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The History SPOT podcasts are derived largely from the IHR’s research seminar programme and its series of conferences.  The first of these two tables show the regular contributors to History SPOT (i.e. the seminars who podcast all or most of their seminars) and those who podcast occasionally.  As of March 2013 the Franco-British History seminar (which is an external seminar series held in France) rates the highest number of sessions at 34 with our longest serving podcasting seminar, the Voluntary Action History seminar one session behind them.

History SPOT - seminar sessions uploaded (March 2013)

History SPOT – seminar sessions uploaded (March 2013)

The second table shows the conferences that have been recorded and uploaded to History SPOT.  It should be noted that the statistics here represent the number of podcasts rather than sessions.

History SPOT - number of podcast files uploaded from conferences

History SPOT – number of podcast files uploaded from conferences (March 2013)

One more thing to note before I finish this post.  The Digital History seminar is mentioned in the first table with only 2 podcasts.  They are actually regulars, but they usually live stream rather than podcast.   The same is true for the Gender and History in the Americas seminar.  In reality the Digital History seminar have recorded 18 of their seminars whilst the newer Gender and the History in the Americas have recorded 4.  These are generally available as both video and audio podcast from the website.

 

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I thought today I would share with you a few of the stats that we’ve observed from the History SPOT podcast service.  The table below shows how many times podcast files have been played in the browser and downloaded.  The website went live in September 2011 but plays in browser are only recorded from May 2012.  Nevertheless numbers show an increase that has remained approximately steady since September that year.  Downloads tend to range from about 100 to 200 most months.

The final column shows the number of podcasts that we have uploaded to the website since its launch (and a little bit before).  Up until March 2013 there has been 473 podcasts uploaded online, with more following each week.  As of today (7 May 2013) there have been a total of 490 podcasts uploaded onto the site.  We are rapidly heading toward the big 500!

History SPOT podcast stats (March 2013)

History SPOT podcast stats (March 2013)

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I have some exciting news for you today.  In the first of many updates to the History SPOT website that we will be undertaking over the next few months, we have now made available all of our back-catalogue of podcasts available outside of the registration.

This means that you no longer need to sign-in to listen to our podcasts.  This also means that the IHR have now realised over 200 past events including seminars, conferences, workshops and lectures for free access on the internet (under a Creative Commons licence).  These include our Anglo-American conferences, seminars from Voluntary Action History, Sport and Leisure History, and Digital History  (to name but a few).

This summer, we will be working hard to make History SPOT easier to navigate and access.  The site will be more closely linked to our main website (www.history.ac.uk) especially where it overlaps with our research training programmes, and we will be releasing even more content in the form of podcasts, research training handbooks and modules, and a few new features that I talk about a bit more in future posts. 

For now, though, please do have a look around the podcasts in History SPOT to see what’s there, especially if you haven’t done so in the past.  If you like what you see please do register to be able to comment on the podcasts and to access our freely available research training content which includes handbooks on Databases, search engines, and podcasting (with much more to come). 

Tomorrow I’ll return to discussing our podcasts with a two part blog post about music-making in the time of Queen Elizabeth I.  So do stay tuned!

Click here to access the podcast pages on History SPOT

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History SPOT has now left the beta testing stage thanks to ULCC (University of London Computer Centre) who have recently worked hard to get the site completed.  Over the coming few months you will see History SPOT expand and grow as we add much more content and elements to the site.  In the meantime we have updated the project page on the IHR website which I thought worthwhile to repeat here.  In the coming days and weeks you will also see an increase in blog posts here as well as content appearing on History SPOT itself as we attempt to work through the backlog especially of seminar podcasts.  More news soon!

History SPOT [Seminar Podcasts and Online Training] provides an archive of Institute of Historical Research seminars, conferences, lectures and workshops as podcasts or live streamed events and is host to our online research training materials including handbooks and training courses. 

 

Research Seminars, Lectures and Conferences

History SPOT is brimming full of podcasts from IHR seminars, conferences and lectures from 2009 to the present.  In addition to our extensive archives you will have access to all new podcasts from the IHR in the coming months and have the opportunity to discuss, comment upon and debate their content online.   Unlike many other podcast sites History SPOT attempts to embed the podcast within other resources such as abstracts, bibliographies, and discussions. 

Link to Podcasts   

 

 

 

 

 

Live Streamed Events

A small selection of our events are now streamed live on History SPOT with the additional capability for viewers to not only listen and watch in real time but to also comment and ask questions of the speakers in the post-paper discussion.  Slide show presentations and twitter feeds are also available to enable online viewers to get as close to ‘being there’ as possible.  

Link to Live Events

 

 

 

 

Historical Research Training

History SPOT presents to you for free and for the first time material from our research training courses and from our expertise’s as a research institute.  Initially we have provided several research handbooks but training courses will follow shortly.

