dLOC as Data / Disaster-Related Data workshop

Matthew Davidson's picture


Dear H-Environment members,

Over the coming months, the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) will be hosting a number of workshops on Exploring the Caribbean in DH. The workshops are all part of the dLOC as Data project, which is broadly concerned with facilitating access to hurricane and environmental data, and will therefore likely be of interest to many of you.

In general, the dLOC as Data project intends to enhance access to dLOC's existing Caribbean newspaper collections by making texts available for bulk download to its users, thus making new forms of research and scholarship possible. To start, and to show some of the possibilities & potential of working with such newspaper data, dLOC is creating a pilot thematic tool kit focused on hurricanes & tropical cyclones. This toolkit will provide multilingual datasets focused on these disasters from several countries and islands in the Caribbean, and will have coverage from different periods of time. It will be a useful resource for anyone concerned with environmental history in and around the Caribbean.

So as to provide space to learn how to work with such data, dLOC will be hosting a number of workshops as part of the Exploring the Caribbean in DH series. The workshop series will accordingly plot and explore the landscape of data sources in Caribbean Studies, and will provide space to think about and discuss how to identify and use various Caribbean data sources. Details on the full workshop series are available at: http://dlocasdata.domains.uflib.ufl.edu/exploring-the-caribbean-in-dh-a-dloc-as-data-workshop-series/.

One of the first workshops will be of particular interest to scholars concerned with environmental history, as it will focus specifically on navigating and using hurricane- and disaster-related data. The details of that workshop are as follows:


Ethical Re-use: Disaster Related Data
June 18, 11am-12:30pm EDT
Facilitated by Dr. Schuyler Esprit

The Caribbean is a historically vulnerable region for many reasons, including its relationship to climate and the environment. The region’s experience with extreme disasters – from the magnitude 7earthquake in Haiti to Category 5 hurricanes barrelling through many countries’ and now the eruption of the volcano at St. Vincent’s La Soufriere – and with public health threats, including Chikungunya, Dengue fever, Zika and now COVID-19, is well documented. As a result of the frequency and intensity of these events, the region’s history of disasters is now a major focus of Caribbean Studies research. DLOC data becomes valuable for contextualizing our current moment through the lens of the Caribbean’s sociopolitical and environmental history. This workshop aims to reflect on the theories and praxis of research and data use, and to think through best practices for navigating data about disaster.

The workshop will address some key topics including:

  • Urgency of preserving and using digital resources in our current moment, amid climate, COVID, etc.
  • Need for not just accessibility, but also equity in distribution and representation
  • Fragility of solutions for access, even when they appear equitable, framed around the question, “Can the people who need dLOC the most actually access it?”
  • Questions of ownership beyond copyright and location of resources. Questions of ownership of narrative and story: is the analysis and storytelling emerging from use of these resources ethical, i.e. honoring those represented in the archives?

To register, please click here: REGISTER.


For more information on dLOC as Data or the workshops, please visit: http://dlocasdata.domains.uflib.ufl.edu/.