Tuesday, November 25, 2014

100 years of College Drama Society

The college annuals of University College Galway are an indispensable record of student life and activity on campus. With updates on study and academic courses, sporting life, achievements of students and academics, contributions to social and cultural life and general news of interest for and by students it is an insight into what being student in Galway was like over 100 years ago.

In an issue for 1914 the Dramatic Society documents the activities of the first year in existence of the UCG Dramatic Society. According to the notes:

"The first year of this society has been very successful, notwithstanding some "excursions and alarums". There was first of all the question whether we were a college society at all, which was pursued by some so far that one night of rehearsal we found ourselves faced with an order by a college official that we are not to be allowed into the Aula Maxima".

UCG Drama Society, 1914

Thankfully things did improve for the society as it is noted how "Twelfth Night" was to be the first production:
"Rehearsals were frequent, but though they take up much time, they were essential and often good fun as well. The actors were all enthusiastic and painstaking, and from the beginning each did his or her best to make the play a success, and a success it was."

A tribute to the success of the play was noted as being the attendance of the President of UCG on the night of the play (December 16th):

"This tribute of loyalty and respect, not to say affection, acted as a message of encouragement and a stimulus to the actors and made manifest that this was truly "a college night", and such a one as it is hoped will be frequent in the future."

To view the 1914, and other editions of the historic College annuals visit the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room.

UCG Drama Society, 1915, seated at Aula Maxima

Monday, November 24, 2014

Digital Seminar Series Event 2 at Hardiman Building 27 Nov.

Digital Scholarship Seminar. THU 27 NOV, 12-2pm. G1001 Hardiman Research Building.

Creating a database of Irish international trade 1698-1829
Dr Aidan Kane (Economics, NUI Galway), Dr Patrick A Walsh (History, UCD), Dr Eoin Magennis (InterTrade Ireland)

What are the potential benefits of applying mathematical network theory to Humanities sources?
Dr Máirín Mac Carron (History, NUI Galway)

The second event of this semester’s Digital Scholarship Seminar features talks on databases in economic history and on mathematics meeting mythology (abstracts below). Featuring both local and visiting speakers, this event will focus on two projects with interdisciplinary methods at their core. Please join us for this seminar on Thu 27 November. Presentation and discussion will take place in Room G1001, Hardiman Building (first floor) from 12-1pm, and will be followed by lunch and further discussion from 1-2pm.
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Creating a database of Irish international trade 1698-1829
We report on work-in-progress in capturing and interpreting data from a unique set of records of Ireland’s international trade, the “Customs 15" ledgers housed in the UK National Archives. These (hand-written) records span the period 1698 to 1829, with at least one c.50-folio volume for each year. They record (in remarkably internally consistent and stable formats) Ireland’s exports and imports in each year, for hundreds of commodities, detailing quantities, prices, and values, distinguished by main trading partners, and by Irish port, along with summary tables of shipping tonnage and trade-related tax revenue (these latter two also detailed by port). Only a small proportion of the wealth of the data these records contain has been accessible to date. Having digitised a sample of these volumes and captured some data, we report on the challenges of data capture, management, presentation, curation, and interpretation in anticipation of a larger project to make this unique resource available to a wide community. See http://www.duanaire.ie/trade

What are the potential benefits of applying mathematical network theory to Humanities sources?

I recently applied mathematical network theory to Humanities sources, following collaboration with mathematicians, as part of my involvement in an ESF-funded exploratory workshop called ‘Maths meets Myths’, held at Coventry University (10-13 September 2014). My test cases are accounts of saints’ lives (hagiographies) from seventh- and eighth-century Anglo-Saxon England. Following presentation of my preliminary findings, the paper will pose questions such as: does network theory tell us anything that we could not already infer from close textual study? For network theory to be effective, do our sources need to contain a minimum or maximum number of characters? Is it necessary for humanities scholars to work closely with mathematicians in order to get the greatest benefit from such quantitative research tools?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Verne Harris Lecture at Hardiman Building - "Post-Apartheid, Post Mandela"

Verne Harris, Director of Research and Archives at the Nelson Mandela Foundation

Lecture on 

"Post-Apartheid, Post Mandela"

Seminar Room G011 the Hardiman Reserach Building

Date & Time
20th November, 2014 @ 13:00:00

Verne Harris offers a reflection on reckoning with pasts and making futures in South Africa. He interrogates inter alia the country's continuing transition to democracy, the unfinished work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Director of Research and Archive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Verne Harris was Mandela's archivist from 2004 to 2013. He is an honorary research fellow with the University of Cape Town, participated in a range of structures which transformed South Africa's apartheid archival landscape, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and is a former Deputy Director of the National Archives. Widely published, he is probably best-known for leading the editorial team on the best-seller Nelson Mandela: Conversations with Myself. He is the recipient of archival publication awards from Australia, Canada and South Africa, and both his novels were short-listed for South Africa's M-Net Book Prize. He has served on the Boards of Archival Science, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Freedom of Expression Institute, and the South African History Archive

For more information please contact tflorath@web.de