Exploring the Atlas of Digitised Newspapers and Metadata Workshop Closing Plenary

Video Transcription

So just to reiterate, I think I said it in the video and I think I said it earlier today, this morning: the Atlas project was to create the contextual data for the ten collections that we were working on in Oceanic Exchanges, and Oceanic Exchanges was looking specifically at text reprinting and concept or semantic drift, which is the ideas moving from place to place over the century within those collections. But we really want the Atlas to be something that is continuing to expand, going into the future, and something that is more representative. In terms of what collections do you think are particularly apt to include in something like the Atlas, that you would like to see, also what sorts of things, features, or ways of going about documentation, things that you’ve seen in other collections that maybe should be more broadly known, more broadly taken up, or is there something in our Atlas that you have any questions about, or are there any sections—especially to our database histories—that didn’t answer your questions? Is there something you really would have liked to have comparable data about in these different collections that we didn’t think of? Is there a subheading that was missing? So that’s a lot of topics for discussion but feel free to raise your hand or to jump in, in the deafening silence that I’m sure that will occur for several seconds, or type something in the chat. So, what do you think about what is in the Atlas, missing from the Atlas, or what would you like to see going forward and why?

While people are typing away as I see they are, I’ll just make a quick note to Hannah’s point about some of the digitization. There are certain issues on the Google digitized newspapers where they’re obviously editor copies, because there are letters written in the side margins of some of the newspapers because it was free for newspaper editors to post newspaper copies to each other to promote cut-and-paste journalism, so some of the Google digitized from microfilm versions actually have these lovely letters from editors to each other written in half-code, and there’s no way to find out where these are, or tell people about them in a very specific way. So that marginalia is something that I would love to see functionality for: what are additions, which version of the text was digitized, is something I would really love to see in collections in some metadata fields.

And following on from that point, I think I mentioned it in one of the videos that many collections digitize a particular edition of the day, so it’s normally the evening edition. They just do the one edition, so if you’re interested in morning editions and other editions during the day they’re often not there, but it’s also often not clear if they are there or not, because some collections have a policy of just having that evening edition but they do still contain or still have some of the other editions as well. So, I talked a bit about that in the video, but I think it’s something that collections could make clearer for people to use. In terms of features in other collections I like, again I think I mentioned it in the video that the Impresso project has imported from libraries—and this is the Luxembourg Impresso newspapers, which has a thing about the political affiliation of their newspapers, where it’s available, and sometimes it’s really weirdly specific because it’s drawn from what they what the newspaper says about itself and what the library says. So, it’s a really variable field, but that information being part of the metadata is really, really useful.

In the chat we’ve got a comment from Sinai that says there’s a wide international collection that they would very much like to include and that’s JPress, the Jewish historical press platform, which would be brilliant definitely to widen the more Anglophone focus, absolutely. And the point from Nicola as well about data visualizations, and I think—I apologize, I can’t remember who said it now—one of the groups was talking about the idea of helping start-up collections, or people who wanted to start up, and I think that’s something that we didn’t have enough time (and maybe data) to put together, but going forward with the Atlas we wanted to hold a couple more workshops with collection holders, or people who were intimately connected with collections, to see about what would be a great procedure, which would be something that would be how to digitize, meet metadata standards, provide user feedback, and a how-to guide. And I think that’s something that the Atlas could make available, with the support of the community, that I would love to see, and absolutely—doing it with visualizations is something that I would very much appreciate. I am a visual thinker myself. So now Christine says a how-to on digitization would be awesome.

So there’s a question from John: is there any consideration of the number and distribution of newspapers not digitized, and any way to think about the gaps in digitization through the Atlas? And certainly, in the database histories—so for every database we have a history that includes the selection, and the selection both of the physical collection that’s being digitized and then how they started the digitization. So, for example, the British Library collection tried to digitize a politically-representative balance, and because there were more liberal newspapers it means digitizing more of the smaller number of conservative newspapers to create political balance, and obviously as over time the collections expand, these things become less of a defining feature, because more things and more things are digitized. Again, I’m just going to evangelize the Impresso project as one (but not the only one) that has a visualization of the issues they have, and what they’re missing. There are other collections that also do this, but Impresso make it quite prominent that you can look at the newspapers, and there’s a chart showing what’s missing and what is included.

