Friday, Nov. 20

Collections as data

  • Synchronous discussion: 1:30pm-2:30pm PST
  • Guest lecture: Thomas Padilla, UNLV, 3pm–4pm PST
  • Begin assignment eight together: 4pm–5pm PST

Read and watch for this class:


  • 🔒 Navarrete, Trilce, and John Mackenzie Owen. “The Museum as Information Space: Metadata and Documentation.” In Cultural Heritage in a Changing World, edited by Karol Jan Borowiecki, Neil Forbes, and Antonella Fresa, 111–23. Springer International Publishing, 2016.

Guest speaker: Thomas Padilla

Man with closely cropped hair, wearing a button-down shirt and black glasses, smiles at the camera.

Thomas Padilla is Interim Head, Knowledge Production at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He consults, publishes, presents, and teaches widely on digital strategy, cultural heritage collections, data literacy, digital scholarship, and data curation. He is Principal Investigator of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported Collections as Data: Part to Whole and past Principal Investigator of the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported, Always Already Computational: Collections as Data. He is the author of the library community research agenda Responsible Operations: Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI in Libraries.

Thomas is a member of the Association for Computers and the Humanities Executive Council (2017-2021), the Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship (LINCS) Technical Advisory Board, the WhatEVery1Says Advisory Board, and the ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence Advisory Group.

Previously he was the Practitioner Researcher in Residence at OCLC Research, Humanities Data Curator at the University of California Santa Barbara, and Digital Scholarship Librarian at Michigan State University. Prior to that he was at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign working at the Scholarly Commons and the Preservation Unit of the University Library. Prior to that he was at the Library of Congress doing digital preservation outreach and education.

In-class resources

In your responses for this week, many of you mentioned an interest in indigenous communities’ use of social media. Here’s an article on the topic by an indigenous journalist, and here’s a special issue of a journal on the topic.

Collections as data interactive slide deck

Data we’ll use in class

MOMA’s datasets on Github

MOMA artists by gender graph

MOMA artists’ birthplace map