Some of the participants at the conference who reported it on twitter: Brett Holman (@Airminded), Yvonne Perkins (@perkinsy), Dave Earl (@davegearl) and Ashleigh Gilbertson (@a_gilbertson).
Sharing history with the public has been a strong theme at the Australian Historical Association Conference. Wonderful! There is so much to be done and so much that can be done. It is encouraging to see that so many historians are actively addressing this in their work.
Reaching out to the public was shown in myriad ways throughout this conference. Aside from writing a book that the public can read, historians demonstrated that they are connecting to the general public through:
- Public history;
- Digital humanities; and
- Social media.
Use of technology is an important aspect of most, if not all these categories, however, much can be done with minimal technical skills. Continue reading
We have had lots of fun playing family cricket on the nearby oval these holidays. Here I am wicket keeping while my sister-in-law is batting. Photo by Ian Woolward
Blogs and cricket have something important in common – statistics! This week I’ve enjoyed spending lots of time with my family visiting from interstate and watching the exciting Boxing Day test match between India and Australia. It was a great example of test cricket – four days of see-sawing between the teams until Australia finally won. I tried to write a blog post while watching the cricket but the cricket was way too interesting for me to write anything worth posting. Instead, I thought I would join the other bloggers out there and create a list of the posts on this blog that generated the most hits in 2011. Continue reading
The old Parliament House is now the Museum of Australian Democracy.
GLAM is an evocative acronym referring to Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. I had booked an extra couple of days in Canberra after attending a digital humanities ‘unconference’ (called THAT Camp Canberra), so I GLAMmed it up and visited some of our national cultural resources. I had a ball, but there was a more serious motive behind it all. Aside from generally opening my horizons, I wanted to become more familiar with the work of those cultural institutions of relevance or potential relevance to my work. Continue reading
Story telling was the subject of a conference I attended at University of Sydney’s Women’s College recently. History, journalism and fiction writing were covered by the History or Herstory conference. Not only were a broad range of genres covered, the conference also covered a wide range of issues from the traditional to those arising from the technological revolution we are experiencing. For the last few weeks I have been mired in domestic mundanity. This conference was a welcome diversion!
Over the last few months I have been exploring the use and implications of technology for history, so I was looking forward to the panels which were focussing on these issues. I was not disappointed. The panel discussing new ways to share stories and the future of the book generated vigorous discussion and was certainly the highlight of the conference for me as was the session that followed it on the topic ‘e-books vs. books’. There was the expected concern about the market for books and the disruption to publishing caused by the emergence of the book but it was good to hear a considered discussion that did not settle for one extreme or other. Pip Smith, who has harnessed new technology in some exciting creative initiatives, captured this mood when she said that we should not be “absolutist” about our position on books and e-books. Mark Tanner reiterated this comment in the next panel when he argued that it is not an “either/or situation”. Tanner looks after Google’s relationships with publishers throughout Australasia and south-east Asia. Despite having a vested interest in the e-publishing business, he had no qualms about arguing that books will continue to have a role to play alongside e-books. Continue reading
Source: Public Record Office, London, via Wikimedia Commons.
I believe that we all have an inner geek somewhere inside. In some this is patently obvious, geekiness is their whole life, but I reckon that everyone has a tiny bit of this even though it may not be seen often. There are many signs of the inner geek:
- delighting in setting microwave clocks for others;
- knowing the ins and outs of f-numbers on cameras;
- spending hours playing computer games;
- tinkering with cars;
- finding constructing do-it-yourself furniture is fun;
- getting the most out of your mobile phone apps;
- relishing cricket statistics (or blog statistics).
I don’t know where I sit on the geek scale but I confess to the last three on the list. Given that my first choice of career was in accounting, it is hardly surprising that I have an inner geek.
In celebration of my inner geek I have launched a new blog, Stumbling through the Future. I have been delving into the world of digital humanities and I figured that the general reader who reads this blog may not be interested in learning about the nuts and bolts of how to exploit the digital world. To launch my new blog I have written a post about how I extracted large numbers of articles from the Australian digitised newspaper database hosted by Trove and have launched on a quest to find great software to help me analyse the language used in these articles. Like my previous post about analysing information held by Trove, this post explains how the tools created by Wragge can prove a boon for historians.
If you are interested in digital humanities I hope that you will enjoy reading my posts on Stumbling through the Future. If not I hope that you will continue to enjoy reading my posts on this blog.