I was just noticing the idea about a subheading about documentation and what is available there; that’s actually a really excellent point that maybe the digital version would be the best place to put that. Actually, there is a list of hyperlinks or catalogue entries, for we found for quite a lot of collections that the best documentation we could find was actually issues of the International Library Association’s (IFLA) conference proceedings. These were sometimes incredibly detailed, and really honestly I have to say I really loved some of the conference proceedings from this, and we did try to provide a bibliography, but I can see how having a crowdsourced list much like the Wikipedia list of digitized newspapers, a crowdsourced list of documentation for these collections, would be something that a lot of people could easily contribute to and could keep up to date, but would still be super valuable.

Patrick says in Germany the national library are building a national newspaper portal to bring together the various German historical newspapers, and they’d like to collaborate on the Atlas as well. Richard says it would be great in the Atlas to expand the date range, and the range of databases. He says he put a list of a list of titles with links online years ago, breaking down the titles embedded in the collections, and there are printer copies probably retained for tax purposes which provide considerable insight such as the Edinburgh Evening Courant archive. David notes the point about political alignments is a minefield, because with commercial freelance newspapers there’s a range of contributors and so on. Yeah and I think that’s something that I really felt from working with the metadata and thinking about how the newspaper changed over time, which we tried to capture in the Atlas in describing the history, is that a lot of the metadata applies to a newspaper title as a whole, and it doesn’t give space for how things may have changed over time. And you can see that cropping up in, for example, a different edition. So a Sunday edition of a newspaper: it does start out with a strong relationship to the parent, but then it might essentially become a separate newspaper, and does that then become a separate newspaper under a different title? How do you retain the link to the parent title? How do you show the change from titles of articles to headlines as they become bigger and spatial features? So, it would be great to find a way for metadata to accommodate changes over time, but again we’re putting a lot of pressure on what the metadata can contain to do that.

Yeah, and I think, to follow up on that, there was a lovely account in Trove of the Bulletin, which definitely starts off newspaper-like (as much as you can say that for any nineteenth-century periodical), and becomes much more magazine like in the nineteenth century, but it was a newspaper so that’s how it was catalogued. So that’s how it goes into the newspaper collection in Trove, and there’s so many things especially with the nineteenth and early twentieth century where newspapers are hard to pin down, what exactly a newspaper is. So it’s interesting, the idea of having issue by issue contextual metadata is something that I think most people would love, and it’s a matter of how do we collaborate effectively to allow that with some degree of editorial oversight, with some degree of consistency, but without overworking any one group of people too much?

Okay so I think we will discuss now, for just a few minutes then, really our vision for the Atlas going forward in the future, and what we would like to hear from you in general. So, the Atlas was never meant to be a grand search engine for going across all different collections, it was meant to be a central repository for documentation. And although the project has concluded now, because we’re using GitHub which promotes open source and crowdsourcing of content, even with my limited amount on my work plan, so to speak, to continue working on this going into the future, we really would like to see it expand significantly over the next few years. So, what lessons have you guys in your various aspects of your work learned about digital newspaper collections? What things is this Atlas useful for, and has it changed your mind about how you’re going to work with your digital collections? Basically, I’m asking: is the Atlas useful to you, and in what way is it useful to you?

So I’ve put in an application for some Australian research council funding that is looking at digitizing children’s periodicals, because that’s my main point of interest, so there’s a few periodicals like in the nineteenth century UK database, and then there’s some stuff in Trove, but that’s mostly children’s pages and stuff. So for me, frankly, while I was watching your videos and looking at the Atlas today, I was like well you guys have done all the hard yards in terms of—I mean, I’ve not done this before, I’ve used databases but haven’t digitized anything, so I’m grateful to be able to come back to the Atlas as a place where you’ve done the comparative work, to just figure out how it is that we would go about doing our own digitization. So I’d be really interested, and that’s why I was excited about the idea of a how-to, because there obviously are a number of people who have done really important work in terms of figuring out how to do this and I don’t want to do that work, I want to just gather the children’s periodicals. So, it becomes a resource for other people, but I don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel. So, I’ve been figuring out what resources are there that that I can use in a very self-interested way, but then also working towards those standards so that it can respond to so many of the concerns that have been addressed in the workshop. It seems like this really fabulous opportunity, so this has been fabulous, and I appreciate your time getting us all organized.

