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5 posts tagged with "CWRC"

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It's All About the People

· 4 min read
Susan Brown
LINCS Project Lead

Woman punch card operators

Image: Woman punch card operators working on Roberto Busa’s Index Thomisticus. Back left: Rosetta Rossi Bertolli; bottom right: Livia Canestraro. CC-BY-NC. Thanks to Melissa Terras, “For Ada Lovelace Day,” 2015.

I am surprised and thrilled that someone thought it worth nominating me for the Roberto Busa Prize, and overwhelmed to have been placed by ADHO in such illustrious company, fully aware that there is so much superb work in our community deserving of this recognition.

All knowledge is relational. It is fabulous to have recognition of scholarship that emerges from an intersectional perspective and is embedded in process: from making things that try to leverage technology in new ways, trying and failing, and yet continuing to try to make a difference to how we work and to enable us to create and share knowledge together, in better ways, in a changing world. For such work, collaboration is essential, which is to say it’s all about people.

My absolutely stellar colleagues here at LINCS gelled into a phenomenal team, even though we came together remotely, many of us for the first time, at the height of the pandemic, to build an infrastructure for linking scholarly knowledge across disciplines. The core LINCS team is at the heart of a growing network of scholars, students, and professionals who are, thanks to the combined efforts of these brilliant people, able to engage in serious exploration of the capacity of linked data to enhance cultural research and cultural experiences. The CWRC virtual research environment has involved 200+ wonderful people (and counting, since our credits need updating before we launch this spring as an instance of the LEAF software framework). And my belief in the magic of producing knowledge collaboratively in new digital ways grew out of formative experience as a new scholar in the Orlando Project, whose sterling participants include as active contributors ~150 students.

The point isn’t the numbers but the sense of expanding networks: there are overlaps between projects and roles, so the counting isn’t exact, indeed cannot ever be exact, because there will inevitably be inadvertent omissions, and because the strands of influence just keep linking out. I’m so grateful for all the rich relationships that infuse this work, amazed at what we’ve created and learned together, proud of those who’ve put it to work in other contexts and fields.

And there are so many other relationships, other people to whom credit is due. Mentors who bolster my confidence. Models whose thinking and practices inform and inspire mine. Co-authors and co-presenters who help me see things differently as we struggle to express ourselves together. Students and colleagues in courses and workshops whose reactions and questions spark such insight. Colleagues who carry on and remain dedicated despite the deplorable precarity of the conditions in which they work. Collaborators on projects led by others, in which I have learned so much, including Collective Biographies of Women, INKE, Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada, NovelTM, Staging Better Futures/Mise en scène de meilleurs avenirs, The People and the Text, Voyant,The People and the Text and the Women Writers Project. The creators and activists whose work reflects, reimagines, and reshapes the world we live in.

So many other projects that have worked with CWRC and LINCS, and the incredible array of digital humanities initiatives from around the world, working collectively to figure out how to make and share knowledge differently in this age of incunabula. Those in university administration—at the universities of Guelph, Alberta, and many partner universities—as well as funding organizations—CFI, CANARIE, DRAC, Mellon, SSHRC—who get that this work doesn’t fit the old moulds, who strive to remove barriers, and who develop new models. Colleagues who keep scholarly organizations like CSDH, ACH, ADHO, ACCUTE, ACQL, MLA, BWWA, VSAWC, and NAVSA ticking along so we have collegial spaces in which to connect. Colleagues on panels and boards who help me grasp the bigger picture and alternative views. Partners in GLAM and the knowledge ecosystem, like CRKN, CHIN, and Library and Archives Canada, who share the vision of what is possible if we work together.

Everyone in this particular web who is motivated by a sense of how the complexity and value of human cultures and histories—especially of women, BIPOC, colonized, 2SLGBTQI+, impoverished, and otherwise marginalized people—could register in digital space in different, more vibrant, nuanced, contextualized, respectful, and equitable ways.

Ice cream, Binaries, and Maybes

· 6 min read
Jingyi Long
LINCS Undergraduate Research Assistant


In my first meeting this summer as a data science research assistant, we each followed our personal introductions with declarations of our favourite ice cream flavours. Mine was and continues to be Häagen Dazs’ Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn someone else on the team felt the same. However, the biggest surprise was learning that someone enjoyed microwaving their ice cream to change its texture. At that point is it still ice cream? Is it soup? Or a milkshake? What even counts as ice cream? ...

Digging into DH: Broadening my Academic Interests and Comfort Zone

· 8 min read
Hannah Stewart
LINCS Undergraduate Research Assistant


I joined the LINCS Project as an undergraduate research assistant, mainly to work on the Orlando Project. This position gave me my first real experience with Digital Humanities (DH). Before starting the job I could barely have come up with even a vague definition of DH (despite my best efforts and quite a bit of Googling). When I finally did start to get a sense of the nature of DH—a field that brings together humanities research and new technologies, birthing new possibilities and adding depth to research—there were elements of it that felt very familiar and in line with the sort of work I had experience with as an undergraduate student majoring in English...

The Shifting Landscape of Geospatial Ontologies

· 4 min read
Thomas Smith
LINCS Undergraduate Research Assistant

Pin Map

Over the many years I have worked on the LINCS project, I encountered many new terms. Sitting at my desk in THINC Lab, I used to hear people discussing something called ontologies. I would listen in to meetings about the creation of the CWRC ontology, and eventually I was asked to contribute by reading over the definitions proposed for it. Thinking that this would be the entirety of my ontology experience, I did my job but did not dig into any of the underlying technical concepts...

Collaboration in Times of Social Isolation

· 4 min read
Thomas Smith
LINCS Undergraduate Research Assistant


To avoid the COVID-19 outbreak, I moved back home from Guelph to the town of Bowmanville, a community with a population of around 40,000 people. My family sold our home of twenty years just before the pandemic, buying a quaint little house in Minden, Ontario, a town with only 4,000 residents. I consider myself lucky for moving back with my family when the outbreak began to worsen, even if I have gone from high-speed internet on the University of Guelph’s campus to fighting for bandwidth with the neighbours. Even if I also need to check for bears when leaving the house...