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Adam Bell from AAR Net at VALA Tech Camp 2019
16 April, 2019

VALA Tech Camp 2019 highlights

Returning to Melbourne on 10-12 April 2019, the VALA Tech Camp 2019 offered an intensive, active, hands-on learning and sharing experience run for and by the people who code, build, teach and maintain technology for libraries and collections.

Supported by AARNet, the sold-out 2-day event featured workshops and presentations for a broad range of participants from across Australia.

View the VALA Tech Camp 2019 program


Presentations from those working in the field of data-driven research put the focus on the relevance of wide-ranging technical skills for those working in libraries. Dr Katrina Grant’s application of mapping technologies in art history demonstrated just how useful geo-coding can be in the humanities (see Artists in Paris as an example). Hacker historian Associate Professor Tim Sherratt spoke about the many ways APIs are being used in data-intensive research in the humanities and introduced the Trove Console as a way to start interacting with large online historical collections such as newspapers and images.

Librarians paving the way

VALA represents the cutting edge of technology and libraries, and aims to cultivate innovative and sustainable use of technology. Academic, specialist and public libraries are all rapidly adopting new technologies to keep pace with the needs of their clients. A range of hands-on workshops for the participants covered topics such as Data Visualisation, programming with Python, and data cleaning with Open Refine. The enthusiasm and high-level expertise being developed in the sector is really exciting to see!

Working together

AARNet’s Manager, Cultural Outreach, Adam Bell, helps cultural organisations build on AARNet’s national network, collaboration services and research technologies. His session on ‘Digital Preservation as a Service’ explored AARNet’s pilot project for long term preservation built on AARNet’s data movement, storage and access capabilities. Collection managers across the country are facing ever-increasing concerns about how to preserve digital-born content into the future, and AARNet is working alongside cultural institutions to come up with a long-term solution.

Thanks to the VALA Tech Camp organisers for a wonderful event, and to the AARNet team that ensured the wi-fi worked perfectly!

Image: Adam Bell, AARNet's Cultural Outreach Manager, spoke at VALA Tech Camp 2019 about the importance of developing long-term digital preservation infrastructure for Australia.