Tuesday 20 August 2013

Extension to Wikimedian-in-Residence project at the Natural History Museum

At the end of the initial Wikimedian-in-Residence project John's contract with the museum was extended to the middle of January 2014. He will be working part time (50%) on the Wikimedian-in-Residence project, funded by Wikimedia UK with the rest of his time spent on a project on the abyssal megafauna of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone with Gordon Paterson.

The official project page on Wikipedia can be found here: Wikipedia:GLAM/Natural History Museum and Science Museum

There is some background to the project and other information on my website: Wikipedian in Residence (Natural History Museum and Science Museum)

Transcribing letters from the NHM archive using Wikisource

As an experiment John Cummings, Wikimedian-in-Residence at the Natural History Museum has made a few selected scans from the museum's archive available for transcription on Wikisource.

To familiarise myself with Wikisource I have translated the following letter from Charles Harte to Walter Rothschild. Harte worked as an impresario for Mademoiselle Paula (the famous reptile conqueror), and was offering Rothschild the chance to buy a snake from her collection.
You can read the transcription over at wikisource: Mdlle Paula, the famous reptile conqueror
(Click on the page numbers at the bottom of that page to view the transcriptions)

There is some background to this letter in this blog post on the NHM website: Item of the month (October 2011) Paula conquerors a time gone by and an old press cutting from the Otago Daily Times: Reptile Handling for a Livelihood.


There is a list of other letters from the archive that you can have a go at translating on our GLAM project page.

Monday 19 August 2013

Informatics Horizons: A digitial Natural History Museum in 10 years time

This was the final presentation at the Informatics Horizons event, and is a speculative look at what the digital offer of a natural history museum (not necessarily just the Natural History Museum) might look like in the future. Some key themes include not doing by hand what a computer can do for us (referring back to Vince's  presentation [video]), a closer synergy between scientists, public engagement and citizen scientists, and how we need to think - scope, scale, speed. Much of the inspiration for this talk came from Michael Edson's  talk at GLAM-WIKI 2013 (thanks!).

Informatics Horizons: Building Highways in the Informatics Landscape

This is the second talk I gave at the Informatics Horizons event at the Natural History Museum - which gives a brief overview of the DarwinCore Archive as a method for sharing biodiversity data and the advantages of this, primarily in supplying data to aggregators such as the eMonocot portal.

The slides are on SlideShare:

Thursday 1 August 2013

Informatics Horizons: Scratchpads & Citizen Science

This is the first of my talks from the Informatics Horizons event at the Natural History Museum, London covering some work we have been on linking Scratchpads and Citizen Science. The video of the talk is on YouTube:

... and the slides are on SlideShare:

The talk summarises what we have done with citizen science in Scratchpads so far, particularly the following projects and events:
The project to create a mobile app for recording observational data in Scratchpads is in collaboration with anymals+plants.

An example of an automated feed from user designed hardware might be along these lines: Open Source Data Logger.