Category Archives: ideas

The Genius and the Soil: Open Access and the Politics of Information

The following article was originally published in the April-May 2013 edition of Red Pepper (Issue 189). Who can share what on the internet? There is an increasing awareness of debates around illegal sharing through high profile court cases and controversies in the news – through things like the Pirate Bay, Wikileaks, or the recent tragic […]

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The Hegemony of the Eye

Insofar as the most innovative instruments of the era – the telescope and the microscope – extended the range and acuity of one sense in particular, scientific experience tended to privilege the visual, with its capacity to produce knowledge at a distance, over the other senses. Even when Bacon castigated normal vision for staying on […]

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On Machine Readable Reading Lists

A few years ago I used to work at several college and departmental libraries at the University of Cambridge. One of the tasks which library staff regularly had to undertake was to cross reference the latest copies of all relevant reading lists with their collections, to ensure that they had copies of all the books […]

Also posted in digital, digitalhumanities, humanities, open data, openknowledge, openphilosophy, projects, technology, textus | Leave a comment

Mockups for

Work is now underway on, a website that will enable users to transcribe, translate, annotate and create bibliographies of public domain philosophy texts. Today we did some basic mockups for what different pages on the site might look like. Here’s a quick look.

Also posted in bibliography, digital, digitalhumanities, openknowledge, projects, technology | 3 Responses

The Citation Conundrum

There is an unknown – but probably shockingly large – number of public domain texts on the web. Many of these could be of value to students and scholars. Lots of digital texts have page numbers which can be straightforwardly referenced in papers and publications. For example the journal article, the scanned monograph, born digital […]

Also posted in bibliography, digital, digitalhumanities, humanities | Tagged | 4 Responses

Let’s make!

A little while ago I posted some ideas for a project called, which would enable users to transcribe, translate, annotate and create collections of philosophical texts which have entered the public domain. I’m very excited to say that the project has secured some funding from JISC, who champion digital technology for use in higher […]

Also posted in bibliography, digital, digitalhumanities, humanities, open data, openknowledge, projects, technology | 5 Responses

TEXTUS: an open source platform for working with collections of texts and metadata

Since finally blogging about last month I’ve been thinking about how one could make a generic open source platform that could be used to power it, and other things like it. Enter ‘TEXTUS’:

Also posted in bibliography, digital, digitalhumanities, history, humanities, literature, notes, open data, openknowledge, projects, technology | 9 Responses

Picturing processes

There has been lots of wonderful work to represent numbers in pictorial form. Pictures can help to show us how big things are, how much of something there is, how much one thing is compared to another, how amounts change over time, and so on. We can use interactive graphics to represent quantitative data on […]

Also posted in data, digital, isotype, neurath, open data, policy, projects, visualisation | 4 Responses

Ideas for

For several years I’ve been meaning to start, which would be a collection of open resources related to philosophy for use in teaching and research. There would be a focus on the history of philosophy, particularly on primary texts that have entered the public domain, and on structured data about philosophical texts.

Also posted in bibliography, digitalhumanities, history, humanities, intellectualhistory, openknowledge, projects, technology | 7 Responses

A translation fund for public domain texts

If a text is widely known and published more than a century and a half ago, chances are that it will be freely available on the web to read and download. Every person with an internet connection has access to a vast wealth of cultural and historical material: novels and poems, essays and manifestos, constitutions […]

Also posted in openknowledge, projects, publicdomain | 4 Responses