Affiliation: The University of Melbourne
Sector: Library, Archive, Humanities, Academic, Research
Gavan McCarthy is a Senior Research Fellow and Director and the eScholarship Research Centre at the University of Melbourne. The latter position was created in 2007 and grew directly out of the work he had been doing in the history and archives of science which had its beginnings in 1985. He is a leader in the field of cultural informatics with emphasis on the building of sustainable information resources and services to support research. He started work in the academic sector with the Australian Science Archives Project (ASAP: 1985-1999), based in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. It was here he pioneered the development of national information services and infrastructure to support the history of Australian science, technology, medicine and engineering through the utilization of the emerging digital technologies. McCarthy is noted in Australia and overseas for his innovative and research-driven approach to the challenges posed by digital technologies for the support of scholarship and sustainable knowledge. In 1995 his work was recognized internationally, and has since established a number of enduring collaborative partnerships – the link with Imperial College London being foremost. He worked as a consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, 2002-2007) where he developed a new conceptual approach to the immensely problematic issue of the long-term management of information about radioactive waste. This same epistemic approach to sustainable information infrastructure has led to many successful ARC projects either as a technical partner or more recently as a Chief Investigator. McCarthy was amongst the first humanities scholars to receive ARC funding to support information infrastructure development (1992-1994), and has been consistently successful in the years since. The most publicly successful of these projects was the collaborative partnership with the Australian National University (2004-2006) to transform the Australian Dictionary of Biography into an online research resource of world stature.
The eScholarship Research Centre (ESRC) has and is working on a number of project that have the capacity for systematic data linking. For a reasonably comprehensive list see: http://www.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/digipubs/resources.html Most of these data sets are updated regularly . The ESRC has just commenced a major national project funded by the Federal Government to take the 'Pathways' (see below) model and implement it for every State and Territory in Australia. Pathways - A resource for people who as children were in out-of-home 'care' in Victoria. Pathways tells the story of institutional 'care' in Victoria from its beginnings in the 1840s through to the present. It includes stories and images that describe key institutions and auspicing agencies, public figures, legislation and policies, events, with links to significant publications and record holdings. See: http://www.pathwaysvictoria.info/