Research

Centre wins almost £1 million in grants

Centre wins almost £1 million in grants

Karleigh Kelso, a member of the CDDA team which has attracted almost £1 million in grants

Queen’s Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis (CDDA) has been awarded three grants totalling almost £1 million.

The Centre, which is based in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, has received the grants from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Digitisation Content Programme call for 2012-13.

The awards recognise CDDA as a world-leader in the development and use in research and teaching of electronic resources in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

CDDA is unique in that it not only digitises key analogue content to make it available over the internet, a process often based in university libraries, but it also develops new methodologies to use the digital content, and deploys the electronic material and new methodologies to address major traditional research questions.

Under the latest JISC call, the Centre and its partners received almost £1 million of the £5.4 million available, representing 20 per cent of total funding under the programme. The awards allow ongoing development of three existing research projects.

Under a £673,270 JISC award, Exposure of English Place-Names (DEEP), CDDA will computerise and make available the most comprehensive gazetteer of place-names anywhere in the world.  Until now, place-names have only been accessible through the 86 printed volumes of the Survey of English Place-Names.

The new funding ensures that scholars will be able to find location-specific content using virtually any form of a place-name that has ever existed. In so doing digital collections will become far more accessible than has been the case to date resulting in better use of e-content by research and teaching communities.

Under its second award to CDDA and partners, JISC has provided £138,088 to Linking Parliamentary Records through Metadata. This allows the Centre to develop technologies to facilitate the seamless comparison of parliamentary proceedings for past and current administrations in Northern Ireland, Westminster, Scotland and Wales. The scheme has inbuilt functionality to allow its use for any parliamentary materials based on the ‘Westminster’ system. This will allow, for example, debates at Stormont to be compared with debates on the same issue at Westminster or for legislation to be compared across the UK.

 Finally, in an award to the University of Portsmouth, with CDDA as a collaborator, JISC has funded a project to create a virtual map library. Old Maps Online: Finding and referencing historical mapping as a platform for research and teaching, through a £139,900 grant, will draw together disparate scans of historical maps from around the world to create a map collection far larger and more comprehensive than any single institution could hope to house.

These latest awards bring the number of grants to CDDA over the last 10 years to almost 80, worth in excess of £8m. To find out more about the Centre and its activities see www.qub.ac.uk/cdda

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