Oral History Archives Online: The Connected Histories of the BBC

Tuesday 7th June

Exploring the development of new approaches to the digitisation of oral history archives and the organisation of online search.

 

Speakers: Tim Hitchcock, Professor of Digital History, and Dr Ben Jackson, Research Fellow in Digital Humanities, University of Sussex

Oral History Archives Online: The Connected Histories of the BBC

A workshop organised by Cambridge Digital Humanities

Six years ago the BBC entered into an AHRC funded collaboration with the University of Sussex to make oral histories gathered from BBC employees across a period of fifty years accessible through the production of a new digital collection, associated with new tools and interfaces. The resulting Connected Histories of the BBC project, finally completed this year, forms the starting point for this workshop, which will explore the development of new approaches to the digitisation of oral history archives and the organisation of online search. Amongst other things it will address how we can best represent and search large collections via a ‘macroscope ‘approach, and how to present large mixed media archives in forms that lends themselves to scholarly research.

The workshop will include an introduction and presentation by Tim and Ben, brief comments from respondents, and an open discussion.

About the speakers:

Professor Tim Hitchcock

Tim Hitchcock is Professor of Digital History at the University of Sussex, and until 2021 served as the director of the Sussex Humanities Lab. With Robert Shoemaker he founded and leads projects including The Old Bailey Online, London Lives, Connected Histories and Locating London’s Past – which have made the sources of eighteenth and nineteenth century British social history available online and free to access, and have helped lay the foundations for a ‘new history from below’. He has also published widely on the histories of poverty, sexuality and gender, including English Sexualities, 1700-1800 (1997), Down and Out in Eighteenth Century London (2004); and with Robert Shoemaker, Tales from the Hanging Court (2006), and London Lives: Poverty, Crime and the Making of a Modern City, 1690-1800 (2015).

Hitchcock has served as a member of the AHRC’s Advisory Council and as chair of its Digital Transformations Working Group. He has also served on the Council of the Royal Historical Society, the British Library’s Advisory Board, the Museum of London’s Academic Advisory Panel, and the C2DH’s Scientific Committee.

Dr Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson is a Research Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Sussex and a member of the Sussex Humanities Lab (SHL). His work uses Engineering, Design and Computer science to present humanities research datasets. His research interests also include the application of network communication and multimedia technology for heritage informatics, historic document capture, virtual prototyping and electronic learning systems. His teaching experience is in 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, computer graphics, virtual/augmented/mixed-reality, video production and multimedia systems.

Since joining the SHL Ben has worked closely with Prof. Hitchcock building macroscope technology to explore datasets at multiple scales in pursuit of extending support for close and distant reading.

Tickets:

This event will be held in person. All tickets are free. The venue has step-free access. Please get in touch if you have access requirements.

Image credit: CHBBC site, the white dots are the interviews with Women overlayed on the collections. The dot colours identify the different collections.

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