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Digital Humanities

Core team

Digital Humanities is driven by a group of digital specialists from across the University.

Some of the key people involved in DH@Manchester are:

Guyda Armstrong*, Faculty Academic Lead for Digital Humanities

Guyda is Senior Lecturer in Italian at The University of Manchester. With a specialisation in literary computing, she held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Early Modern Italian and New Media at Brown University (2001-03), working on the Decameron Web and later contributing to Brown’s Virtual Humanities Lab. She has worked on a number of collaborative projects with the John Rylands Library and Mimas, including the British Academy-funded Manchester Digital Dante Project and award-winning SCARLET project with Mimas, using AR in Special Collections teaching.

* Please note: Guyda Armstrong is on research leave for the academic year 2018-19. During this time, the DH role will be covered by Dr Peter Liddel (Semester 1 only) and Dr Andrea Nini.

Marilyn Deegan, Visiting Simon Professor in Digital Humanities

Professor Deegan is Professor Emerita of Digital Humanities at Kings College London, and a visiting professor at The University of Manchester from 2014-2016. Her current work is engaged in applying digital humanities to the grand challenges of globalisation, migration, and conflict resolution, and is also co-PI on the AHRC funded British Library Academic Book of the Future Project, which formed an important part of her activities here at the University of Manchester during 2015/16. She continues to work closely with DH@Manchester.

Sean Bechhofer

Sean Bechhofer is a Senior Lecturer in the Information Management Group within the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester. His interests fall under the broad umbrella of developing middleware and infrastructure to support applications, in particular through the use of semantic technologies such as OWL, SKOS and RDF. He has been a participant in W3C Working Groups developing Semantic Web languages, and was responsible for the development of editors and APIs to support the development and use of OWL ontologies and SKOS vocabularies.

Jonny Huck, GIS lead for Digital Humanities

Jonny Huck is a Lecturer in Geographical Information Science at The University of Manchester. Prior to moving to academia, Jonny was the Technical Manager of a wind energy company, specialising in the use of GIS for the assessment of environmental impact. Jonny's research is centered around the representation of vague geographical entities in geographical information science, novel approaches to participatory mapping and new applications of digital cartography. Amongst other things, he developed and continues to maintain the Map-Me and Paper2GIS participatory GIS systems. Jonny is the chair of the 25th GIS Research UK Conference to be held on 18th-21st April 2017 at The University of Manchester.

Simon Bains, Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian

Simon's responsibilities include services in support of Open Access publishing, research data management and citation analysis. He is also senior library lead for a major redevelopment of the Main Library at Manchester, which will deliver significant improvements to the building between 2016 and 2019. Simon has worked nationally and internationally with a focus on the impact of digital on research libraries. He is particularly involved in the UK academic library community through Research Libraries UK and SCONUL, and chairs national groups on Open Access publishing and copyright. He is project director for a Jisc Open Access Pathfinder Project.

Lorraine Beard, Head of Digital Technologies and Services, University of Manchester Library

Lorraine leads the team which manages and develops the Library’s digital infrastructure. She is a member of both the Library Leadership Team and the IT Leadership Team for the University of Manchester and in these roles has been involved in the development of the Library and IT Strategies for the University. Recently Lorraine has been closely involved in improving the digital experience at Manchester by implementing new discovery services and developing a University-wide research data management service. She has also led the development of the Library’s digitisation strategy and the University’s institutional repository, Manchester eScholar, which is now one of the largest in the UK. As the Library’s lead on innovation, she has led a number of new projects and services, including the Eureka innovation challenge competition and gamification. 

Rachel Beckett, Head of Special Collections and Associate Director of the John Rylands Library

Rachel is responsible for the leadership and development of this world class Special Collections library with a particular focus on increased engagement with the academic community (with an emphasis on research) and on engaging wider audiences with the John Rylands Library as a cultural attraction. She is also Associate Director of the John Rylands Research Institute, a partnership with the Faculty of Humanities to work across disciplines to unlock the research potential of the Library’s Special Collections.  Rachel is a member of the Library’s Leadership Team where shares responsibility for strategic planning and management of the University’s library service.

Jackie Carter, Director for Engagement with Research Methods Training

Jackie Carter has twenty years of experience as an expert in the provision and use of socioeconomic data in learning, teaching and research. As well as leading research methods training she is also the Co-director of the Manchester Q-Step Centre, Director of Methods@Manchester and Director of the Short Courses at the Cathie March Institute for Social Research. She undertook a one-year Open University Teaching Fellowship on statistical literacy in 2011-12 and has presented and published extensively in this field. She has a PhD in geostatistics, and was formerly a high school maths teacher.

Robert Haines, Research Software Engineering Manager, Research IT; Honorary Lecturer, School of Computer Science

Robert works with academics and researchers to design, implement, modify and install maintainable, usable and well-tested software systems to enable them, and their collaborators, to do their research. This might mean creating new software, researching entirely new ways of doing things or identifying and possibly modifying existing applications. He has worked in a wide range of domains for research projects of various types and sizes from small "proof of concept" investigations up to long-term multi-partner RCUK, EU and US NSF projects. He has also collaborated with diverse organisations such as utility companies, national laboratories, start-ups and public bodies as well as other universities. I also contribute to a number of open-source software projects. He teaches on two course units in the School of Computer Science: ‘Software Engineering’ and ‘Agile and Test-Driven Development’.