W13 speed networking

We did it – again! Thanks to all the W13 campers for participating – I hope you all enjoyed it. A big thanks also to…

Sydney Shep for helping me with the organisation…

Flora Feltham, Sara Bryan and Thomas Koentges for the extra helping hands on the day…

THATCamp HQ for the support and resources…

and our generous sponsors InternetNZ, Victoria University of Wellington, and Wai-te-ata Press for enabling us to keep registration budget-friendly.

Here are a few THATCamp W13 photos to make you smile, and a few things you might be interested in checking out between now and the next one…

Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (aaDH)

aaDH conference, Perth, 18–21 March 2014

Digital Humanities courses at University of Canterbury from 2014

Stay tuned for the next one @thatcampwgtn


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Communicating Resources to Researchers – Options suggested during session

Firstly, thanks to those Campers who came to my roughly planned session and who gave such great input.

Although the purpose of the session was to talk about this issue across the GLAM sector as a whole, we used Archives New Zealand’s electronic finding aid Archway as a “test case”.

Following is a list of possible solutions the group came up with, ranging from very manual to more automated:

  • Capture contact details of researchers and their interests – contact them when new material becomes available
  • Set up webpage to publicise new material
  • Create an RSS feed of newly added items
  • Something similar to the trove news bot – easy to use, it checks for messages from Twitter to create queries in Trove’s newspaper database, tweeting the result – still requires a pull by researchers
  • Provide ability for researchers to save search criteria
  • Provide functionality to highlight/identify those search results that have been presented to the researcher previously; ability for researcher to filter out these out of the result set

We also discussed other technologies currently in use, or provided, by various institutions:

  • British Library’s Mechanical Curator – undirected, haphazard, unplanned publishing of content
  • Digital NZ’s custom search builder – a tool that allows anyone to create a mini search engine across Digital NZ’s aggregated digital content, also to create an embeddable widget to share the content
  • – allows registered users to add research interests to their profile, and delivers content (research papers, etc.) that has been shared by other registered users and tagged with the chosen research interest phrase.
  • Google Scholar and other library search tools – a post THATCamp investigation of Google Scholar revealed that the tool uses “robots” or “crawlers” to fetch files from websites for inclusion in the search results.  This is the type of thing I was wondering if researchers could create for themselves.

Discussion was had about the need for not only appropriate tags against each item of material so it can be categorised/classified, but also the need for metadata that will enable capture of when records are added / updated so the researcher can filter out those items they may have already seen.

The group also identified some possible funding/resourcing options:

  • Create partnerships with open source development organisations
  • Collaborate with National Library of New Zealand (this option relates specifically to the Archives NZ case)
  • Apply to Internet NZ for funding
  • Create a research question for an information studies masters student
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Video Essay session update

sorry to have led thatcamp early. here’s the link to our play with video essays

thanks to everyone who took part

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TALK: Communicating Resources to Researchers

Many institutions have a backlog of “items” in their holdings that are not currently discoverable/accessible in their online finding aid(s). Most institutions are actively working on rectifying this, as funding, staffing, etc., allow.

Currently if researchers want to know if more items relating to something they are interested in (e.g., person, place, time period) can now be found via an institution’s finding aid, the researcher has to decide how often to got back to the institution’s finding aid and re-submit their search criteria.

What if, instead, the researcher could submit the search string once and include in that search the request that he/she is automatically advised if anything new results from that search string are returned.  A bit like TradeMe searches. Or perhaps the Digital NZ search builder (

What functionality would researches like? Are there existing add-ons that institutions could use? Or are there apps (I’m thinking ‘bots) that researchers could use to achieve this?

Categories: Research Methods, Session: Talk | 1 Comment

Cat Battles – Using Papers Past Text to seed Game Play

Hi Im Greig I work in the digitisation team at NLNZ and am currently obsessed with the idea of making a cat card based battle game out of Papers Past Article Ideas.

The general Gist is to expose new audiences to our heritage data and encourage them to poke around with API’s and open Data sets.

Continue reading

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TALK: Digital Archiving – what is it to you?

Hi, I’m posting this on behalf of Jay, who suggested a discussion tomorrow on the topic of digital archiving.

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TALK: Audience

Facilitator: Murray Hemi

I’d like to talk about audience. How do you use or match your publication/digital platform with the audience you are wanting to access. Is there any data or research undertaken with the NZ public to understand how different demographics are engaging with digital information sources – what platforms and how?

Note: afternoon session

Categories: Session Proposals, Session: Talk | 1 Comment