October 12, 2023, by Matt Davies

DTH Autum 2023: Manager’s update

The Digital Transformations Hub is open and ready for a new term, we have a new team member, new volunteers and even a new student project for 2023 –24.

Research Associates

This year for the first time, DTH will have three Research Associates (RAs) as Abigail Spanner joins the team.  Abi will be working in DTH on Thursdays and is a Classics and Archaeology PhD student in her second year. She joins existing RAs Xiangzhen He (Cherry) who covers DTH on Wednesdays, and Abigail Parker who covers Fridays.

The RAs are Faculty of Arts PhD students who get half UK fees funded by the faculty, they each supervise the DTH and a volunteer project for one day a week during term time. You can find out more about the RAs and other DTH staff here and about the DTH’s RA scholarship here.

Photograph of a student using the copystand and camera to photograph a newspaper

A DTH volunteer works on the Hennessy project

Student Volunteers

We also have a new team of eager student volunteers recruited from across the faculty who will be starting their two-hour weekly shifts in DTH in late October. Following some training, they will be on hand in the Hub to help you find the equipment and software you need for your study / research. They will also be working on digitial themed projects which they will have chosen at the Project Pitch event, and which are a big part of what goes on in the DTH during term time.

You can find out more about DTH’s student volunteer scheme here

Volunteer projects

As usual we have five real world volunteer projects this year, one for each day of the week. The Marketing project will be running on Fridays and will be supervised by Abigail Parker. Her team will be posting on Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, LinkedIn and I’m sure Digital Dan and Abigail the swan will be starring in some videos – maybe even 360° videos again! So, make sure you follow us and keep up to date on DTH news and pics, you will find all of our social media pages linked from the DTH website (see below)

On Wednesdays Cherry will be running the ongoing Hennessy digitisation project for which volunteers are trained how to use the copystand and DSLR camera to digitise the Centre for Research on Cuba’s Hennessy Collection. The students will be digitising this unique collection of Cuban newspapers from the 1960s to professional archiving standards. They will be taught how to do this by the Manuscripts and Special Collections’ digitaisation officer Mark Bentley.

I will be running the 3D digitisation project again, and we will be continuing to produce 3D digital models of artefacts belonging to the University Museum. We will be using photogrammetry –a method that involves taking overlapping photographs of the object using a DSLR camera synchronized with a turntable and 3D software. However, this year we will also be visiting the Archeology labs to use their new Artec 3D scanners, which will give us more options with smaller objects, but also options to combine the technologies to produce even better models.

You can view the 3D models of the museum’s artefacts that DTH has producedon in previous years on our sketchfab page here

Another project that will be continuing is the Archaeology Slide digitisation project. The collection includes images of excavations, finds and plans covering the second half of the 20th century. The students learn digital archiving, photoshop, and metadata curation skills.

A photo of Archaeology slides being scanned and displayed on a PC monitor

The Archaeology slide digitisation project

Finally, the Hunter Archaeological Society Journal digitisation project will be running for the first time this year and will be superviesed by Abigail Spanner. The Society was founded in 1912 and reports on the archaeology, history and architecture of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. We will be working with the society to digitise the back catalogue of their bi-annual journal to preserve them as a digital archive. The students will also use OCR technology to produce searchable pdf versions of the journal so that it can be easily accessed and used for research.

For more details on all of our projects, check out previous posts in digital Dialogues, and look out for new ones over the year ahead.

The DTH will be continuing to fund the Automated Transcription Service for Faculty of Arts staff and postgraduates, find out more about that and also about how you can access text mining tool Gale Digital Scholar Lab here

The DTH Sharepoint page has useful guides on many of the digital processes and resources mentioned in this blog,  check it out here

More useful links

The DTH website

The University of Nottingham Museum

The Archaeology department Laboratories

The Centre for Research on Cuba

The Hunter Archaeological Society’s webpage


Posted in About DTH