effects of digital publishing as a whole.
N
aturally, many of the papers and
posters concentrated on digital col-
lections: libraries, archives, museums and
brand new resources. Digital archives from
the UK National Archive to small projects
Humanities at the University of
Gloucestershire. Presentations, poster dis-
cussions and plenary speeches were held
within the beautiful Park Campus, 25 acres
of landscaped parkland a short distance
from the centre of Cheltenham, which
contained the conference venues and
accommodation for all participants.
T
here were over 160 participants in
attendance, from across Europe,
Australasia and the Americas, over 100 of
whom also presented a paper or project.
The ages and backgrounds of the attendees
varied widely, representing a wide cross-
section of the people in the digital cultural
heritage community.
T
he programme was packed with
interesting projects and presentations,
making it difficult to choose which ses-
sions to attend although many papers
were subsequently discussed among partic-
ipants around the dinner table, allowing for
an informal (and often animated) insight
into presentations which may have been
missed by individuals. Papers were grouped
into linked sessions, allowing the presenta-
tion of a particular topic from several dif-
ferent angles.This grouping encouraged a
refreshing combination of theoretical, proj-
The busy poster sessions in the exhibition hall.
51 Cf. DigiCULT.Info article on Autonom, in this issue.
LINK
DigiCUL
T
,
Daisy
Abbott,
2003