Thank you! I think Sinai wanted to say something as well.

Yeah, I mean I want to also thank you for this, I mean the report is amazing—it’s a lot of information that I really needed, and I think it it’s particularly useful for attempts to represent the data in other ways that might be necessary. For example, we were thinking about a module to represent newspapers, which is obviously not what libraries should be working on, but scholars are sometimes interested in working on TEI and we were wondering, a group of us for a long time, how do we encode the structures in between our languages? And there was a lot of very helpful information in the report, and of course there’s more I would welcome more discussion on in the future, especially the content section in the report. So, I’ll just add a comment in there, I’ll second this argument.

Angus says, in my experience of planning digitization work, finding the pitfalls and the prior art is very valuable ,and I think just from my own experience I did come at this as a historian who used digital newspapers, and getting immersed in the idea of the workflow that goes into creating these digital resources, how many hands are working on these things, was an amazing experience for me too. I thought of ways of using newspapers that I never would have before, had I not done the research. So it’s been very, very useful for me as a historian to actually look at the histories of these archives, and to actually learn about the metadata that exists and doesn’t exist, because I, like many people, thought there was this magical cache of metadata that existed that I just didn’t have access to, and I realized that there’s a lot more responsibility on people like myself to maybe make that metadata and make it available, and to think of that as well.

We’re not going to get these huge collections of millions of pages to redo the metadata of what they’ve done; it doesn’t make sense, because there’s more stuff that constantly needs to be digitized and, as somebody said, archivists have other stuff to do. So, we appreciate that, and I think it’s finding ways of working with these collections that doesn’t lose the granularity, that detail that’s in some of them, in an effort to work across them. You don’t want to reduce them all to the bare minimum metadata to make it possible to have one database to rule them all, because you still want to have those quirks and those things that, as people have said, within a specific collection is useful to researchers that might not apply to another collection, and depends on who you’re making it for, and who’s using it. So, we can talk about the kinds of things that researchers might want to do with collections, but that’s going to be different for different collections, and it’s going to lead to different metadata. It’s never going to be one type of metadata for every collection. And I can see a hand from Nicola.

I’m a little bit out of out of my depth here, because I’m not a historian, but I just wanted to say a little bit in favour of libraries not just leaving everything the way they are, because I think there’s certainly an awareness that you might be able to have a huge impact by running a better OCR tool across a huge data set, and that might actually have more impact than people working on crowdsourcing. And for me, the issue is not to lose the second one if you are able to take advantage of the first one, because as tools become more sophisticated and available and cheaper, and more AI projects or machine learning projects are undertaken, I think libraries are open to the capacity for revisiting and improving our offerings. So, I just wanted to say that.

Thank you, Nicola. Yeah, I completely agree: I think because I had the somewhat-unique experience of traveling around a bit and staying at some of these libraries, just to get to see the immense amount of work that was being done, by such a small team in some cases, and it just impressed upon me how thankful I am that work was being done, and not to be quite as entitled as perhaps I had been previously as a researcher, but really wanting to give back and to improve the community of knowledge. And I think the more that we can work together as data scientists, information scientists, librarians, archivists, historians, literary scholars, and family historians—some of whom understood these databases way better than I did, just because of the level of detail they were doing for their genealogical work—so the more people who can contribute to our collective understanding of types of research questions and types of access, the better, I think.

