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Arts & Humanities

Event Showcases Art Collections from Around Campus and Beyond

Thank you to everyone who attended our successful event on Tuesday, February 13th, showcasing many of the Library’s treasures from around campus:

Open House + Arts/Visual Collections Showcase

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the public enjoyed seeing rare and special collection items from collections such as: the Bancroft Pictorial Collections; Artists’ books from the Environmental Design Library and the Bancroft Library; prints from the Graphic Arts Loan Collection at Morrison Library; media resources from the Media Resources Center; image collections from the Visual Resources Center in the History of Art Department and the College of Environment Design; and many more!

 

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Art + Feminism + Race + Justice Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

Art + Feminism + Race + Justice Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

Drop in any time, stay as long as you like!

Tuesday, March 6, 12:00pm-5:00pm

Moffitt 405

wiki

Wikimedia’s gender trouble is well-documented. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not: content is skewed by the lack of female participation. This represents an alarming absence in an important repository of shared knowledge. Let’s change that! Drop by the A+F Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, learn how to edit Wikipedia and make a few changes of your own! This year, we’re partnering with the American Cultures program and expanding the scope to highlight the theme of race and justice. We are now calling it the Art+Feminism+Race+Justice Wikipedia Edit-a-thon.

 

  • People of all gender identities and expressions welcome.

  • Bring a laptop.

  • Drop in for half an hour or stay for the whole afternoon.

  • No editing experience necessary; we’ll provide training and assistance.

    • Optional: Training sessions at 12:30 & 2:30.

    • Get a headstart! Create an editing account ahead of time.

  • Refreshments will be provided.

 

Learn more!

http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/wikipedia-edit-a-thon

RSVP (encouraged, but not required)

 

A Cal ID card is required to enter Moffitt. The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact us.

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Douglass Day 2018

Read & Transcribe

The famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass never knew his birth date, but he choose to celebrate it on February 14th. This year will mark his 200th birthday, and we invite you to commemorate the occasion by reading his works at the library:

In honor of the bicentennial of Douglass’s birth, the digital humanities Colored Conventions Project (CCP) will host a Douglass Day transcribe-a-thon, in which participants from all over the country can help transcribe the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers, documents that provide insight into the lives of recently freed people. The event will be hosted in conjunction with the Smithsonian Transcription Center and the National Museum of African American Culture. Join them from 9am to 12pm PST to help celebrate and memorialize African American history!


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Map resources for social science research

Social Explorer
from Social Explorer

Do you need a visualization of the percentage of children in Alameda County who are eligible for free lunch? (The answer is 42.8%. As a point of comparison, it’s 21.4% in Marin.) What about the population, broken down by age, of the people in your zip code? How can I create a map of cell phone ownership of the residents of Berkeley?

Maps can be an excellent way to visualize data. And the Library subscribes to a number of resources that can help you do this. Here are three go-to map resources for US data:

  • PolicyMap:includes over 15,000 US demographic and socioeconomic data indicators from the neighborhood census block to national levels. Data may be downloaded to csv.
  • SimplyAnalytics: Create custom thematic maps, tables, and reports using demographic, business, and marketing data for the United States. Also known as Simply Map. (sign in as Guest or create an account)
  • Social Explorer: Data and interactive thematic maps from the U.S. Census from 1790-present.

For a complete list on the library’s mapping resources check out the research guide Maps and & Air Photos created by Susan Powell, the GIS & Map Librarian.

Fun with the Library Collection: The EUA’s Student Book Club

English Undergraduate Association Book Club
by Taylor Follett

Calling undergrads! We all use the Library for study and research, but the collections are bursting with popular novels, collections from local poets, YA, graphic novels, and everything you might need for a cozy weekend of pleasure writing. The UC Berkeley English Undergraduate Association’s book club, EUA Reads is indulging this semester by reading and discussing three wonderful works pulled from Library bookshelves. Whether you want to follow along on your own or join the EUA for their fortnightly book club, please join us in reading these picks!

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Honoring Black History Month at the Library

Honor Black History Month at the library
by Taylor Follett

February is Black History Month! We’ve compiled a small sample of the incredible literary work African American poets, novelists, essayists, and thinkers have penned. Enjoy!

Explore novels by African American authors that came out within the past year:

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Love Data Week 2018!