Link to Historical Research Handbooks

 

 

 

 

 

Interact

History SPOT is not just a place to search for content it is also designed so that you can interact with the subject matter.  When you listen to one of our podcasts let us and other users know what you think.  Is there something that you disagree with or do you have something to add to what our speakers discuss?  You can also add your own tags to the podcasts to help others find the resources they want more easily. 

In addition you can create your own profiles, take part in social networking through Groups and Friends and create basic web pages.  You can also write your own blog posts and discuss our activities with each other in various group forums. 

Link to History SPOT Collaborate

 

 

 

 

 

Project Background

The History SPOT platform was developed between March 2010 and March 2011 as a pilot entitled IHR Digital Seminar and Research Training Project.  Its purpose was to re-develop IHR core activities as online resources.  This “Phase One” focused on establishing procedures to record the IHR Research Seminars as podcasts and to develop live streamed events in both audio and visual media.  The greater part of Phase One was focused upon the development of a new multi-system platform which would enable the IHR to lead the way in the provision and use of digital technologies in the humanities.  This platform went live as a beta (test) site on 19 September 2011 and became fully active in January 2012.

 

The initial project had two key aims;

  1. To deliver the IHR Seminars online through podcasting and live-streaming with additional content
  2. To develop an online presence for the IHR postgraduate research training programme

 

The Project Team

The project is managed by Dr Jane Winters, IHR Head of Publications and IHR Digital, with Dr Matthew Phillpott working as the Project Officer. It is also more generally supported by the IHR Digital team. Design and development was provided by the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) and by IHR Digital’s website manager Martin Steer.  The content of the Research Training Programme is being handled by the IHR’s Dr Mark Merry and Dr Simon Trafford.

 

Project Links:

History SPOT Platform: The online home for IHR podcasts, live streams and research training content

History SPOT Project Blog: The Project Officer’s blog and home to the SPOT Newsletter (a regular summary/review/opinion piece, for resources uploaded to History SPOT). 

 

Reports:

Scoping report (2010) – Exisiting services for online lectures and seminars

Survey report (2010) – IHR Online Research Seminar Delivery Survey

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History SPOT is a continually evolving platform providing provision of Institute of Historical Research seminars, conferences, and workshops as podcasts or live streams and research training materials as handbooks and online training courses.  

At the moment we have quite a back-log of podcasts ranging from seminars to conferences which we wish to make available as soon as possible.  With the new semester almost upon us and even more events scheduled to be recorded we feel that now is the time to begin to shift through these older podcasts.  Over the coming months you will also see an increase in SPOT Newsletter content and its further integration into the podcast pages (where possible).  We really believe that History SPOT should not just be a place to upload podcasts with basic metadata attached but a place where the podcasts are one piece of a larger resource.  From our end we plan to include opinion pieces, abstracts, bibliographies and links where we can, but we also would like help from our visitors as well.

If you have enjoyed a podcast or have any thoughts about them please do post a comment to the relevant page.  If you think that additional metadata tags would be useful for identifying the podcast please feel free to add your own (you will find this option as a tab near the top of each podcast page).  The more people interact with the resources the more useful we believe they will become. 

In the meantime please do have a look at our range of latest podcasts freely available.  If you haven’t yet please do register for a History SPOT account.  Its free, quick to do, and gives you acess to over 200 archived podcasts, related resources, and research training handbooks.

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I have been waiting to write that title for well over a year now.  After a delay of over 5 months History SPOT is finally ready to launch!   

Research Seminars, Lectures and Conferences

History SPOT is brimming full of podcasts from IHR seminars, conferences and lectures from 2009 to the present.  In addition to our extensive archives you will have access to all new podcasts from the IHR in the coming months and have the opportunity to discuss, comment upon and debate their content online.   

SPOTLight

In addition to the podcasts themselves History SPOT contains an archive of SPOT Newsletter reviews and abstracts which have thus far appeared on this blog along with various other additional resources.  The SPOT Newsletter will be growing over the coming months adding opinions, additional facts and information, and mini bibliographies.

Historical Research Training

History SPOT presents to you for free and for the first time material from our research training courses and from our expertises as a research institute.  Initially we have provided two research handbooks: one on the subject of Databases for Historians and another on podcasting.  More will follow soon.

Interact

History SPOT is not just a place to search for content it is also designed so that you can interact with the subject matter.  When you listen to one of our podcasts let us and other users know what you think.  Is there something that you disagree with or do you have something to add to what our speakers discuss? 

In addition you can create your own profiles, take part in social networking through Groups and Friends and create basic web pages.  You can also write your own blog posts and discuss our activities with each other in various group forums. 

Click below to access the site

 

 

History SPOT will be in Beta Mode for approximately one month while we iron out the final glitches and errors, however we would very much appreciate your feedback.  Do you like the new site?  Is there anything that you don’t like?  What could we do better?  Is there anything missing?  Please do let us know at History.spot@sas.ac.uk or through the Contact UsLINK option on History SPOT.

At some point soon I will write up another blog post here about the road to launch but in the meantime please do register for History SPOT, have a look around, and let us know what you think.

I hope you enjoy the site!

Matt

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