Before we go into our final discussion, though, I did want to address two points that were brought up before, in the first plenary and in one of the groups. The first one: Aileen asked about the difference between the front and the back end of these collections, and I think it feeds into the general purpose of the Atlas for different groups, which came up in some of the different subgroups. So, we had really fortunate access to all of these collections. Gale Cengage was very generous, and gave us multiple copies of their hard drives for us to look through. The British Library newspapers, the other newspaper catalogues, all either sent us direct download links or sent hard drives to various team members in Oceanic Exchanges that we were able to combine. Trove, we had to use the API to download as well because they weren’t able to do the hard drive for us, but the National Library of New Zealand was able to get hard drives and I would say that, with the exemption of Gale, all of these hard drives are accessible to any researcher who wants to ask. It really is a matter of just asking the digitization team the way to get it, whether that’s direct download, or getting hard drives, or doing it through the API as in the case of Trove. The only one that is not open access—or, sorry, the only two that are not open access—is Gale, which if your library subscribes to the Gale collection you can purchase the hard drives. They’re not super cheap, but they do make them available. And the Mexican collections, which are at the moment only available on-site because they’re still being developed. They’ve not been fully completed yet, so those will probably grow in the future. So I would have to say that there is a big difference between the front end and the back end, though there is just simply more data available on the hard drives than is made available through the interfaces, and that is largely because of an attempt by the libraries or the commercial publishers to make things simpler. They genuinely believe that having a simple Google search bar and that’s it, is the way most people want to interact with their collections. We got this explicitly from people like ProQuest and Readex as well, so my suggestion would be, if you want more of the data—we have tried to map out everything that is already technically available in the Atlas—go to these libraries, go to these collection holders, and try to ask for the raw data. And, in most cases, you’ll be able to get it one way or the other, especially if you have a case for what you’re using it for, as opposed to “I just want the hard drive please”. If you have a project—funded or not, but if you have a purpose for it—they’re more likely to get it to you quickly.

A question here: British Library newspapers, British Newspaper Archive. Okay, so the British Library did their initial digitization with Gale Cengage for British Library Newspapers I and II. They later created a partnership with FindMyPast to do later runs of it, and that became the British Newspaper Archive. The British Newspaper Archive does include the initial run, and Gale does use some of the British Newspaper Archive in their collections. They have agreements going back and forth, but they have different names because they have different commercial partners. And that is a great simplification, but there is documentation available on it. But basically, the original two runs of digitization were made free to UK universities and that’s why we tend to distinguish them from the rest of the collection, because the UK university system helped fund those first two versions. Yes, the British Newspaper Archive is part of the wider FindMyPast genealogy service, so it has a lot more newspapers integrated into it.

Okay, so in terms of the Atlas, just really briefly on what it’s for: the main point, yes thank you for clarifying, that the main point of the Atlas was three-fold, and that’s why we invited the three groups here. The first: the metadata maps are for data scientists or people who are interested in manipulating the data directly, so that you would have the specific names of the specific XML fields to get exactly the data you want across all of these collections. That’s who that part of the Atlas is for. For more general researchers, we hoped that understanding what fields are available in which collections would help you understand what research questions you could make viable with these different collections, especially if there’s data that exists but isn’t in the front end, so you’d be able to say “oh well, I can’t find this in the advanced search box but I know, because of the Atlas, that it exists, so I can liaise with the library and see if I can get that data”. And finally, we really hoped that having comparable data for the database histories, just to understand in a broad sense how things were selected, how things were funded, how things are made available, would be useful to understand the wider landscape of newspaper digitization, so people don’t just naively go in and think that the databases are complete, but to have a documented understanding of what specifically they have or don’t have, as opposed to a general sense that “I know they’re not complete”.

So that’s the use cases for the Atlas, but what I’d like to open this last discussion up for is: we’ve talked quite a lot about wish lists and things that we would hope would exist, but what I’d really like to put to you guys is, in terms of the Atlas, in terms of a central repository for metadata maps, for database histories, for glossaries of understanding how these terms are used in different disciplines and by journalists and by digitization providers, what did you find useful in the Atlas? What would you find useful if we updated or expanded it? Where would you like to see it go? So, this is really your chance to say, “my ideal Atlas would include this”. So, I think, for me, just while people are starting to write things in the text box, the thing I really love about the Atlas that I would like to see expanded is this idea of language definitions and language variants. It is sadly slightly Anglophone at the moment, just because Emily and I were the main editors, so having a much broader range of what these terms mean in different languages and how they’re used in different languages, and how that relates to the context of a Dutch newspaper or an Australian newspaper or a Chinese newspaper, I think would make it just that much more useful a document. So that’s one thing I would really hope people feel they would like to contribute in the future: making it worldwide.