Description of event
The University Library,  Research IT,  and Berkeley Institute for Data Science invite faculty, students, and staff to a series of events on February 12th-16th during Love Data Week 2018.  Love Data Week is a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness about data visualization, management, sharing, and preservation.
Please join us to learn about multiple data services that the campus provides and discover options for managing and publishing your data. Graduate students, researchers, librarians and data specialists are invited to attend these events to gain hands on experience, learn about resources, and engage in discussion around researchers’ data needs at different stages of their research process.
To register for these events and find out more, please visit: http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/ldw2018guide
Schedule:
 
Intro to Scopus APIs –  Learn about different types of APIs Scopus has to offer and how to get data from APIs. In the first hour, learn about the portal, what the API can do, and about different use cases. Following a short break, the instructor will take the group through live queries, show how to test code, provide tips and tricks, and will leave the group with sample code to work with. Attendees will be able to follow up with the instructor via webinar to troubleshoot and ask further questions about specific projects. Register from here.
01:00 – 03:00 p.m.Tuesday, February 13, Doe Library, Room 190 (BIDS)
Refreshments will be provided.
Data stories and Visualization Panel – Learn how data is being used in creative and compelling ways to tell stories. Researchers across disciplines will talk about their successes and failures in dealing with data.
1:00 – 02:45 p.m.Wednesday, February 14, Doe Library, Room 190 (BIDS)
Refreshments will be provided.
Planning for & Publishing your Research Data – Learn why and how to manage and publish your research data as well as how to prepare a data management plan for your research project.
01:00 – 02:00 p.m.Thursday, February 15, Doe Library, Room 190 (BIDS)
We hope to see you there!

February New Books

You can find these titles and other recent acquisitions on the Art History / Classics Library’s New Book Shelf.

Rosa Barba : from source to poem
Rosa Barba : from source to poem

 

Daniel Frank / herausgegeben von Edith Carey
Daniel Frank / herausgegeben von Edith Carey

 

Wael Shawky : Crusades and other stories
Wael Shawky : Crusades and other stories

 

Sappers & shrapnel : contemporary art and the art of the trenches
Sappers & shrapnel : contemporary art and the art of the trenches

 

Melancolía / textos
Melancolía / textos

HTRC UnCamp 2018 comes to Moffitt, highlights power of digital humanities

Speaker gestures.
David Mimno of Cornell University gives the keynote presentation on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) UnCamp 2018 in Moffitt Library. (Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library)

How important is a word to a particular genre?

Who initiates violence more often: protesters or police?

What if we could search for things based on shape, rather than keywords?

At a conference for the digital humanities hosted by UC Berkeley, computer scientists and humanists gathered from around the U.S. to discuss bold research questions like these, made possible by growing stores of data in digital libraries and a few new machine learning tricks.

One such library is HathiTrust, a digital database of 16 million volumes. The organization, co-located at Indiana University and the University of Illinois, also has a research arm: the HathiTrust Research Center, or  HTRC, which offers tools and guidance for researchers wanting to mine the collection for new discoveries in human language and history.

In late January, the center held its 2018 HTRC UnCamp, filling the fifth floor of Moffitt Library with project presentations and crash courses on textual analysis. The conference also included break-out sessions throughout campus, in the D-Lab and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, or BIDS.

Speakers present
Speakers listen to a question at the UnCamp on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)

The goal of the UnCamp was to pull together the diverse group of researchers using HathiTrust, from educators and librarians to community members, explained Robert McDonald, associate dean for research & technology strategies at Indiana University.

This conference in particular was exciting, McDonald said, because of a surge in community engagement and attendance as people have become more familiar with the database. About 150 people registered for this conference, he said, compared with about 30 at the last UnCamp, in 2015.

On its website, HathiTrust boasts several built-in algorithms that help researchers learn new things about texts based on their metadata — features such as word usage and page numbers. Most of the digitized texts in the collection are still under copyright, so researchers are cut off from studying them in traditional ways.

The benefit of HathiTrust’s database is that computers, not humans, are searching the texts, so researchers can still discover important linguistic clues without violating copyright.

The web-based tools on the site radically expand what researchers can do with their work. But perhaps more significantly, those capabilities also widen circles in the humanities, by introducing the need for new skills and surprising collaboration.

“Most humanities people, we just work alone — we sit in a room and write, or read,” said Loren Glass, an English professor at the University of Iowa who is using the database to study the relationship between where a writer is from and what they go on to write about. “I have enormously welcomed this collaborative laboratory dynamic where, instead, you sit in a room with other people with different skill sets and you’re able to all benefit from each other’s work.”

“The more of that, the better,” he said.

University of Nebraska researchers Leen-Kiat Soh and Elizabeth Lorang, who gave one of the keynote talks at the conference, are a good example. Soh is a computer scientist, Lorang, a poetry-loving librarian. Together, they created AIDA — a tool to search digitized images for specific types of literary content. At the conference, they showed how they’re using machine learning to find poems buried in historic newspapers.

