Gathering data for WHSO

The WHSO project has just launched a new initiative in the past few months. Over the summer of 2011 at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Stephen Weldon and two OU graduate students, Margaret Gaida and Amy Rodgers, initiated a project to document and classify major and minor websites to be of use to historians of science and other scholars around the world.

In the first stages of the project, Weldon, Gaida, and Rodgers explored a number of different kinds of websites, and then brainstormed to determine what kind of data would be most useful for scholars doing research. Weldon created an input form derived from the work he has done on the Isis Current Bibliography.

After this initial phase, Gaida and Rodgers worked independently collecting data. The three met weekly going over the records collected and refining their procedures and modifying the nature and types of data to be collected.

By the end of the summer the team had collected information on over 300 websites. The records that they produced include information such as languages supported, the institutions and individuals responsible, and the types of materials available—which range from full text archives to bibliographical lists to blogs. The records all provide descriptive notes.

The records were then sent to Dr. Gavan McCarthy who leads a team of experts at the University of Melbourne’s e-Scholarship Research Centre in Australia where the WHSO site is hosted. They incorporated that data into an Online Heritage Resource Management system.

The project is ongoing, and many more records are expected to be added over the summer. Anyone who is interested can contact Dr. Weldon and volunteer to help with this project.

Gaida and Rodgers

Margaret Gaida and Amy Rodgers are both working on graduate degrees at the University of Oklahoma’s History of Science Department.