The Internet of Musical Events: Digital Scholarship, Community, and the Archiving of Performance (InterMusE)
Funded by the AHRC’s UK-US New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions programme, InterMusE is a two-year project that will result in the development of transformative new tools and techniques for community digitisation projects. InterMusE will enable new ways of capturing and, crucially, linking different forms of data around musical events to form a dynamic, open-access digital archive.
Focusing on often under-resourced regional and local cultural institutions, we are working with materials held at the University of York’s Borthwick Institute for Archives, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Linen Hall Library (Belfast), Royal College of Music, and relating to three former chapters of the British Music Society (est. 1918): Huddersfield Music Society, British Music Society of York, and Belfast Music Society.
Using a combination of computational techniques (such as machine learning and natural language processing), crowdsourcing techniques and community-focused approaches (eg oral-history interviews and citizen research), we will harvest data from a range of sources including concert programmes, correspondence, posters, and other ephemera. By adopting a deeply collaborative and democratic approach based on the principles of digitally enabled collaboration and co-design, we are working with these concert-giving institutions and their communities in understanding their own histories and reflecting on their identities.
The richness of the resulting data will offer unprecedented opportunities to collect, analyse, and visualise information about musical events and how they have shaped community life over the past century. The data will be used to form an open access digital archive that can be linked with existing digital portals and will be open and accessible to all.
The InterMusE team, led by Professor Rachel Cowgill, brings together interdisciplinary scholars from the University of York, the Computational Foundry at Swansea University, the British Library and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Professor Cowgill's research focuses on music in cultural history, encompassing Mozart, opera studies, British music and musical cultures, internationalism, conflict and commemoration, and music, gender and identity. She is currently the University of York's Research Theme Champion for Creativity.
Dr Armstrong's research interests include opera and disability studies, contemporary opera production, theatre and performance theory, modernism and early 20th century discourses of degeneracy and digital musicology and archives.