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Digital collections

21 September 2011

Digital Collection picture web

Collections of historic literary images held by members of the public and community groups can be shared with the wider world thanks to a new web-based programme designed by Cardiff University.

The Digital Image Curation Environment (DICE) allows users to upload their collections of paintings, maps, photographs, illustrations and any other image-based material to an online area.

Designed by researchers from the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research based in the University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, DICE also allows users to describe their content using preloaded vocabularies or devise their own ones; add important technical and bibliographical data; and supply additional contextual material, such as hyperlinks, essays and annotations.

Speaking about the new tool, Project Director, Dr Julia Thomas said: "DICE is an easy to use system aimed at individual users, groups and small institutions, in order to enable group or public participation in community and outreach projects, making it ideal for local history clubs, galleries and museums, and individual collectors, as well as researchers within academia." Co-Director, Dr Anthony Mandal, added: "By making DICE freely accessible under Creative Commons licensing, the project team hopes to support and encourage other researchers, teachers and collectors, by dramatically reducing the technical development costs and timescales associated with similar projects."

Ahead of its official launch in October, the project team will showcase DICE and the newly-updated database upon which it is based (the Database of Mid-Victorian Illustration) and celebrate innovation in the field of digital humanities in a special event on 29th September 2011.

Part of a larger University series - Books and "Libratories": From the "Dark Ages" to the "Digital Age" – the event will include a public lecture by Professor Hans Walter Gabler on the subject of Ideas towards Interfacing Digital Humanities Research.

Known for his pioneering work on manuscript and genetic criticism, particularly his landmark edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Professor Gabler’s current publications include Making Texts for the Next Century; There is Virtue in Virtuality: Future Potentials of Electronic Humanities Scholarship; and Theorizing the Digital Scholarly Edition. He is currently Chair of an international initiative which aims to create a research and publication infrastructure on the web and an advanced e-learning system for the Arts and Humanities.

"We are delighted to welcome Professor Gabler to the University," said Professor David Skilton, Research Professor in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy and close colleague of Professor Gabler. "He has built on the most advanced ideas on textual editing from Britain, the United States and the continent, and combined the highest level of traditional editorial skills with progressive ideas on the nature of literature and literary texts. His aim is no less than to found literary criticism securely in textual scholarship. The advent of advanced humanities computing makes this ambition achievable at last, and we shall have him to thank for guiding us into this new territory."

The Books and "Libratories": From the "Dark Ages" to the "Digital Age" series sees seven of the University’s Humanities Schools collaborating to produce three events - including Professor Gabler’s lecture - to highlight their pioneering work in digital humanities scholarship.

The series will culminate in December with a Distinguished Lecture to be delivered by

Professor Robert Darnton of Harvard University. Taking place on 5th December 2011, Professor Darnton will speak on the topic of Blogging Now and Then (250 years ago).

Professor Gabler’s lecture is free and open to members of the public. It starts at 5.00pm in the Special Collections and Archives area of the University’s Arts and Social Studies Library. Places can be reserved by contacting

More information is available at

Related links

School of English, Communication and Philosophy