Next technical training session, 21 January

A reminder that the next digital training session is in the Archives at King’s next Tuesday 21 January, 10-1. Rory will be about in the afternoon for some clinic sessions if required.

The training will focus on the use of maps and timelines.

Can each of you think about your topics with these two presentation methods in mind and have available on your laptops some relevant data that you can deploy using Rory’s super widgets.

Rory has sent some more detailed instructions – essentially prepare and bring your data and we will be all set. Anyone who needs wireless access, please let me know as soon as possible (those without King’s or eduroam) .

Also coming up are visits to the Wellcome and Courtauld and a date (finally) for the final presentation session. I hope to fit in a session on new visualisation engines for data.


Social Media for Research: Making Twitter Work for You.



As promised, another date for your diaries – exploring the potential of Twitter with Dr Ernesto Priego, Lecturer in Library Science and Acting Course Director, MSc/MA Electronic Publishing, City University London, and a Twitter expert.

This will take place on 6 February, 12-2 in Room 305 in the Strand campus, also styled the Liddell Hart Seminar Room. This classroom is to the rear of the Archives, but you need to approach it by walking straight ahead out of the lifts past the toilets, turning right and walking to the end of the corridor and turning right. If you are unsure how to get there, please visit the Archives and someone can help direct you.

The workshop is a hands-on, practical, introduction to Twitter. It is aimed at researchers who are relatively new to Twitter, both complete beginners and occasional uses.

This workshop will cover:

  • Twitter terminology
  • Updating your Twitter Profile & Settings
  • Posting updates (tweets) and the different types of tweets (Replies, mentions, retweets, direct messages)
  • Finding & following other twitter users
  • Searching Twitter
  • Using Hashtags
  • Tweeting links, photos & videos
  • Live-tweeting
  • Twitter Lists
  • The API, widgets and applications
  • Optional Twitter tools
  • Best practice

Please bring your laptops for a hands-on session. If you do not have a Twitter account, now is the time to sign up!

As per usual, those of you without King’s wireless logins, please raise your hands and I will get guest logins ready for the meeting. The session is a working lunch – I will take your orders once you arrive and organise some refreshments. Please let me know if you cannot make the session.

I hope you can make the class, which looks fascinating!


Doctoral open days at BL

‘Just to let you know that the British Library is running our Doctoral Open Days series for this academic year and booking is now open for events taking place in 2014. These events introduce new PhD students to the British Library and provide orientation regarding broader information environment for their subject.

As well as days for students in History, English and Media, Cultural Studies and Journalism, this year we have added an event for students in Environmental Science, and one for students across all subjects who want to know more about Digital Research.’

Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education

The British Library is a hub for research, with vast and varied collections, expert staff and a wide range of events. Our Doctoral Open Days are a chance for new PhD students to discover the Library’s unique research materials. Students will learn about our collections, find out how to access them, and meet our expert staff and other researchers in their field. These events are aimed at PhD students who are new to the Library. The following events are now open to book:


13 January – Environmental Science

17 January – Digital Research

20 January – History 1

31 January – History 2

3 February – English 1

14 February – English 2

24 February – Media, Cultural Studies and Journalism

All events take place in the British Library Conference Centre, London and cost £5. Lunch and refreshments are provided. We recommend that to make the most of the day attendees get a free Reader Pass before the event. A small number of £20 travel bursaries are available for each event to students coming from outside Greater London.

Further information and booking at:

Focus group training, 3 December

The next training session will be held at King’s Archives on 3 December 10-2, provided by Ken Norman of New Tricks.

The main focus will be on delivery skills and controlling the facilitation of focus group events.

10:00 – 10:40 Preparing for the focus Group

10:40 – 11:00 Introducing your Focus Group including delivery skills

11:00 – 11:45 Practical work (Introductions)

11:45 – 12:30 Facilitating discussion

12:30 – 13:00 lunch

13:00 – 13:30 Practical work in small groups

13:30 – 14:00 Post Focus group analysis, finings and conclusions

Reading list

The lecturers from the first session recommended a number of articles, books and blogs.

Andrea Tanner on London hospitals

Brian Abel-Smith: The Hospitals 1800-1948, a Study in Social Administration in England and Wales (London, 1964)

Roger Cooter, (ed.) In the Name of the Child, Health and Welfare 1880-1948, ( London: Routledge, 1992 )

Peter Cowan, ‘Some Observations concerning the Increase of Hospital Provision in London Between 1850 and 1960”, Medical History no. 14 (1970), pp. 42-52, pp. 42-43

L. Granshaw, ‘Fame and Fortune by means of Bricks and Mortar’: the Medical Profession and Specialist Hospitals in Britain, 1800-1948’, in L. Granshaw and R. Porter (eds), The Hospital in History (London, 1999), pp. 199-200

C.E. Handler: Guy’s Hospital – 250 Years (1976)

F. Hart: The Roots of Service: a History of Charing Cross Hospital 1818-1874 (1985)

Ruth Hodgkinson: The Origins of the National health Service: The Medical Service (Wellcome Institute, 1967)

Elizabeth Lomax, Small and Special: The Development of Hospitals for Children in Victorian Britain (Medical History Supplement no. 16, London, 1996)

Peter Mandler: (ed): The Uses of Charity: The Poor on Relief in the Nineteenth Century Metropolis (Pennsylvania, 1990).

R.J. Munney: Two Pillars of Charing Cross: the Story of a Famous Hospital (1967)

F.N.L. Poynter (ed) The Evolution of Hospitals in Britain (London, 1964)

Frank Prochaska, Women and Philanthropy in Nineteenth Century England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980)

R. Sinclair: The London Hospital, Portrait of a Hospital in Its Third Century (1956)

D. Jenkins & A.T. Stanway: The Story of King’s College Hospital (1968)

Keir Waddington, Charity and the London Hospitals, 1850-1898 (London, The Royal Historical Society and the Boydell Press, 2000).

