Are you an archivist or librarian in the GLAM sector interested in how large national collections are structured, or a software engineer developing new ways of working with largescale collections and big data? Are you a researcher working with digitised newspapers?

Join us for a 2-hour workshop in which we will discuss the issues arising from the research that led to the Atlas of Digitised Newspapers and Metadata, and provide a space for wider discussions about digitised collections past, present and future.

Our research has analysed the history and structure of ten national collections, and the event will offer opportunities to discuss the findings of our work, which gives a guide to digitised newspapers around the world, while also including broader discussions about the future of periodicals research and digitisation projects. The plan is to create a collaborative space for researchers, as well as archivists and librarians, to forge new connections.

We’re offering two different times, so check this time zone converter to confirm the time in your location.

Workshop 1: 8-10am BST, 19 August

Workshop 2: 4-6pm BST, 20 August

About the Workshop

The aims of the workshop are to:

  • Present the findings and outputs of the project, showing how it can foster new research methods and approaches to digitised newspapers, inviting critical discussion

  • Provide participants with the opportunity to collaborate on solving problems and challenges related to historical digitised newspaper collections from historical/literary, archival/library science and computer science perspectives

  • Create a space for critical discussion of the future of digitised newspaper collections, and of future research opportunities for those working with digitised newspaper collections


During the workshop, participants will be divided into breakout rooms to discuss the following topics. When registering, please select a challenge and enter the email address associated with your Zoom account so that we can pre-assign these groups.

Historical / Literary Scholarship Challenge

This group will consider the issues facing historical and literary researchers working with collections, and how input from these researchers might help shape collections. For example, what would your workflow be if you were trying to analyse newspaper layout changes in response to cheaper newspapers/lower taxation/wider readerships (demographically)? What metadata fields might you be interested in? Based on your research and experience, what kinds of things should a person inputting metadata for digitised newspapers know (e.g. what level of detail/types of categories/sources for determining)?

Librarian and Archival Science Challenge:

This group will bring together the experience of librarians and archivists from different kinds of collections to consider what useful contributions from academics/independent users would look like in terms of metadata, archive structures, and access. What format should such contributions take? We also invite the group to identify particular challenges facing your collections (or future collections). What is needed to solve these problems? What input from collaborators would be helpful?

Data, Information and Computer Science Challenge:

This group will consider the more technical questions and what the next technological steps might be. How can metadata include provenance information in a sensible way (i.e. without lots of string fields)? What methods and approaches might be used in enabling researchers to work across fields in collections, with all the messiness and inconsistencies?