Marie says yes, absolutely, Numapresse is wonderful and I very much would like to work with them to bring in Francophone newspapers, and unfortunately, we didn’t have any colleagues from French universities on this particular project, so we didn’t have access to those at the time. And the Francophone world is so rich for these different types of newspapers that it would be really useful to include them, absolutely. I’ll hand over to Emily for a second because I need to take a drink of water.

Okay, following on from what Melodee said in terms of using the Atlas, one example that I think I mentioned in the videos, but I always come back to is the idea of an edition, of what editions are in collections. So looking at the database history of, for example, the British Library, you can find out that they generally only have the evening edition digitized in their collections, but not uniformly: they do sometimes have other editions, but because a lot of these collections have digitized one edition per day, if you’re looking for morning editions they’re probably not there. And a lot of them don’t have fields for that, so that edition field sometimes contains something about that, but it also has things like the Sydney edition of a newspaper versus a Melbourne edition of a newspaper. So, by looking at which collections have editions, you might think you could compare them. By looking at the history and the development of the term and how it’s used across the collections, you might find it’s more geographic edition rather than daily edition. And by looking at the database history, you’ll see which editions they are actually committed to digitizing and providing.

We’ve got a few questions in the chat. Paul asks, what body could possibly advocate for transnational compatibility, let alone transnational open access and copyright advocacy? Is there an international network of newspaper librarians? Why does there appear to be no discussion or interface among national collections, and is there a political imperative to reinvent the wheel at a national scale? And that is something that we did find, isn’t it, Melodee: that it’s national collections. These places are often created by government legislation to preserve a national heritage, but there are projects like Europeana that is deliberately aggregating collections from within Europe to try and have that thing. So, there are international networks, but there are different stages in different places.

One thing I would say is that, for our research, the IFLA conference proceedings were basically the main source for tracking the history of these programmes, because they were often work-in-progress conference papers. So, it was really helpful, and it’s clear from those (at least to me, and I’m sure the librarians in the room can correct me if I’m wrong) there’s a huge amount of collaboration and knowledge sharing. And saying, “this is how we did it, this is how we think it works, how did you do that”, and they do try to share, but there are different funding models. There are different government priorities attached to those funding models. And also I would say not to forget the huge role in standardization or non-standardization that outsourcing to—not necessarily commercial providers like Gale or Readex, but outsourcing to the actual photographers of the documents and the people who do the basic layout metadata, those often get outsourced to a couple of big commercial providers, and they set the parameters for how the metadata gets set, not the libraries. So, on the one hand, that standardizes it, but not necessarily in the way librarians or historians or family scholars would do it. So, I think there should be more advocacy maybe—maybe we can promote that by providing support to these librarians. I would love to include case studies! If anybody uses the Atlas in any way, shape or form, we will highlight you and share your research far and wide, so please do some case studies.

And thank you Paul for sharing one of the blog posts, because we did put together a few blog posts that tried to give a few insights into ways that you might use it, so I did write one on front pages comparing how you might think about what the fields tell you about page position, columns and things like that, to think about the layout of the newspaper as somebody in one of the groups mentioned. In terms of tutorials for using the Atlas, yes, we absolutely intend to do that. We’re going to make a couple—or I’m going to make a couple—of videos on using the Atlas, and also on how to contribute to the Atlas, whether that’s historical context, glossary entries, or adding new databases and new database histories. We’re going to make shorter, more simple, straightforward videos, and share those on the same playlist, and on the Atlas, to hopefully make it a lot more accessible to people who don’t want to just explore it.

Our project funding expires soon, but are you planning more events like this workshop? Yes. So, we will definitely be having at least one more workshop this autumn, where it will be an online Zoom workshop for more practical uses. So maybe we could separate that into two, using it as a historical researcher or using it as a contributor. We also have some funding to do face-to-face workshops and conference attendance, which we’re currently in the process of organizing. And if there are any libraries that would like to invite us to do hands-on workshops, we would be very happy to. Air travel permitting, or Zoom permitting, we’d love to do workshops with individual libraries.

