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The HathiTrust Research Center UnCamp2012
A 1.5 Day Event - September 10-11, 2012
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Hosted by Indiana University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The HathiTrust Research Center held its first annual “UnCamp” in Bloomington, IN on September 10-11. 130 participants from HathiTrust member and non-member institutions gathered for presentations, demos, and hands-on sessions with the emerging Research Center tools. The tools that HTRC showed fall into 2 categories:  tools that enhance a researcher’s ability to manipulate the HathiTrust corpus, and tooling that allows researchers to write their own algorithms for information retrieval on the corpus.  Content went beyond tools:  HathiTrust gave a session on the HathiTrust data, and HTRC showed an execution carried out against the full 2.8M volumes of the public domain corpus (that took 25 minutes to run). Attendee makeup at the UnCamp was broad. Based on a self-selected categorization, the participant group identified itself in equal amounts as  “developers”, “librarians”, and “researchers” with a smaller amount identifying as “administrator” or “other”. Response was enthusiastic but realistic as to the challenges.

Selected tweets from the event:

  • Future work: work on getting access to full HT content for non-consumptive research; improve collection building capabilities #HTRC12
  • Many thanks to the people behind #HTRC12, a phenomenal team doing the best they can (which is quite a lot) while playing the legal limbo.
  • Encouraging wide-scale participation in HTRC, partnering with existing events (e.g., DH, JCDL) #HTRC12
  • An Idea of Happiness: Thanks to everyone behind #HTRC12! Great experience for this MLS student.
  • Sayonara to everyone at HathiTrust and thanks for the UnCon! it was informative and fun. Atlanta here I come! #HTRC12

Feedback from the post-event survey:

  • Speaking with other researchers was great, I really enjoyed going out for dinner and drinks after the conference. I appreciate the technical aspects of the presentation, the chance to look at the data.
  • I particularly liked the session on the SEASR Analytics, and the opportunity to experiment in this environment. Although I have a technical background, I am not currently in a technical position. The explanations of all the modules may have gone over some heads, but for me the level was just right - I could appreciate the modular nature of the workflows without being bogged down by the mechanics, and could focus on teh types of things that were possible. I also truly enjoyed seeing the demonstrations of how the tools were being used in research (Allen,Underwood). There's nothing like a few good examples to really whet the appetite as to what is possible. I would be remiss not to mention that networking with colleagues and putting faces to names was also helpful - and the "walking group" was an instrumental part of that.
  • Learning about the goals of the HTRC and some of the challenges the team is working to overcome. I now have a way to talk intelligently about how scholars may be able to use some of the Hathi content now and what might become available going forward.
  • Nice job. You've made a great start. Keep it up. I could probably be convinced that other priorities are as important or more important than those above, but the event as a whole made a convincing argument for keeping on the current path.
  • Learning about basic infrastructure of the research-available corpus (system architecture; size/scope of available content; and rightsw issues) Hearing about use cases Comparing notes/networking with fellow attendees 

 

Who attended? The HTRC UnCamp targeted digital humanities tool developers, researchers and librarians of HathiTrust member institutions, and graduate students. Confirmed Attendees

Contact us:  with questions, inquiries, please send mail to feedback@issues.hathitrust.org

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