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Video Tutorials and Demonstrations

1. Introducing the Aus-e-Lit Project

Since July 2008, the Aus-e-Lit Project has been developing a number of new services that will extend AustLit by supporting broader searches and by allowing users to collect and annotate relevant internet resources.

An experimental Federated Search provides results from AustLit and a selection of external databases. This includes a Full-Text Search across several collections of AustLit full-text, incorporating several hundred volumes of poetry and fiction published before the 1930s and a large number of selected critical essays. The Full-Text Search can be conducted in conjunction with, or independent from, the Federated Search. Users can conduct these searches from AustLit's main page.

The Aus-e-Lit Project has also developed tools that enable annotation of most internet resources and a compound object authoring tool that allows users to bookmark, describe and relate disparate internet resources. These services are supported by LORE (Literature Object Re-use and Exchange) an extension to the Firefox browser. These tools are currently being tested by experts in the field of Australian literary and print culture studies. Following this period of testing the tools will be freely available to AustLit users.

This page provides brief introductions to these tools with short video tutorials. We welcome feedback on any aspect of the Aus-e-Lit Project. Please send feedback to the Project Manager, Dr Roger Osborne: r.osborne@uq.edu.au.

2. Federated Search

The Federated Search enables AustLit users to conduct a single search across AustLit and a selection of external databases. For a current list and description of Federated Search targets, please see the AustLit page on Federated Search data sources. The following video tutorial uses the example of a keyword search on Kenneth Slessor to show a full range of results.

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Federated Search

3. Full-text Search

A Full-Text Search can be conducted independent from the Federated Search. Currently, the AustLit full-text collection contains works from Children's Literature Resources, Primary Fiction and Poetry, Criticism and the AustLit Anthology of Criticism. More works will be added to these collections in the future and new collections will be established for particular periods or themes. Further details can be found by going to the AustLit Full-Text Search page.

4. Installing LORE and Creating Annotations

The ability to annotate internet resources will help users to enhance AustLit records by adding information not normally indexed by AustLit. This service is supported by LORE, an extension for the Firefox browser. When saved, annotations are stored on a dedicated annotation server as RDF, allowing the Firefox browser to efficiently recall an annotated page and display the annotations. Annotations are created by highlighting the appropriate section of a page and by composing comments or questions with a simple word-processor and a series of drop-down menus that allow the user to describe and tag the annotation. The following videos include instructions on installing LORE and creating an annotation.

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Installing LORE
To install LORE, visit LORE's page on the Firefox Add-Ons site, click on 'Download Now' and follow the on screen prompts, as shown in the following video:

 

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Creating an Annotation

5. Compound Objects

Most internet users have a collection of bookmarks of their favourite internet resources, but the ability to describe these resources and relate them to other internet resources is limited. LORE enables users to bookmark internet resources, describe them using standard terms and relate them to other resources. The video demonstrates how to quickly bookmark, describe and relate internet resources. As with annotations, the compound objects are stored as RDF, allowing the Firefox browser to efficiently retrieve and display the bookmarked internet resources.

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Bookmarking, describing and relating disparate resources

VIDEO TUTORIAL: LORE Close Up

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Creating Trails

6. What Next?

Many software developers, writers and thinkers have talked about the promise of a growing networked environment known as the semantic web. Using clearly designed specifications and universal exchange formats, the semantic web should make it possible for humans and computers to better understand the resources available on the web, satisfying the needs of both human- and computer-generated searches. The use of RDF in the Aus-e-Lit project and the development of a simple tool to generate this format with meaningful connections between resources will go a long way to providing such an environment for researchers of Australian literature. With the creation and sharing of annotations and compound objects the accumulation of data will provide research communities with a digital archive that brings together disparate resources relevant to the study of Australian literature. The Aus-e-Lit project is developing secure authentication procedures that will enable users to restrict the use and views of their work, providing a secure environment for the creation and sharing of intellectual property. As the Aus-e-Lit Project proceeds, the technical, legal, institutional and philosophical questions that arise will contribute to the increasing discussion of digital humanities in Australia.

 


Older demonstrations

The following screencasts demonstrate previous versions of some of the services developed as part of the Aus-e-Lit project:

VIDEO TUTORIAL: LORE Overview: This overview shows an older version of LORE.

Aus-e-Lit Services (AustLit subscription or username and password required - contact us for details):