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Scholarly Primitives 20 Years Later

Twenty years after John Unsworth first formulated scholarly primitives as a set of recursive and interrelated functions that form the foundations of research activities across disciplines, theoretical frameworks or eras, his keynote is revisiting and freshly interrogating both the notion and the scope of scholarly primitives. In his plenary talk, Unsworth offers an honest critique of the original 2000 paper delivered at a symposium at King’s College London, discussing what he perceives as its weak points, and also reviewing each primitive in the light of technical, social and scholarly developments since the turn of the 21st century.

John Unsworth is the University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at UVA, where he is responsible for making yesterday’s information available tomorrow, as well as today. He is also a Professor in the English Department. John’s research is in cyberinfrastructure for the humanities, and since 2008 that work has focused on helping to develop the HathiTrust Research Center, which now provides computational access to all of the 4 billion pages in the HathiTrust collection, including the 65% that is in copyright.

The keynote was held on November 10, 2020, at the DARIAH Virtual Annual Event 2020.

Learning outcomes

After watching this video you should:

  • understand how the primitives were formed or first emerged,
  • understand critiques of these primitives under the lens of current research practices

Cite as

John Unsworth (2020). Scholarly Primitives 20 Years Later. Version 1.0.0. DARIAH-Campus. [Video].

Reuse conditions

Resources hosted on DARIAH-Campus are subjects to the DARIAH-Campus Training Materials Reuse Charter

Full metadata

Scholarly Primitives 20 Years Later
John Unsworth
Social Sciences and Humanities
Content type:
CCBY 4.0
Multimodality, Scholarly practice