Tens of millions of poems have been published in historic newspapers, but not all of them end up in the “poet’s corner.” They’re sprinkled throughout obituaries, marriage announcements, and advertisements. You’d have to comb through each newspaper by hand to find them — an impossible task.

Instead, the team tried to think about what a poem looks like. They measured the spaces between stanzas and the jaggedness of the right margins, and trained an algorithm to detect similar patterns across endless fields of black and white.

“The original idea was to find the poems, and then think about how to analyze the text,” Lorang said. “But now it’s become, let’s find them in order to make this possible for other people to do.”

“We could pursue this as a research project for years and years, but ultimately if there’s not uptake in the community, it’s not going to matter,” she continued. The conference, she said, was a chance to get feedback on their project, as well as get a better feel for where to go in the future.

The wider goal, she said, is to bring attention to lesser-known poems and correct some historical oversights. With our current search tools, we’re only ever looking for names and lines we already know about, she said.

Attendees chat at conference
David Bamman, right, and Laura Nelson chat at the UnCamp on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)

Many of the projects discussed focused on recovery work in our collective canon. Textual analysis and big data make lesser-known voices easier to find, giving us the chance to reshape the cultural record.

One conference guest, Annie Swafford, a digital humanities specialist at Tufts University, is curating a corpus of works by a group of British women who, in the 1880s, formed the first women’s literary dinner club. “Women didn’t just want to talk about clothes — they wanted intense, philosophical discussion,” Swafford said. She’s interested in how the vocabulary and themes of women’s writing of the time differed from their male counterparts.

Swafford came to the conference to discover new research tools for her work, but also to learn how to support others’ work. Swafford is Tuft University’s first digital humanities specialist, and next month, she’ll lead an introductory workshop on textual analysis. She said she’s excited to show people some of the HathiTrust tools. She particularly liked Bookworm, a simple program that compares the popularity of a word across place and time and can help teach students about how language is a changing phenomenon.

Participant speaks from audience
Jon Stiles speaks from the audience during the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) UnCamp 2018 on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo by Jami Smith for the University Library)

Audience members played with Bookworm on their personal computers during the conference. They also tried their hand at creating work sets with the HathiTrust database, and running simple text analyses such as topic modeling (where a computer sorts through word patterns and clusters related words together to give you an idea of what a text’s major themes are).

A major focus of the UnCamp was educating people about how to take advantage of HathiTrust’s digital collection. During the hands-on sessions, Chris Hench, a postdoc at the D-Lab and BIDS, presented an instructive module he built with Cody Hennesy, the campus’s information studies librarian, to teach people how to build worksets from the database. Teammate Alex Chan, a third-year computer science student, then showed attendees an example of the kinds of programs users can build to investigate those collections. He presented an algorithm he built that, after a bit of training, can automatically sort volumes into genres based on similarities in language.

The educational HTRC module, Hench said, was an extension of some of the data analysis training that Berkeley’s Division of Data Sciences has been offering around campus. Hench and the data science modules team visit a range of courses, working with students to answer relevant questions with crunchable data.

In an International & Areas Studies course, for example, students investigated different measurements of social inequality. The data team helped the class quantify the weight of societal factors such as education, wealth, and income, and plug them into an overall inequality assessment.

With all of the exciting content, most speakers barely finished their presentations in time, hurrying through their last slides, anxious to share final details.

Nick Adams, who works in BIDS, presented the web interface he developed to crowdsource the arduous hand-labeling work needed to train algorithms. Right now, he’s examining newspapers in 184 cities for stories on protests to analyze why and how police and protesters initiate violence.

In the last seconds of his talk, he turned to acknowledge his collaborator, Norman Gilmore.

“I’m a sociologist,” Adams said. “I’ve gotten into text analysis in the last few years … but I am not a software engineer. This would not have happened without Norman.”

 

Workshop: Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks
Tuesday, February 20th, 1:10-2:30pm
Academic Innovation Studio, Dwinelle Hall 117 (Level D)

If you’re looking to self-publish work of any length and want an easy-to-use tool that offers a high degree of customization, allows flexibility with publishing formats (EPUB, MOBI, PDF), and provides web-hosting options, Pressbooks may be great for you. Pressbooks is often the tool of choice for academics creating digital books, open textbooks, and open educational resources, since you can license your materials for reuse however you desire. Learn why and how to use Pressbooks for publishing your original books or course materials. You’ll leave the workshop with a project already under way! Register at bit.ly/dp-berk

Upcoming Workshops in this Series 2017-2018:

  • Scalar for Multimedia Digital Projects
  • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects
  • Omeka for Digital Collections and Exhibits
  • By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
  • The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.


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