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Biography

Sheila has an academic background in Sociology, Social Policy and Social History. While studying for her MA, Sheila worked as a research assistant at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure and became interested in the application of computer technologies for historical research. This interest blossomed and in 1993 Sheila was instrumental in the establishment of the History Data Service at the University of Essex, running the service until 1998 when she became Deputy Director at the UK Data Archive. 

Sheila joined King’s College London in 2000 as Director of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) mixing running a service with a programme of applied research in digital curation and digital infrastructures. In 2008 she established the Centre for e-Research which she directed until standing down in April 2012. With colleagues in Digital Humanities, Sheila was responsible for designing, developing and launching (in 2010) the MA in Digital Asset Management. Sheila is involved in a number of large European Humanities Research Infrastructure projects working with researchers across different disciplines and with libraries and archives.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Digital Libraries, digital archives, the relationship between the requirements of scholarship and library and archival practices
  • Digital infrastructures for research including trends in the use of technology and digital methods in the arts and humanities
  • Scholarly publishing, particularly new forms of digital publication
  • The management and exploitation of digital assets, including the theory and practice of data curation

I am PI and co-PI for two major European Research Infrastructure projects. For the European Holocaust Archives Project (EHRI) I’m leading the work on user requirements, seeking to understand how researchers find and use archival information and how we can build intelligent infrastructures that can support research work. For the Collaborative European Digital/Archival Infrastructure project I will be leading the work on knowledge organisation and intelligent digital content for archival information relating to the medieval and 1st World War periods. Both of these projects allow me to keep learning and thinking about how we create, manage and make available digital information assets in an era of rapid technological development, and how these developments are socially, culturally, and politically shaped, including the tensions between what might be classed ‘traditional’ practices, and the possibilities offered by the new digital environment.

I continue to be interested in arts and humanities e-Science methods with a growing interest in the spatial humanities and deep mapping, particularly as methods that can help to visualize fuzzy, incomplete and sometimes contradictory archival source materials. The AHDS was deeply influential worldwide in developing and promoting good practice in the curation of digital collections and I aspire to continue this role researching and teaching the management and exploitation of digital assets.

For more details, please see her full research profile.

Teaching

MA Digital Asset Management 

Programme Director and Lecturer for the Core Course ‘Introduction to Digital Asset Management’; Dissertation supervision.

  • 7AAVDM01 Introduction to Digital Asset Management

Expertise and Public Engagement