A new year means new faces! Pelagios Commons welcomes two new staffers on to the team, both working on the community side of the project. Valeria Vitale and Rebecca Kahn have been hired to help develop our community support for newcomers and established users.
Valeria Vitale (Research Fellow at the Institute for Classical Studies, University of London)
I have joined the Team as one of the two new community managers. My job will involve strengthening and supporting the existing communities of contributors and facilitate the use of the Pelagio’s digital tools, especially in a pedagogical environment.
After completing my MA degree in Communication at La Sapienza, Rome, I worked with several Italian cultural institutions, creating digital products to enhance public engagement with cultural heritage, building and maintaining relationships with students, teachers and other groups of interest.
After seven years of involvement with the study and communication of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, I decided to move to London, where I studied Digital Humanities at King’s College. I have just completed my PhD, in the same institution, with a research on the use of Linked Open Data to document 3D visualisation of ancient heritage. I have collaborated with a number of academic projects involving digital gazetteers and spatial humanities, such as the Heritage Gazetteer of Cyprus, i.Sicily, Pleaides, the Heritage Gazetteer of Libya and CALCS. Mostly, because I have a fondness for obscure place-names.
Bekka Kahn (Associate Researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin)
My role at Pelagios Commons is to work on the community side of the project, and to broaden our network of collaborators and contributors, and extend our work with museums, libraries and archives. I’ll also be working with the team to make our site and tools easier to use for newcomers and established users alike. And tweeting. There’ll be a lot of that too!
My research interest is in digitisation and museum collections and how digital cultural heritage is used to represent cultural identities online.
I did my undergraduate BA at the university currently known as Rhodes, and an MA in Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in my native South Africa. After that, I spent several years working in advocacy and civil society as a researcher on questions of open access, scholarly communication and digital IP and copyright reform. An increasing interest in digital cultural heritage led me to the UK, and to King’s College, London, where I did another MA in Digital Asset Management (which resulted in an MA.DAM, which I think is a lovely touch) and my PhD. For my PhD I studied the effect of digitisation on national cultural heritage institutions and their collections, with a specific focus on the British Museum. I like museums, and I like the internet, it seemed like a good match.