A Month or Two of New Horizons – Arcadia Fellowship

When I first started blogging, the content was dominated by posts about library hacks and info skills related musings, and for the next ten weeks or so that theme is going to be uppermost in my mind as I work as an Arcadia Fellow with the Cambridge University Library.

The arcadia@cambridge project is “a three-year programme funded by a generous grant from the Arcadia Fund to Cambridge University Library … to explore the role of academic libraries in a digital age” and I’m sincerely grateful for the opportunity to be able to contribute to this activity.

So I’ve spent the last two days in Cambridge, based in Wolfson College, and have already benefited from the Twitter Effect in getting coffee meetups sorted:-) (I’ll work on the Cambridge Twitter network diagrams when I get a chance ;-)

I was intending to blog a lot of my project related activity here, but I’ve also set up another blog on blogspot to act as a repository for quick hacks that make use of HTML forms, simple javascript, and all those sorts of embed code that WordPress.com strips out – you can find it here: Arcadia Mashups Blog.

I’ll also be posting to the official Arcadia Project Blog.

If you subscribe to the full fat feedburner feed from this blog, I’ll pop links to my posts on those other blogs in my delicious feedthru bookmarks, and maybe also put together an occasional roundup post. So for example, today I posted:

For project related posts here on OUseful.info, I’ll be adding them to the Arcadia category, so an Arcadia feed will be available from here too. I’m also using the arcadia tag on delicious, the #arcadia hashtag on twitter, and I’ve set up an Arcadia set on my flickr account for project related screenshots. Anything that makes it to Youtube will also get an appropriate tag…

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

2 thoughts on “A Month or Two of New Horizons – Arcadia Fellowship”

  1. I tried to leave a comment on your Google Book Search/Embeddable quotes post on the Arcadia blog, but apparently comments aren’t open to all (and I couldn’t see any way of providing feedback). So – I’m leaving the comment here, but feel free to move it over to the Arcadia post if that’s possible
    Google Book Search clearly has metadata problems – but then, scanning huge amounts of text is probably the biggest issue they have. Perhaps we should be asking quesitons like how easy will it be to apply new machine based analyses as they develop to the text they have already scanned – because we know that the ability of machines to deal with the text is bound to improve over time.

    I do think that Google is encountering problems that were easily predictable when they started out with Books – they are dealing with a different kind of search problem to the web, and this means that they are having to learn as they go along.

    I also think it is easy to take shots at poor metadata from GBS – but have a look at this from WorldCat http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=kw:internet&fq=yr:1900..1950+%3E&qt=advanced&dblist=638 – a very similar problem to one highlighted by Geoff Nunberg in his slides – let’s not fool ourselves here.

    I’m less bothered about short term fixes, but more interested in how it can improve over time.

    I love the embedding of text from WriteToReply you’ve done here. You might also be interested in looking at the experiment Ed Summers has done at http://inkdroid.org/journal/2009/09/10/documents/ and http://inkdroid.org/journal/2009/09/16/think-of-things/ in terms of embedding machine readable citations in RDFa – I think combining these two things together would be a powerful tool for web-based publishing and the linked data web.

  2. Congratulations on the grant Tony, library hacking will be particularly interesting coming from you, and I love the whole disaggreagtion of the project That alone brings so many fascinating questions into the archival/library realm for thinking through how do we deal with all these different external services and still syndication forward out presence and stuff to others, making the university archive/library one of those final syndication stops. Is that what is happening with the project blog? Are you able to syndicate your blogger log into it? Or is the project blog another place for different posts?

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