Emergent mobile technologies offer museum professionals new ways of engaging visitors with their collections. Museums are powerful learning environments and mobile technology can enable visitors to experience the narratives in museum objects and galleries and integrate them with their own personal reflections and interpretations. UCL‟s QRator project is exploring how handheld mobile devices and interactive digital labels can create new models for public engagement, personal meaning making and the construction of narrative opportunities inside museum spaces. The use of narrative in museums has long been recognised as a powerful communication technique to engage visitors and to explore the different kinds of learning and participation that result. Many museums make extensive use of narrative, or storytelling, as a learning, interpretive, and meaning making tool. This chapter discusses the potential for mobile technologies to connect museums to audiences through co-creation of narratives, taking the QRator project as a case study. The QRator project aims to stress the necessity of engaging visitors actively in the creation of their own interpretations of museum collections through the integration of QR codes, iPhone, iPad, and Android apps into UCL‟s Grant Museum of Zoology. Although this chapter will concentrate on mobile technology created for a natural history museum, issues of meaning making and narrative creation through mobile technology are applicable to any discipline. In the first instance, the concern is with the development of mobile media in museums followed by a discussion of the QRator project which stresses the opportunities and challenges in utilizing mobile technology to enhance visitor meaning making and narrative construction. Finally, this chapter discusses the extent to which mobile technologies might be used purposefully to transform institutional cultures, practices and relationships with visitors.
Digital developments in scholarly publishing are giving rise to new data sources with the potential to provide insight into how OA monographs are being used and to support strategic decision-making by publishers. However, small OA monograph publishers face practical challenges in identifying relevant data, as well as in capturing, managing and interpreting it. This case study of UCL Press reports on a collaborative research project that sought to address some of these challenges. The project involved UCL Press, Knowledge Unlatched Research and the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University in Australia (CCAT). Our goal was to identify the extent to which data that can be easily accessed by a small OA monograph press can be combined with low-cost tools for its analysis in order to provide useful insight into development and strategy; and to identify practical steps that can be taken by small OA monograph publishers to ensure that they are making the most of the data that they have access to.
Melissa Terras is Director of UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, Professor of Digital Humanities in UCL’s Department of Information Studies, and Vice Dean of Research in UCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. With a background in Classical Art History, English Literature, and Computing Science, her doctorate (Engineering, University of Oxford) examined how to use advanced information engineering technologies to interpret and read Roman texts. Publications include “Image to Interpretation: Intelligent Systems to Aid Historians in the Reading of the Vindolanda Texts” (2006, Oxford University Press) and “Digital Images for the Information Professional” (2008, Ashgate) and she has co-edited various volumes such as “Digital Humanities in Practice” (Facet 2012) and “Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader” (Ashgate 2013). She is currently serving on the Board of Curators of the University of Oxford Libraries, and the Board of the National Library of Scotland, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and Fellow of the British Computer Society. Her research focuses on the use of computational techniques to enable research in the arts and humanities that would otherwise be impossible. You can generally find her on twitter @melissaterras.
This study of UCL Press sought to identify the extent to which data available to Open Access (OA) monograph presses can be combined with low-cost analysis tools to provide insight into development and strategy. An additional goal was identifying practical steps that monograph publishers can take to ensure that they make the most of the data they have access to. The project team carried out analysis of download figures from platforms providing access to UCL Press monograph titles; social media activity; and sales patterns. Patterns of engagement with the books were cross-referenced against key marketing and dissemination events in order to identify relationships between marketing approaches and awareness or use of a title. The study shows that it is possible to gain valuable insights into the uses of OA books by collating and analyzing usage and social media data. It also identifies a series of relatively straight-forward steps that can be taken by presses to maximise the richness of data captured. These include proactively gathering and storing data; providing best practice advice to those engaging in promotion, particularly when promotion is via social media; and making it easier to track specific efforts to publicise books by using tagged links.
My forthcoming book – Constance Naden: Scientist, Philosopher and Poet – won the 2017 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Nineteenth-Century Studies and is due to be published in summer 2019; it builds upon my PhD thesis on Naden as an exemplary Victorian interdisciplinary thinker. My work on Naden appears in Victorian Poetry (2018), Journal of Victorian Culture (with Sarah Parker, 2018), and Literature Compass (2017). I have also published on gender, class, and disability in the case of the artificial hand in Victorian Literature and Culture (2017). My current research focuses on nineteenth-century freethought periodicals. I was awarded a 2017 Curran Fellowship by the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals to undertake a project titled ‘Reviewing The Secular Review (1876-1907)’ and I am developing a postdoctoral project provisionally called ‘Reading the Freethought Movement in Britain: Atheism, Agnosticism, and Secularism, 1866–1907’. I am co-editor on the Routledge Historical Resource Nineteenth-Century Religion and Literature, Vol. 4 Doubt, Disbelief and New Beliefs. I was the 2017/18 C19 Matters Early-Career Fellowship at Cardiff University (run jointly by BAVS and BARS) and I am currently Research Impact Officer for UCL’s Faculties of Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences. I have been a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where I taught on a variety of modules within the BA and MA programmes, and more recently taught on the BA Comparative Literature degree at UCL. Until May 2019, I also worked in a professional services role within UCL’s English Department. Blog: https://nadensyearinsonnets.wordpress.com/
2010-2015, PhD, History of Art, UCL.
2005-2010, MA, History of Art, University of Crete.
1998-2003, BA, Histor…
Nikos Pegioudis is an art historian. He has received his PhD from the Department of History of Art at University College London (UCL) in 2015 with a dissertation titled ‘Artists and Radicalism in Germany, 1890-1933: Reform, Politics and the Paradoxes of the Avant-Garde’. In 2017-2018 he obtained a DAAD fellowship for a postodoctoral research project at the Freie Universität Berlin which was titled ‘Cultural Transfer in Architecture and Urban Planning: German Architecture and the Making of the Architect’s Profession in Greece, 1930-1950’. He has written various articles on the history of art, design and architecture in peer-reviewed academic journals and volumes. His main research interests are in German and Greek visual culture, architecture, the sociology of the avant-garde, politics of artistic professions, artistic labor and economic precarity.
Whether in universities, cultural heritage organizations such as museums, libraries and archives, commercial contexts and even in individuals’ homes the application of computing to cultural heritage is transforming how the human record can be transmitted, shaped, understood, questioned and imagined. An increasingly mainstream area of academic research, in 2011 some 134 different academic courses offering Digital Humanities were identified (Spiro, 2011) and anecdotally it is clear that this number has increased since. The MA/MSc in DH in the Department of Information Studies, UCL was launched in 2010i. It is an interdisciplinary programme, exploring the intersection of digital technologies, humanities scholarship, and cultural heritage. Through it students with humanities backgrounds can develop necessary skills in digital technologies; students with technical backgrounds can develop necessary skills in humanities. It is designed to produce students capable of performing the roles of project manager, information specialist or researcher within the cultural and heritage industry. It also provides relevant skills for publishing, and for those wishing to work in the construction of computational systems for distributing and archiving vast quantities of information. The course INSTG008 Digital Resources in the Humanities (hereafter DRH) is a core course for students on the DH MA/MSc and an optional course for students on other programmes offered by the UCL Department of Information Studies. Here we explore an exercise developed for the course that aims to fosters integrative learning via an object-based learning approach. This exercise, in turn, reflects some of the many ways that integrative teaching and learning is being incorporated into the MA/MSc in DH as part of a wider object-based learning context. This chapter looks at the role of object based learning for an integrative approach to Digital Humanities pedagogy.