Något om en kommande digital humaniora-workshop på HUMlab i Umeå

I december anordnas en workshop om digital humaniora i Sverige (och internationellt), Sorting the Digital Humanities Out. Jag ingår i konferensens referensgrupp och programmet börjar nu enligt uppgift att sätta sig. Som framgår på konferenssidan är ambitionen med evenemanget följande:

HUMlab intends to bring together a mid-sized group of people to approach the digital humanities as a field and future. Welcome! The intention is not to come up with yet another manifesto, or to describe what is already there, but rather to focus on the intermediate future and what we can do to move beyond just discussing the field to actually implementing a seven-year plan of action. The event is invitation only. It is suggested that the tent of ‘big tent digital humanities’ is not large enough. While an inclusive notion of the digital humanities seems tenable, we also need to acknowledge that the digital humanities is not everything. There will be a focus on scholarly and educational perspectives, as well as institutional and infrastructural issues, and again, implementation in a mid-range time perspective is key. Sweden (and Scandinavia) will serve as one case study, but the scope is clearly international.

Personligen tänker jag mig göra ett tämligen polemiskt inspel och tillåta mig att göra en subjektiv reflektion kring varför KB producerat och tillgängliggjort så lite digitalt material på webben under de år jag arbetat där. Under titleln: “The Anti-Digital National Library. A Personal Reflection” lyder därför mitt abstract som följer:

I am a media scholar with a focus on computational media and have during the last five years worked as Head of Research at the National Library of Sweden (KB, Kungliga biblioteket)). It has been an utter disappointment. The crucial question among all heritage institutions world wide during the last decade has been ways (practices and theories) to transform analogue collections into digital files, i.e digitization. Yet, during my years at KB the institution has managed to produced almost zero digital content online (with some minor exceptions). The question is why? My rather polemical and personal presentation will thus focus on what has gone wrong at KB. Among European National Libraries today KB is one of the digitally least performing institutions. In short, how is it possible and what are the reasons that a “leading” national heritage institution can produce so little accesible digital content given a relative fair amount of state funding (some 40 Million Euro each year)?