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Collections as Data – Hackathon / Collaborative Workshop

November 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am - November 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm


November 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am
November 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm


David Kelly

Join us for a 2-day Collaborative Workshop / Hackathon / Exploration of creativity using humanities research data.

  • Do you use research strategies like text or data mining, social network analysis, machine learning, or geocoding in your research?
  • Do you have subject expertise in cataloguing records, digital humanities, or working with digital collections found in libraries, archives, or cultural heritage institutions?
  • Can you apply your design skills or artistic talents to visualise complex datasets, help researchers gain new insights, or engage with non-specialist audiences?
  • Are you curious about any of these things?

NUI Galway, through the Moore Institute and the NUI Galway Library, has developed expertise in the creation of digital archives and research-led collections. The Insight Centre for Data Analytics are world-leaders in the interpretation and analysis of data.

With digital archives and data collections drawn from humanities research as your foundation, you will collaborate in small groups of researchers and practitioners over two days to explore and create. You will walk away with a community of support, and an idea of the possibilities of using collections as data.

The plan

Over this free two-day hands-on hackathon-style event, you will explore what people from diverse backgrounds can create when they work together.

You will work in groups of 3 people. Each group will consist of a humanities researcher, a developer / engineer, and an artist / designer. Over the course of the two days, you will work on a collection of your choice to produce an output that draws on the team’s range of interests, ideas and skills.

We will provide mentors to help you along the way, facilities to work in (including an on-site MakerSpace, if required), and food and drinks to keep you going. For those coming from outside Galway, we will have a limited number of bursaries available to cover travel within Ireland and accommodation.

Sample Collections

Some examples of datasets produced by researchers at NUI Galway that you could work with include:

  • Duanaire – a collection of datasets related to Irish economic history. One example is Customs15, which is made up of quantitative trade data spanning over 100 years, with data on locations and types of goods, along with high-resolution digitised images of the original source manuscripts.
  • Earlier Latin Manuscripts – A collection of data and high-resolution images of Latin manuscripts published before the year 800.
  • Landed Estates  – Data, including location and images, on landed estates and historic houses in Ireland (c.1700 – 1914).
  • Tim Robinson Archive  – An index describing 567 town-lands in Aran and Connemara. This draws together information on the language of local place-names, folktales, and historical, geological, archaeological and botanical information from each town-land.

You are welcome to suggest external collections to work on, either as part of a stand-alone project, or with a view to integrating it with a collection developed by researchers at NUI Galway. We will also provide a list of suggested collections closer to the event.


Notice: All places at the workshop have been allocated. If you would like to join a waiting list, please add your details to the Expression of Interest form. (Updated, 24/10/17).

We have a limited number of places available for this event; applications will be reviewed in order to ensure a balance in the skills and interests of participants. If you are interested in applying to participate, please complete the Expression of Interest form, and we will be in touch.

Attendees will need to be available to participate on both days of the event, on November 29th and 30th.
Once we finalise sponsorship arrangements, we will be in a position to confirm the number and value of available travel bursaries.

If you have any questions, please contact David Kelly (david.d.kelly@nuigalway.ie) at the Moore Institute, NUI Galway.

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