Yes to the non-textual elements, thank you Laura. There is a lot of research that’s currently being done on the non-textual elements, which we did not have the capacity to do ourselves in terms of constructing it because we wanted to make it comparable across databases and we didn’t have a lot of information about that yet. But if that is something that there is a demand for, it’s probably something that we can collaborate with a wide range of academics and others to see if we can piece together, not an appendix, but adding to the individual entries the relevant visual or masthead information. Particularly things like advertisements and ephemera as well, that sadly don’t always get digitized.

In the last two or three minutes, I just want to tell you what we’re planning to do going forward in a bit more detail with this particular workshop, and in the future. The Atlas is going to be run principally by me going forward, but it is on GitHub, which is an open, accessible, collaborative environment, which means that individuals who want to make any changes to the Atlas—add a paragraph, correct a link, add a foreign language example to some of our glossary entries—there’s a very simple process for doing that that’s fairly automated. So that means the Atlas can keep growing, with a minimal amount of overhead from me. And I will be posting videos on how to do all of those different types of edits. If, in the end, you have contextual information or glossary entries and you really just you can’t handle it on GitHub, and you want to send me a Word document with that information, I’m very happy to accept that as well. We want to make this as much a community project as we possibly can. And yeah, I think that’s the main takeaways I want to have from this workshop. Emily, is there anything that I’m forgetting, as I usually do?

No, I don’t think so! I think, yeah, as Melodee says, we’d love to hear from people if you’ve got collections you’re working on that you think might want to be added, or if you want to talk about how you might develop something similar for a different collection, we’d be very pleased to hear from you as well. In our workshop yesterday we had people talking about the Jewish newspaper collections and things like this, so yeah that would be brilliant.

Great, thank you Emily. So I guess I will stay here for a few minutes after the workshop if people have specific questions, or they want to ask things, or anything like that, but really, I mean, we put on this workshop for you guys, but really you have been an enormous amount of help to Emily and I, and really just understanding what is needed in these communities and how this work going forward could actually be the most useful it could be. So, thank you, thank you very much for all your contributions and spending your morning/afternoon/evening or very late at night, wherever you are, two hours with us. Thank you.

Chat Transcription

From Workshop 1

  • As someone who is working on mapping (in the geographical sense)–would I fit in the literary/historical or information science groups?
  • Wikipedia and ICON provide great links. Can be found here:
  • What is ICON?
  • A wide international collection that I would very much like to include (and would be happy to be involved in the inclusion work) is JPRESS: the Jewish Historical Press platform.
  • I would have loved more visualisations about data flows
  • Is there any consideration of the number and distribution of newspapers not digitised? Any way to think about the gaps in digitisation through the Atlas?
  • Could this project enable data migration from any organisation holding digital newspapers? Why narrow it down to specific collections? Is this a matter of capacity?
  • A ‘how to’ on digitisation would be awesome!!!
  • Another subheading to add to the individual resources in the Atlas might be documentation to describe what is available there
  • Emily—your point about political alignments is a minefield of course especially in a commercial/freelance newspaper market where publications are reliant on a wide range of contributors–never trust the editorial platform!
  • In the Atlas it would be great to expand the date range and range of databases I did put a list of titles with links online years ago breaking down the titles embedded in the collections
  • In Germany, we (e.g. the National Library) are building a National Newspaper Portal to bring together various German historical newspapers. It is a huge collaborative Project and will be online later this year. We would sure love to contribute to the Atlas
  • There are printer copies, probably retained for tax purposes which provide considerable insight e.g. ex Edinburgh Evening Courant archive
  • On Politics it does change–for UK you might consider the early editions of the Newspaper Press Directory
  • @[name], that is good news, I am looking forward to it!
  • I would love to answer this too…
  • [name]–sounds great! I look forward to using that material!
  • I’ll second this argument, my experience of planning digitisation work, finding the pitfalls and the prior art to is very valuable.
  • Maybe the circulation figures?
  • equally for us, knowing how users might use the collections and prefer to use the collections can guide how we make our collections available
  • I’d love to use a condensed version of the story of this project to explain the potential of metadata to researchers who don’t know anything about it, because you did interesting things with materials that every researcher is familiar with, and it sounds like you experience all the joys and pitfalls of metadata in a way that’s really engaging
  • It’s very hard work to digitalise at the moment–from indexing creating the meta, transporting the papers, getting them scanned, running the OCR, and finally publishing them
  • Academic collaborations to increase and improve metadata would be very useful

