Dr Toby Burrows, Lecture @ WA Branch of Australian Society of Archivists

“Computing the History of Cultural Heritage Collections”, Dr Toby Burrows (Library Manager – Research Publication and Data Services, University of Western Australia)

Date: Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Time: 4:00PM – 6:00 PM
Venue: State Records Office of Western Australia, James Street, Perth
Registrations: Please register through the ASA website to help with planning for this event: https://www.archivists.org.au/events/event/wa-branch-event-presentation-by-dr-toby-burrows
Cost: No charge for ASA members, gold coin donation for others on the day

This presentation will focus on the re-use of data relating to collections in libraries, museums and archives to address research questions in the humanities. Large-scale research into the history and characteristics of cultural heritage materials is heavily dependent on the availability of collections data in appropriate formats. Until recently, this kind of research has been seriously limited by lack of access to suitable data. The speaker will be discussing four major projects. The first two relate to medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, and involve using data from a range of digital and non-digital sources to reconstruct the histories of large numbers of manuscripts, both from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps and more generally. For the third project, “Collecting the West”, I am working with the British Museum to evaluate their ResearchSpace software, which is designed to integrate heterogeneous collection data into a cultural heritage knowledge graph. The final project is HuNI – the Humanities Networked Infrastructure – which is endeavouring to build a “virtual laboratory” for the humanities by reshaping collections data into semantic information networks.

Toby Burrows’ research interests focus on the history of cultural heritage collections and the use of digital humanities techniques and methodologies. He has held research fellowships at King’s College London, Churchill College Cambridge and the Free University in Amsterdam. Come and hear Toby Burrows before he heads off to UK in June.