This module introduces a wide range of subjects surrounding the ever-growing use of the internet for the dissemination of heritage information. The pivotal theme of the course is to consider how this platform offers opportunities to overcome some of the fundamental issues affecting our discipline, namely: publication and data backlogs. In tandem we'll also look at the challenges: how do we find things, how do we know they're reliable and how do we prevent data loss?
Over the term we will look at the history of the internet, noting key advances and historic use by our field. We will also look at the rise of electronic publishing, self publishing (via blogs) web-based dissemination of grey literature, and the Open Access movement. The module will also discuss Digital Archives, including why we need them and how they work. We will also look at initiatives to facilitate the sharing of information: introducing metadata and looking at specific metadata standards relevent to archaeology and heritage. We will look at the world of Web Services, seeing how they work and relative strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we'll look at Linked Data and other aspects of the semantic web, dispelling some myths and looking at the rich potential for opening up heritage datasets.
The module is based around classrom-based lectures from the module lead often with live demonstrations of particular sites to help explain and give context to particular concepts, such as Web Services or Linked Data, that may be new to some. Students will be assigned their own work to present to the class, both in the form of traditional reading-based tasks, but also reviews of websites or reports on particular technologies in action.
The module is designed for anyone with an interest in how we're using the internet for our work; all technologies, concepts (and acronyms!) are approached at an introductory level.
Illustration by Jørgen Stamp digitalbevaring.dk CC BY 2.5 Denmark
Upon completion of this module students should have: