Week Beginning 12th February 2018

I returned to a full week of work this week, after the horribleness of last week’s flu.  I was still feeling pretty exhausted by the end of each working day, but managed to make it through the week.  I’d had several meetings scheduled for last week, and rescheduled them all for this week.  On Monday I met with Kirsteen and Brianna to discuss the website for the Romantic National Song Network.  I’d been working on some interactive stories, on timeline based, the other map based and we talked about how we were going to proceed with these.  The team seem pretty happy with how things are developing, and the next step will be to take the proof of concept that I created and add in some higher resolution images, more content and try to make the overall interface a bit larger so as to enable embedded images to be viewed more clearly.  On Tuesday I met with Faye Hammill in English Literature to discuss a project she is currently putting together with colleagues at the University of Birmingham.  I have agreed to write a technical plan for this project, although it’s still not clear exactly when the AHRC are going to replace the technical plans with their new data management plans.  We also discussed a couple of older project websites she has that are currently based at Strathclyde University but will need to be migrated to Glasgow.  The sites are currently ASP based and we’d need to migrate them to something else as we don’t support ASP here.

On Wednesday I had three meetings.  The first was with Honor Riley of The People’s Voice project.  This project launched on Thursday so we met to discuss making all of the online resources live.  This included the database of poems I had been developing, which can now be viewed here:  http://thepeoplesvoice.glasgow.ac.uk/poems/.  I spent some time on Wednesday making final tweaks to the site, and attended the project’s launch event, which lasted all day Thursday.  It was an interesting event, held at the Trades Hall in the Merchant City.  It was great to see the online resources being launched at the event, and it was also good to learn more about the subject and hear the various talks that took place.  The event concluded with a performance of some of the political songs by Bill Adair, which was excellent.

The remaining meetings I had on Wednesday were with Matthew Creasey and Megan Coyer.  Matthew has an AHRC leadership fellowship starting up soon and I’m going to help him put a project website together.  This will include an online resource, a sort of mini digital edition of some poems.  Megan wanted to discuss some potential research tools that might be used to help her in her studying of British periodicals, specifically tools that might help with annotation and note taking.  We discussed a few options and considered how a new tool might be developed, if there was a gap in the market.  Developing such a tool would not be something I’d be able to manage myself, though.  My final meeting of the week was with Stuart Gillespie on Friday.  I’d put together a website that will accompany Stuart’s recent publication, and we met to discuss some final tweaks to the website and to discuss how to handle updates to it in future years.  The website is now currently available here: http://www.nrect.glasgow.ac.uk/

Other than attending these various meetings and the launch event on Thursday, I managed to squeeze in some other work too.  I had an email conversation with Thomas Widmann of the DSL about the API that was developed for the DSL website, and I also helped Ann Ferguson to get access to the WordPress version of the DSL website that I created in November last year.  I also spent a bit of time updating all of the WordPress sites I manage, as yet another new version of WordPress had been released (the third so far this year, which is a bit ridiculous).  I’d had an email from someone at the Mitchell Library to say that some of the images on TheGlasgowStory weren’t working so I spent a small amount of time investigating and fixing this.  It turned out that some images had upper case extensions (JPG instead of jpg) and as Linux is case sensitive the images weren’t getting found.  I also had an email chat with Fraser about some of the outstanding work that needs to be done for the Linguistic DNA project.  We’re going to meet with Marc in the next few weeks to discuss this further.  Fraser also gave me access to the tagged EEBO resource, from which I will need to extract some frequency data.

I spent the remainder of the week working on the front end and API for the REELS project.  I managed to complete several new endpoints for accessing the data in the API.  The most important of these was the advanced search endpoint, which allows any combination of up to 16 different fields to be submitted in order to return results as JSON or CSV data.  I also created other endpoints that will be used for autocomplete features and lists of things, such as sources, parishes, classification codes and elements.  With all of this in place I could start working on the actual advanced search form in the front end, and although I haven’t managed to complete this yet I am making pretty good progress with it.  Hopefully I’ll have this completed before the REELS team meeting on Tuesday next week.