Making Meaning

Making Meaning: Collections as Data Symposium
State Library of Queensland
Friday 6 March 2020
#slqMakingMeaning #CollectionsAsData

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Registration now open

Join us for Making Meaning on Friday 6 March 2020 at State Library. The symposium features keynote speakers, interactive break-out sessions and lightning talks to build understanding and expertise, and to showcase best practice examples of collections as data.

Be the first to secure your place by registering now.

About Making Meaning: Collections as Data

Making Meaning: Collections as Data is a one-day symposium featuring influential and challenging speakers from the research, government, digital humanities and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sectors. Making Meaning aims to raise awareness of the potential of collections as data and build a community of practice in Australia. The symposium is an outcome from our commitment to digital collecting, engagement and empowerment in the State Library of Queensland Digital Strategy.

The day includes two keynote speakers, interactive break-out sessions and lightning talks to build understanding and expertise and showcase best practice examples of collections as data. There will be networking opportunities and a panel conversation on the intersection of collecting institutions, researchers and technologies in enabling meaning making.

If you understand the power of data and are seeking ways to better integrate it into your work, or just want to learn more, come join other digital innovators at Making Meaning on Friday 6 March 2020 at the State Library of Queensland!


Mauricio Giraldo

Mauricio Giraldo is a designer, developer, tinkerer, and artist. He is the 2019 DX Lab Fellowship winner at State Library of New South Wales to develop improved discovery of the collection in the SLNSW catalogue using machine-generated metadata.

Mauricio has worked in digital humanities for the past eight years, first as part of The New York Public Library’s NYPL Labs innovation unit dedicated to finding new ways of bringing the Library’s collections to the public using digital technology. Later, at the Digital Public Library of America as Principal Interaction Designer, where he experimented with using machine learning to improve collection usage and discovery.

Prior to NYPL and DPLA, Mauricio spent twelve years designing and developing interaction design projects for a wide range of commercial, academic, private and public institutions throughout Latin America. He lectured for six years at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia in courses that introduced designers to web development and creative coding.


Chris McDowall

Chris McDowall is a geographer and data specialist. He has worked variously as a cartographer, environmental scientist and manager at the University of Auckland, Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research and the National Library of New Zealand / DigitalNZ.

Chris has created interactive data visualisations for media organisations. His animated maps and visualisations have been exhibited at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the National Library of New Zealand. The common thread through his career is a desire to make the nation’s data easier to find and understand.

With co-author, Tim Denee, Chris created We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa — a beautiful and timely collection of maps, graphics and essays that explore New Zealand’s landscapes, climate, places, populations, economy and culture.

Dr Geoff Hinchcliffe

Geoff Hinchcliffe is a founding member of the ANU School of Art and Design’s innovative new design program and Associate Dean Education in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Geoff’s research focuses on enlivening data and digital collections through visualisation, interface and interaction design. Novel representation, exploration and discovery are core to his web-based works, with audience contribution and participation being key areas of current interest. His research results in both theoretical and applied outputs, ranging from the practical, to the experimental, playful and occasionally provocative. 



Mitchell Whitelaw

Mitchell Whitelaw is an academic, writer and maker with interests in digital design and culture, data practices, more-than-human worlds and digital collections. His teaching and research takes up data and code to seek out moments of insight and delight that intensify our engagement with a complex world. His work has appeared in journals including Leonardo, Digital Creativity, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Senses and Society.

He has worked with institutions including the State Library of NSW, the State Library of Queensland, the National Archives and the National Gallery of Australia, developing "generous" interfaces to their digital collections. His current research investigates environmental and biodiversity visualisation and digital design for a more-than-human world. Mitchell is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University.

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State Library of Queensland
Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank
South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

-27.471162749588, 153.01810920238