From Workshop 2

  • That exists in France (cross-genealogical-database research):
  • There is also a “sample” of this with British And Australian records for Convict Lives (digitalpanopticon)
  • ProQuest does to some extent offer you “similar items” (but that is paywalled unless library subscribes)
  • How does the Victoria listserv not cover this for people working on Britain?
  • Good point about making the “not digitized” more evident. Library of Congress newspaper catalogue approaches this, and is very useful
  • Unfortunately, listservs (or any one particular community) is sometimes not always well know as a place for that particular problem/query. As a PhD student I was terrified of posting to H-Net because I heard “rumours” of it only being “real” historians, not students. We may need to explicit build bridges for this collaboration
  • As a PhD student, ^THIS^
  • As someone not working in traditional academic circles, I’ve never heard of listserv
  • Ditto on both counts above; I came to VICTORIA late and I still respond to queries privately.
  • The VICTORIA and SHARP-L are wonderful email lists, full of people, some very eminent, who usually respond very kindly and generously to queries – even when it’s a query that’s already been answered before, or seemingly naïve.
  • thanks for pointing out the limitations of listservs! I also recommend the RSVP Facebook Group (Research Society for Victorian Periodicals) for those working on English-language newspapers
  • All really wonderful groups. Just important that we make sure people who don’t know about them do so they can share in the knowledge goodness :)
  • Dim question but since people here will know: is “British Library Newspapers” and “British Newspaper Archive” the same thing? Searching the former seems to lead to the latter…
  • British Newspaper Archive has a lot more stuff!
  • The BL Newspapers digitisation was funded by JISC and Gale provided the search interface.
  • BNA is driven by the imperatives of FindMyPast in terms of selection of newspapers for digitisation.
  • Thank you–all really useful to know.
  • And I think BNA scoop up anything the British Library digitises, such as the short-run obscure London titles the BL is currently digitising.
  • To make it worldwide: Numapresse can help you for the francophone side of things I’d suppose
  • Q: what body could possibly advocate for transnational compatibility (let alone transnational open-access and copyright advocacy)? Is there an international network of newspaper librarians? Why does there appear to be no discussion or interface among national collections? Is there a political imperative to “reinvent the wheel” at a national scale?
  • Case studies of how researchers have used the atlas for their research
  • That is correct. These titles are digitised by the BL but processed by FMP and published as part of the BNA. But we will have some of these titles available openly (pending press release) and the text data is made gradually available on the BL Shared Repository with an open licence
  • The glossaries were very helpful, it helped give some sense of the ways in which databases articulate the structure of newspapers, which as [name] pointed out in his presentation, varied enormously. I would also like some more information on non-textual elements of newspapers e.g. advertisements, illustrations etc. It would be great for researchers to know which collections digitally preserve these non-textual elements and which do not.
  • tutorials for using the Atlas?
  • This post on Front Pages by Emily is great!
  • Great!
  • I know the project funding expires soon, but are you planning more events like this workshop? It’s very helpful and it would be great to continue the discussion
  • Tutorials sound a great idea. Looking forward to joining them.
  • Do you work with the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago?
  • This is great, Emily. I especially appreciate all the links you’ve included. And yes, I’d love to see more case studies too.
  • since there seemed to be an interest for sharing information, do y’all wanna get into community building? Google Group, Facebook group, Slack…
  • Thanks for sharing Emily’s “Designing a Front Page”
  • Oh, I meant to mention GitHub. Thanks so much for mentioning this, Melodee. Yes, everyone needs to learn about GitHub. I’m an enthusiastic new learner.