HCU Report, May 2000
The HCDT Launch Event took place in the Divinity School on 13 March
and was well-attended. Projects currently under development include
the Sphakia Survey for Archaeology and LitHum, the Cook Collection site for the
Pitt-Rivers Museum and a project on interactive aural comprehension materials
for Modern Languages. In addition, two new projects have been selected
for work to begin in July, one for the law faculty |selected for work to begin in July, one for the Law faculty (a web site to
provide automated assessment of key research skills), and one for the
Theology faculty (the 'Virtual Faculty', a project which may interest
other faculties when it is completed). For details of these and other
projects, see the website at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/hcdt. A third
development officer has been recruited and will start work in mid June.
The next deadline for project proposals to the HCDT will be in October
2000. The CCA is asked to encourage their colleagues and faculties to
consider submitting project proposals for that round, and in particular to
consider submitting projects with a deferred start date of Summer or
Autumn 2001. We are particularly keen to receive applications from those
faculties which have had little or limited input from the HCDT to
date. The HCDT would also be glad to organise a short seminar about the
HCDT's activities for any faculty who may find this useful.
- The HCU's annual
symposium was held in the Oxford Union on April 28th, this year
with sponsorship from the Guardian; the theme was "Beyond control:
threats and liberties in the electronic age". It aroused considerable
interest and external
comments and was featured in http://www.theregister.com
- A detailed report on the CHC teaching programme was
prepared and is tabled for the current meeting; it has several
- The equipment available in the
Centre has been upgraded to reflect an increasing emphasis on
multimedia tools and techniques.
- Steve Allen has almost
completed work on the online version of the CTI Centre's Resources
Guide, which was officially launched on 18 February.
Oxford Text Archive continues to work closely with the AHRB in
advising new digitization projects. Work on the Guides to Good
Practice continues; a second one is due for publication in June.
Review of the OTA's collections policies continues. A new cataloguing
officer, Anton Webb, has been recruited and started work on 31
- Job descriptions have been drawn up for two new posts in the Humbul Hub (an information officer and a
cataloguing officer, to be funded by AHRB and
JISC respectively). Redevelopment of the website is progressing and the Collection Development policy documents have been
Research and Outreach activities
- Preparation for the
HCU Summer Seminar Series continues. Some of the sessions are
already sold out; a final reminder has just gone out. For details of
the event, see http://www.hcu.ox.ac.uk/summer
this term: there will be a preferential rate for Oxford
- Dr Fraser chairs the Digital Resources in the Humanities Programme
Committee; arrangements for this year's conference at Sheffield are
well-advanced, and will include presentations from several parts of
- The HCU submitted a number of funding bids: these include
a joint bid with the Ruskin School and the Ashmolean to
create a digital version of Ruskin's teaching materials, and
a joint bid with Kings College London to develop text
- In association with Humbul, and with JISC funding, HCU staff have developed tutorials evaluating web resources
for English and History; further tutorials in Religion Philosophy and Modern Languages are to be developed by the relevant LTSN Centres, for publication on Humbul.
- HCU staff are working to further develop a knowledge base on the teaching of computing in the humanities with funding from the EU AcoHUM project.
- As one of the four hosts for the Text Encoding Initiative, HCU staff have been evaluating TEI conformance of textual resources for an Italian digital library project. The funding obtained is being used to develop and enhance the TEI web site at Oxford.
- Work on the ASTER (Assisting Small-group Teaching by
Electronic Resources) TLTP 3 Project continues.
- Work on the EU-funded Master (Manuscript Access through Standardized
Electronic records) project continues. A finalized
version of the DTD has been agreed, and the project is
moving into an implementation stage. Attempts to
recruit a new technical officer continue.
- Work on the CEDARS (CURL Exemplars for Digital ARchiveS) project
continues. A report on metadata requirement has been
widely distributed for review, and a pilot
implementation using XML is underway.
HCU staff continue to serve on the IT committees for Lit Hum (Mr
Popham); Theology (Dr Fraser); English (Dr Lee);
Modern Languages (Ms Porter); Modern History (Mrs
Cooper); Ruskin (Mr Stephens). In addition, Dr Lee
continues to chair the Datasets Committee, and is a
member of the ODLS Development Team. Mr Burnard
continues to attend meetings of the Digital Library
Research Group, and is a member of the ODLS
Architectures and Metadata Working Group.
There have been a few changes
in staff at the Unit.
- David Byfield
resigned his post as technical officer for the
Humanities Humbul Hub. Recruitment for a replacement,
and for several other posts in the Humbul Hub is
- Anton Webb started work as OTA
Cataloguing Officer on May 31
- Paul Trafford
starts work as HCDT Project Officer on 19 June
Lou Burnard, May 2000