Workshop invitation: People and machines – co-creating with heritage collections

Are you interested in exploring how we can open up heritage collections by combining new technologies with the power of citizen research? Express your interest to join us at a one-day workshop at The National Archives.

What: People and machines – co-creating with heritage collections
Where: The National Archives, Kew (map)
When: Friday 13 December 2019


This participatory workshop is organised by The National Archives, in collaboration with Aarhus Stadsarkiv.

Black and white of women working with the COLOSSUS electronic digital computer.

Annotated photograph of the COLOSSUS electronic digital computer

Over the past decade, cultural heritage institutions have increasingly turned to crowdsourcing as a means of enhancing digital records and engaging members of the public with archival collections. Machine learning technologies such as Handwritten Text Recognition are also beginning to be used to open and transform cultural heritage material, enabling search, discovery and the creation of linked data.

This workshop will explore the best routes to fuse digital innovations with the dedication and enthusiasm of volunteers.

The workshop will be structured in two halves: the first focusing on volunteer engagement in crowdsourcing and the second considering how to integrate machine learning and other technical solutions into the crowdsourcing landscape.

Attendees will work in small interdisciplinary groups to consider a set of research questions relating to the efficiency, enjoyment and ethics of combining machine learning and crowdsourcing in cultural heritage collections. Representatives from projects including Living with Machines, Zooniverse and Transkribus will join us to share their expertise and offer guidance to the working groups.

In order to examine these questions, we welcome expressions of interest from researchers and practitioners from a range of disciplines including historians, web designers, Human-Computer Interaction researchers, social scientists, data scientists, computer scientists and more, who work within the academic, industrial or heritage sectors.


Express your interest

If you are interested in participating, please send a short summary (not more than 200 words) of your research interests, expertise, and motivation for attending the workshop to research@nationalarchives.gov.uk, with ‘People and machines’ in the subject line.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 15 November 2019 at 17:00.

Applicants will be selected depending on research background and interests to create an interdisciplinary workshop and will be contacted by 17:00 on Friday 22 November.

Spaces are free but they are limited. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

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