Ken Norman’s recommendations relating to public speaking & presentation

Lend Me Your Ears by Professor Max Atkinson

How To Deliver A TED Talk Jeremy Donovan

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds

Clear Speech: Practical Speech Correction and Voice Improvement by Malcolm Morrison

Melissa Terras on blogging

Everything on the LSE Impact Blog:

Using Social Media to Enhance Your Research Activities, by Brian Kelly

First training session: a review

Dr Andrea Tanner addressing students on the Language of access course, 29 October 2013, King's College London Archives

Dr Andrea Tanner addressing students on the Language of access course, 29 October 2013, King’s College London Archives

The first full day training session took place on 29th October in King’s College Archives. Andrea Tanner delivered the first, morning, session on the changes which have taken place in framing medical vocabularies and terminology since the nineteenth century. She focused on her experience in helping to develop the Historic Hospital Admission Records Project (HHARP), which in the first instance drew on admission registers belonging to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Andrea explained how HHARP,  which began in 2001, was an early example of crowdsourcing using volunteers managed by a central team – in this case one based in the University of Kingston. She described how the team harnessed the enthusiasm and diverse expertise of family historians and a constituency of mainly retired professionals. The digitisation and transcription of original source material posed challenges, not least relating to handwriting: doctors’ notes from mid-Victorian physicians and surgeons are often as indecipherable as current records. Data Protection legislation also makes the release of personal medical records an important consideration – and only records over 100 years are published.

The main focus of her talk was the classification of diseases and mapping to current standards, such as the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases ( ICD10). The sheer variety of disease description, which might include a multiplicity of spellings for each disease, had to be reflected in the database and its search parameters. The HHARP team work closely with a team of experts including doctors and historians of medicine to devise a classification for disease based on where on the human body it presented.  Andrea then tested our knowledge of antique disease-names with a practical exercise in which the students divided into teams to locate diseases on a full sized drawing of the human body. Much fun ensued!

The serious point was that students should think carefully about how to construct a clear information architecture at the start of a project. In the case of HHARP, this required mapping or translating terminology to reflect how our understanding of disease and its causes has changed over time. It also requires the careful consideration of potential audiences and how they will potentially re-use data in unforeseen ways that are outside the scope of the original project to support interdisciplinarity or new trends in scholarship. Both the database and online interface must ideally be able to accommodate this variety.

The second session from Ken Norman of New Tricks aimed to provide students with an introduction to the basic principles of good communication and public speaking. Ken focused on the role of good planning, researching an audience, time management, using PowerPoint effectively, and structuring a talk for maximum impact. Lively engagement with an audience, the power of storytelling and techniques for dealing with difficult questions were also covered in this session. Interesting questions from students included the potential cultural differences of papers, talks and symposia around the world.

The third session from Melissa Terras of University College London was a fascinating insight into the power of blogging to promote research. Melissa provided startling statistical,analytical and anecdotal evidence drawn from her her own experience of blogging to show the reach of social media and its potential to make different audiences aware of new research, projects and publications, when compared with traditional methods of dissemination. She stressed the role of the blog in complementing the publication cycle by providing a quick ‘taster’ introduction to work-in-progress and findings that can be published much more quickly than in print. The role of blogging in promoting an individual’s personal research profile and status within their discipline and institution was also emphasised.


Next dates for your diaries

29th October: training on medical vocabularies, public engagement and blogs (Venue: King’s College London Archives, 10-4, lunch provided)

19 November: technical training workshop on building your research profile including using and altmetrics (Venue: King’s College London, room TBD, 10-2, refreshments provided)

3 December: ‘how to run a successful focus group’: training provided by Ken Norman and New Tricks (Venue: King’s College London Archives, 10-2, refreshments provided)

10 December: masterclass on Royal Institution collections and staging the Christmas Lectures (Venue: Royal Institution, 9-30-2)

21 January: second technical training workshop focusing on promoting research using visualisation and other techniques (Venue: King’s College London, room TBD, 10-2, refreshments provided)

26 February: Twitter training covering the basics and the API (Venue: KCL Archives, 2-4)

27 February: Courtauld Institute Library visit focusing on the exhibition catalogue (Venue: Courtauld Institute entrance, 2-30-4-30)

 21 March: Beautiful data masterclass at the British Library (Venue: BL room TBD, 2-4/4-30)

24 March: Visit to the Wellcome Library (Venue: Wellcome Library, Euston Road, times TBD)

2 October details – a reminder

The kick off meeting is taking place between 10-12 on Wednesday morning at the Anatomy Museum in King’s College’s King’s Building on the Strand Campus.

This will include presentations from King’s Archives and from project partners and trainers.

Details about the venue and its location can be found here:

First training session, 29 October

The first full-day training session will take place at King’s College London Archives on 29th October, 10-4 pm.

The session will include a critical exploration of historical medical vocabularies from Dr Andrea Tanner of the Institute of Historical Research, who helped develop the Historic Hospitals Admissions Register Project ( Dr Tanner will explain how the project team mapped 19th century disease terms to modern vocabularies to improve access to the research data.

Institute of Historical Research

This will be followed by a session delivered by public engagement trainer, Ken Norman, of New Tricks, on ‘how to organise an effective focus group’.

The session will conclude with a contribution from Melissa Terras, Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, who will be talking about the successful promotion of research through the use of blogs: 

University College London


Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Venue is King’s College London Archives in the Strand.