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Enabling comic and cartoon art digital research

This deck of slides by Ernesto Priego were presented at the Cradled in Caricature 2012 symposium at the University of Kent, Canterbury.
More info: http://cradledincaricature.wordpress.com/cic-event-27-april-2012/
This deck of slides has been shared online by Ernesto Priego under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Screen grabs from The British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent were obtained from http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/ and reproduced here under Academic Fair Use
All other images are copyright their respective holders.

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Enabling comic and cartoon art digital research

  1. 1. Enabling Cartoon ArtDigital Research:Notes on The British Cartoon Archive Online.[A Digital Humanities Perspective].Dr Ernesto Priego@ernestopriego#CiC12Cradled in Caricature 2012, Friday 27 April, University of Kent, Canterbury
  2. 2. Digital Humanities? Ongoing definitional phase. A diverse and still emerging field that encompasses the practice of humanities research in and through information technology and the exploration of how humanities may evolve through their engagement with technology. Studies the impact of digital technologies on cultural heritage, libraries, archives and memory institutions whilst developing new tools and research methods. Often too much emphasis on quantitative text analysis tools, not that much on multimedia or text- and-image content. Emphasis on annotation, metadata (TEI).
  3. 3. MLA Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media “Humanists are adopting new technologies and creating new critical and literary forms and interventions in scholarly communication. They also collaborate with technology experts in fields such as image processing, document encoding, and computer and information science. User-generated content produces a wealth of new critical publications, applied scholarship, pedagogical models, curricular innovations, and redefinitions of author, text, and reader. Academic work in digital media must be evaluated in the light of these rapidly changing technological, institutional, and professional contexts, and departments should recognize that many traditional notions of scholarship, teaching, and service are being redefined.” <http://www.mla.org/guidelines_evaluation_digital>
  4. 4. “A British CartoonArchive! Who knew?” -BBC anchorman
  5. 5. Linking! Mine is an end-user (external) perspective of the British Cartoon Archive (BCA) Online. I am interested in showing how the BCA Online represents a model example of the relevance of digitisation and online access and user engagement with open educational resources for cartoon and comics studies. I would like to discuss the BCA Online as a digital humanities tool; an open access educational and scholarly research resource encouraging remote and non-niche engagement with its collection and platform.
  6. 6. British Cartoon Archive(BCA) Previously known as the Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature. Established in 1973 as a research centre and picture library. Located in Canterbury at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library. It has a library, archive, and exhibition gallery, and is dedicated to the history of British cartooning over the last two hundred years. Dr Nicholas Hiley is the Head of the British Cartoon Archive. The BCA is freely open without appointment during Library hours. Holds the national collection of cartoons of social and political comment from British newspapers and magazines.
  7. 7. Mission Statement“The British Cartoon Archive, at the University of Kent at Canterbury, exists to encourage and facilitate the study of cartoons and caricatures published in the United Kingdom. This is achieved by collecting, preserving, cataloguing, exhibiting, and distributing the work of cartoonists and caricaturists, and by encouraging and publishing studies of their art.”
  8. 8. Unique Collection;Unique Resource The BCA holds the artwork for more than 150,000 British editorial, socio- political, and pocket cartoons, supported by large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines. The collection of artwork dates back to 1904 and includes work by some of the most prominent British cartoonists.
  9. 9. Other Cartoon Art Resources <http://cartoons.osu.edu> <http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/230_swan.html>
  10. 10. BCA Online Its website, at www.cartoons.ac.uk is the largest online academic cartoon resource in the world. (For comparison, the Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon at the Library of Congress contains 2,085 items, not all digitised). Gives access to 140,000 digitised and catalogued images, including background material like 200 cartoonists’ biographies. Digitisation and online access made possible by Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) funding.
  11. 11. British Cartoon ArchiveDigitisation Project (BCAD) The British Cartoon Archive Digitisation (BCAD) Proje - was part of phase two of the Digitisation Programme funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to unlock a wealth of unique, hard-to-access material creating a critical mass of rich, permanent digital resources for the benefit of the widest user base possible within the UK further and higher education.
  12. 12. Cartoon Archive RapidDigitisation Project (CARD) The Cartoon Archive Rapid Digitisation project (CARD) is funded by the Joint Information Services Committee (JISC). It focuses on two undigitised collections. The two collections being added in the CARD Project are: The Cuttings Collection, comprising 14,500 political cartoons published in British national newspapers and magazines between 2003 and 2011. The Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP’s) archive, recording the prosecution for obscenity of 1,300 cartoon seaside postcards between 1951 and 1961.This has received a lot of media coverage and some extra public interest.
  13. 13. The Carl Giles Collection the BCA has catalogued and digitised over 15,000 original Giles cartoons and artwork, as well as over 5,000 items of personal correspondence and objects. <http://youtu.be/yusbR6jH1h0>
  14. 14. Search!
  15. 15. Search! Similar resources require previous knowledge prior to search.
  16. 16. Enabling Discovery:Finding the Unexpected “If youre not sure what you are looking for, why not check out some of the catalogue links on this page to get you started?” Search tag cloud of popular searches. Search by suggested popular artists, popular publisher, selected images and user-created thematic groups. Search by similar topics and related items. Advanced search.
  17. 17. Advanced Search, Too
  18. 18. Context, Metadata, Annotation•Reference number•Caption•Subjects•Series•Archival referencenumber•Copyright holder•Copyright contactDetails•Annotation
