CBRL at the British Academy Summer Showcase 2023

On 17 June, the British Academy will open its doors for the annual Summer Showcase, a free festival of ideas for curious minds. This year, people will have the opportunity to meet the thinkers shaping our world through their pioneering social sciences and humanities research through a programme of engaging panel discussions, pop-up talks, performances, workshops and film screenings.

The 2023 Showcase will feature the following talks by CBRL trustees and staff:

Thursday 15 June:

‘(Re)connecting archives: making the BIRI collections interoperable‘ 

Council Room, 8.10pm

Freja Howatt, Archives and Collections Manager

During this event, CBRL’s Archives and Collections Manager will share invaluable insights into the profound implications of collaborating with archives from diverse British International Research Institutes, with a specific focus on achieving interoperability and linked open data. The talk will illuminate the challenges and transformative potential of interconnected digital archives, highlighting how they can significantly enhance information access and foster collaborative research opportunities.

Saturday 17 June:

Aerial Archaeology in the Middle East
Gallery, 11.50am–12.00pm

Robert Bewley, CBRL Chair

Important archaeological discoveries are often the result of long expeditions that require significant funding and support. Dr Robert Bewley, Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology, will explore how the Council for British Learning in the Levant’s ‘Aerial Archaeology in the Middle East’ project has uncovered new findings about Roman military campaigns in the second century ACE with the latest remote sensing techniques.

Digitising the “largest survey of an Islamic city ever conducted”
Gallery 3.40–3.50pm

Jessica Holland, Strategic Projects Director

This talk traces the story of documenting the old city of Jerusalem’s Islamic cultural heritage, from the 1930s to the 2020s. It starts with K.A.C. Creswell’s 1930s black-and-white photographs of Jerusalem’s Islamic sites, to a ground-breaking survey conducted by CBRL’s forerunner institute, the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, (established by the British Academy itself in 1922), that stretched across the decades from 1968 to the 1990s, and eventually culminated in the publication of the Islamic Jerusalem Trilogy – which remains the seminal reference work on Mamluk, Ayyubid and Ottoman architecture in Jerusalem. In continuation of this trajectory to document and preserve this endangered cultural heritage, CBRL’s pilot digitisation work in 2022-2023, supported by the Al-Tajir Trust, has laid the foundations for making these crucial drawings, maps and photographs of the Islamic architectural heritage of Jerusalem available to researchers through our upcoming open-access archival repository. Seeking to emulate the innovative nature of the original survey, we are exploring the use of machine learning technologies to automate image descriptions, and the inclusion of Augmented Reality elements in an interactive tour of the city’s Islamic architecture.

For more information and to book your free ticket, please visit the BA website. #ForCuriousMinds!