Kathryn Greenhill

Librarian lecturing in information technology and public librarianship at Curtin University.

Looking for a PhD topic involving crunching large data sets. Fascinated by community-based digital repositories of stories like Kete Horwhenua and the spread of Open Source software in libraries.

Wordpress Believer. Set up Murdoch Blogs - WorkpressMU installation for all staff & students - at Murdoch University while working as Emerging Technologies Specialist. Blackboard Subverter. Baby Drupaller. Unconference Groupie.

I like kicking the tyres to see how things work. I like finding out how people are opening up and blending their datasets. I love encouraging other people and helping them to teach each other.

  • Building a bootcamp sampler


    UPDATE: Thanks Anna Gerber for offering to hold our hands on this one :)

    I learn better by doing than listening. After attending the bootcamp sessions today, lots of us understand theoretically how the tools work.

    Can some kind person with more coding experience run a session where participants make their own something using the tools we learned about today?

    I would like to create a little webpage (probably as a post on my WordPress site ? ) where I could embed a widget that is querying the NLA People and Organisations set. (For example something that pulls in the entry for Tim Winton then fetches the DBpedia info about him and displays it).  Maybe another widget-y thing that produces an interesting something using Tim’s Trove Tools? My idea is that we focus on how the queries are built and pulling in and matching datasets .

    We could use something similar to the Netvibes Ecosystem where you can easily make widgets where they do the “wrapper” (graphics and embed code) and you get to focus on just making a query.  I am sure there is something even better.

    Vague, but I am sure other people can develop and build on this.






  • Sharing the shoeboxes under the bed


    SESSION FORMAT: Facilitated talkfest

    This is a tentative exploration of ideas, so if anyone specialises in this, please jump in.

    Official government information, historical records and newspaper articles tell part of the story of a community. The digital humanities community is working well to collect and expose this data.

    Many communities have “shoeboxes under the bed” containing personal information like family photographs, recipes, memorabilia and artworks. People can be filmed or recorded telling their personal stories. Amateur historians, hobby genealogists, community arts projects, library local history collections, ABC Open are all involved in trying to capture these stories.

    “Build it and they will come” models for harvesting this type of data have not proved effective. The internet is littered with beautiful looking sites with great architecture that have no data beyond the initial seeding data that was collected before grant money ran out.

    Kete Horowhenua is an example of a successful site collecting many different digital formats and community metadata, harvesting the shoeboxes under the bed. http://horowhenua.kete.net.nz/


    What is the best way to create a project to harvest these stories that has community ownership ?

    Is there value in creating a model or guidelines to create an easy-to-implement platform for communities that want to harvest their shoeboxes? What features need to be included beside:

    • rights management
    • remix
    • best metadata schema
    • conversion to standardised file formats
    • exposure to search engines
    How would one co-locate these records with official datasets so that together they tell a complete story?
    Is there a role for public libraries as physical places to collect these stories and virtual places to create platforms for these stories?




  • Skills to practice and support Digital Humanities


    FORMAT: Facilitated talkfest producing agreed list of specific skills

    This may be better as two topics, but many of the skills will be the same.

    PART ONE – Improving technological literacy for humanities researchers

    What specific skills do humanities researchers need to be sufficiently technologically literate to take advantage of possibilities offered by the digital humanities?

    Whose responsibility is it to help them gain these skills?

    What model would work to help support researchers to gain these skills? Is there a role for research institutions to provide:

    • digital tools sandboxes for researchers
    • facilities like the Scholars Lab at UVa
    • tech skills clinics in the same model as writing clinics
    • support for digital humanities champions and mentors

    PART TWO – Preparing professionals to support digital humanities

    Information Studies courses at universities claim to be producing graduates who are specialists in metadata, database design, taxonomies and information design. They claim that graduates will be experts in collecting, organising and retrieving digital and physical information.

    What specific skills should be taught in Information Studies courses so that graduates can support the digital humanities?

    How can libraries and librarians provide better support for digital humanities?

    Have librarians and Information Studies departments missed to boat at becoming useful in this arena, or is there still a chance to be usefully involved? If so, what do we need to do?