  19. 19. Interactive: User Engagement Enabling the creation of “groups” of content (user as curator). By encouraging users to suggest “edits” and comments Through Polls By requesting feedback Through Social Media Share Widget Through a survey Through the CARD blog
  20. 20. Sample Group: Cartoons of thedeath of Princess Diana
  21. 21. Users Annotate &Contribute Content;Users Encouraged to Use Content
  22. 22. Users Curate Content
  23. 23. Feedback
  24. 24. Feedback
  25. 25. My Twitter Poll: 55 Replies(and counting) <http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5C2YDTP>
  26. 26. My Twitter Poll
  27. 27. Are Any Yet-Unknown TargetAudiences Out There? 80% of Twitter poll respondents said they had never visited cartoons.ac.uk 83.6% of Twitter poll respondents said they were interested in what they saw. Yet 59% of 339 BCA Online users said they would not follow it on Twitter…
  28. 28. Example of Online ScholarlyUse <http://comicsgrid.com>
  29. 29. Copyright, Terms of Service “The copyright in this database, and the catalogue entries, is held by the University of Kent. Entries may be printed out for the purposes of private study, student essays, or academic research, but please contact us for other uses, including teaching packs. All the images on this database are subject to copyright, either in the cartoon itself, in the cataloguing, or in the digital image. The British Cartoon Archive has permission to display these digital images, but if you wish to reuse material please contact us. Copyright in cartoons is not calculated from the date of publication. It usually runs until seventy years after the death of the cartoonist, so that almost all of the images on this database are in copyright. If you want to include them in a publication, put them on a website, or distribute them in any other way, you must get permission. The British Cartoon Archive holds contact details for copyright holders, so please contact us for advice. The images on the website are not always very clear, however, once permission has been obtained from the copyright holder we can supply high-quality copies for reuse.”
  30. 30. The High Cost of Using Images “You can purchase high-resolution digital images of British Cartoon Archive material for £25 plus VAT for UK customers, £35 for all others, per image. Copyright permission must be obtained before ordering images, and details of copyright holders will be supplied by the BCA upon request. Once you have obtained copyright clearance you can pay for the images electronically from our e-store, and then receive them by email or on disk.”
  31. 31. “May I use cartoons from the BCAcatalogue in conference papers?” ‘You may use material from the BCA catalogue in presentations at academic seminars and conferences, including poster presentations, so long as no publication takes place outside the seminar or conference venue. You should identify the BCA as the source of the cartoon, and also give the name of the cartoonist, the publication, and the date. An example would be “British Cartoon Archive: Michael Cummings, Daily Express, 4 January 1965.”’[My emphasis]
  32. 32. Citation Standards as ToS If you want to refer to cartoons on this database, we recommend the following style. Single reference: David Low "Waltzes from Vienna", Evening Standard, 7 February 1936; The British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent, catalogue record LSE2273 at <http://www.kent.ac.uk/cartoons/> [Subsequently Low "Waltzes from Vienna", BCA catalogue record LSE2273.] General reference: The British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent, at http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/
  33. 33. Enabling Digital/Remote Research The BCA Online is a unique resource in the field of cartoon/comics studies. It enables remote access to materials previously unavailable to those not able to access original materials. It enables and encourages use of cartoon material for research, teaching and other academic and non-academic uses.
  34. 34. Encouraging Cartoon Studies The BCA Online proves digitisation and open access availability of copyrighted word-and-image content is feasible. It incorporates metadata in a creative way making materials discoverable and accessible. It responds to existing demand but also encourages non-niche use.
  35. 35. Availability StimulatesResearch Comics and cartoon studies have traditionally been the field of those who have access to objects of study. Open digital resources like the BCA Online do, are able and should make available content and methodologies to users that would not have been considered a target audience.
  36. 36. If You Use It, Tell Others The BCA Online enables user participation. So far it might be known by relatively few users (700-2000 users?) Traditionally digital initiatives are mostly promoted by their creators and funding bodies. Users and colleagues can play more active role. Eventually licensing might become a bit more permissive under Academic Fair Use? Citation and attribution is a form of promotion. Hyperlinking should be considered essential for citation of online resources.
  37. 37. The BCA Online as OER and DH “Digital Humanities” is not merely a trend or label. Creating digital resources for humanities research and teaching is DH, no matter the disciplinary or institutional setting in which the project is framed. Since it encourages access, research, educational use and sharing by collecting, preserving, cataloguing, exhibiting, and distributing cartoon art and contextual data freely on the web, the BCA Online is an open educational resource. It is digital humanities in action. The BCA Online is not a passive repository of content. It suggests and enables new forms of digital research, harnessing open web technologies whilst retaining an important physical presence.
  38. 38. Doodling the Future… Considerable material is still left to be digitised, described, transcribed, classified, annotated. Room for multilingual translation? Perhaps crowdsourcing through a sustainable engagement campaign would work? (See Transcribe Bentham, UCL). Funding for graduate student volunteers? Badges and/or other ways of recognising and attributing the contribution of volunteers? Sustainability and digital preservation when the funding runs out? More collaboration with comics scholars and living cartoonists and fans?
  39. 39. Thank You! efpriego@gmail.com @ernestopriego <http://www.comicsgrid.com/> With many thanks to Dr James Baker!
  40. 40. License This deck of slides has been shared online by Ernesto Priego under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Screen grabs from The British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent were obtained from http:// www.cartoons.ac.uk/ and reproduced here under Academic Fair Use All other images are copyright their respective holders.