Hullo from Rotterdam, where I am at DISH2011, “the conference about digital strategies for heritage”. There are over 550 delegates at the Rotterdam WTC, across a wide range of libraries, archives and museums, predominantly across Europe. Its a really interesting mix of people, and not so many of the usual suspect academics here (one of the key notes yesterday did a show of hands, about who was here from libraries, who was here from museums, who was a student, who was in industry, and…. no show of hands for who was at a university. Nice to be in the minority for once, and to meet lots of heritage professionals!) Its been really enjoyable, so far.
Yesterday was a fairly big day: Transcribe Bentham was one of the 5 international projects nominated for the Digital Heritage Award 2011 (you can see our specific nomination here). I had to give a 3 minute pitch in front of the entire crowd on behalf of the project team, bright lights and all, in the opening plenary session, followed by manning an information booth, above, in all the breaks to solicit votes. You can see the voting system above – people had to place a sticker on our sheet. By the end of the day we had filled quite a few of these – fantastic to have such support, and I talked to a lot of very interesting and interested people about the project. The winner of the award was Digital Koot, well done all! – a little bird tells me we came a close runner up. But to be honest, having the opportunity to pitch to such a large audience, and meet so many interesting people, was wonderful, and it was an honour to be nominated. All good fun.
Today I am actually giving the proper paper about Transcribe Bentham! 45 minutes rather than 3. So another big day, but standing up in front of a normal lecture hall in daylight is nothing compared to 3 minutes with the cameras and lights on you, so it will be fine.
I hope to visit DISH again. Its usually difficult for me to travel at this time of year due to the teaching schedule, but its definitely been a useful conference for me so far. And now to go and tackle another conference day…