From text to data – new ways of reading

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Hem / From text to data – new ways of reading
2019-02-07 13:00 till 2019-02-08 15:30
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A conference at the National Library of Sweden

The title of this conference indicates the underlying two-fold goals for the event. One intention is to preach the potential in language technology and text analysis tools for researchers in humanities and social sciences. Another intention is to demonstrate to the institutions within the heritage sector (Archives, Libraries and Museums) the huge research opportunities and potentials they can support by making their resources available in open and digital format, accessible for language-based analysis.

We will not go into the actual tech/programming/computational linguistic angle of this, as the idea is more to stress the usefulness of the tools and methods to people who are not very familiar with programming, language models or how to analyze large textual corpora. As you all well know, with language technology and text analysis tools you can do what you’ve always done, only faster and easier, but you can also do things that no one would have thought possible just some decades ago.

The event is co-arranged by the National Library of Sweden, the National Archives and Swe-Clarin, a language technology consortium aiming to build an infrastructure to support humanities and social sciences with tech, tools and methods for scholars to find new paths in their respective fields. The idea with the conference is to take a further step from earlier national seminars on the use/value of digital culture as Digital Paths to the Collections (2015) and Digital Humanities in Archives & Libraries (2016). 

This conference will provide an opportunity to meet scholars that, although representing a wide range of research interests, share the focus on text as data. The presentations will be of great interest for researchers within the humanities and social sciences as well as archivists, librarians and curators who manage collections at our heritage institutions, collections whose research potential might be further increased by the digital format.

Day 1 - Thursday, 7th February

12:30 - 13:00


13:00 - 13:15

Gunilla Herdenberg, National Librarian
Karin Åström Iko, National Archivist

13:15 - 14:00

Who belongs? Reading identity, ownership, and legitimacy
Tim Sheratt, Associate Professor of Digital Heritage, University of Canberra

14:00 - 14:45

 How are we reading texts and for what purpose? How do the tasks language technology is built for fit the needs of digital humanities?
Jussi Karlgren, Adjunct Professor of Language Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

14:45 - 15:15



15:15 - 16:00

Crowdsourcing for text transcription, challenges & opportunities

Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage, University of Edinburgh

16:00 - 16:45

Reading by the numbers: when big data meats genre

Alexandra Borg, Reasercher, Dpt. of Literature, Uppsala University


End of day 1

Day 2 - Friday, 8th February

09:30 - 10:00


10:00 - 10:45

 Life Writes Its Own Stories: The value and research benefits gained from digitised newspaper collections
Simon Tanner, Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage, Kings College

10:45 - 11:30

Probabilistic programming problems with prose (and other text)
Måns Magnusson, Researcher, Dpt of Computer Science, Aalto university

11:30 - 13:00


13:00 - 13:45

The life and lessons of a library lab – the case of the KB Lab 
Lotte Wilms, Digital Scholarship Advisor, KB lab, the Hague

13:45 - 14:30

The Digital Collections of the National Library of Norway. Between Public Service and Cutting-Edge Research
Annika Rockenberger, Research Librarian and Chief Strategist for Digital Humanities, National Library of Norway

14:30 - 15:15

 Concluding reflections/extended conversation
Patrik Svensson, Visiting Professor of Digital Humanities, UCLA


Moderator: Johanna Berg, Project Manager, världskulturmuseerna
The conference is held in English