“the world we live in is surely a world of information.”
-Tom Wilson (2010)
I am very pleased to to share that I will be curating @wethehumanities (http://www.wethehumanities.org) between Monday 29th June and Sunday 5th July 2015.
My interest in curating @wethehumanities is manifold. Personal and professional reasons intertwine, both sets including my interests in humanities advocacy, social media and library and information science. I have been on Twitter since December 2008 and I have been a blogger since 1999. As a lecturer in Library Science at City University London (our blog is here and we are on Twitter @citylis) my research and teaching interests are centred around the "human communication chain" (Bawden and Robinson 2012), specifically looking at how the mechanisms with which we produce, disseminate, collect, preserve, discover and give access to information.
Though I have developed a keen interest in coding, computing and data science, my background is fundamentally a humanities background; my BA is in English literature, I did an MA in culture and communication studies and my PhD was on Library and Information Studies, which I did in what would eventually become the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH). Some of my work advocating for the humanities has appeared in platforms like HASTAC and 4Humanities. You may want to take a look at this infographic from UCLDH and 4Humanities that I contributed to.
My particular take on curating @wethehumanities seeks to promote awareness and knowledge exchange about the role that library and information science (LIS) plays within the humanities in general as an academic discipline, and in specific in facilitating the understanding of and production, collection, preservation and access to information resources that make humanities tasks possible.
In the #citylis web site LIS is defined as
“...a long-standing academic discipline, with its own set of theories and perspectives. It focuses on the study of the communication chain of recorded information, and supports the practice of librarianship, information management, archiving and records management and other collection professions.
Although it makes full use of technology, LIS is rooted in the humanities and social sciences. Its origins are in bibliography, the attempt over several centuries to make published information organized and accessible, and in the documentation and special libraries movements of the early twentieth century, which sought to make specialised knowledge retrievable at a detailed level. It is therefore centred around an understanding of documents and the ways in which they are managed; particularly the new forms of digital and immersive documents now becoming available.”
(See also Bawden and Robinson 2015).
Some of the questions I thought it would be interesting to pose from @wethehumanities would be
- What would humanists do without libraries and librarians?
- How do humanists (academic and alt-ac staff, students, independent researchers) understand the role of LIS within the humanities?
- In which ways is LIS a humanistic activity (as practice) and humanities research (as methodology, theoretical framework) and in which ways is LIS perhaps more than that, crossing boundaries or making the relationships with other related fields more explicit?
- Library and Information Science: What kind of science? Are the sciences and the humanities really that far apart? What's in a name?
- How much is Digital Humanities LIS and how much is LIS Digital Humanities? (Robinson, Priego and Bawden, 2015)
I am looking forward to my days behind @wethehumanities. Logically I won't be able to be online at all times, and I sometimes I will schedule some Tweets. Hopefully you will be able to join me during the next week. Many thanks in advance!