Data Refuge Update 1/27

This update coming to you from Philadelphia from Van Pelt Library's Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning. As we (Margaret Janz and Bethany Wiggin) write, #DataRescueA2 is happening right now, organized by the indomitable Justin Schell, Director of the Shapiro Design Lab at the University of Michigan Libraries and colleagues. And, the equally unstoppable Laurie Allen (Penn Libraries) hopped a train to New York and is talking now at Machine Eatable with our partner in EDGI, Jerome Whittington.

They're also getting ready for the first #DataRescueNYC, coming at you from Lower Manhattan on 2/4. (Additional NYC events are now in the planning stages, fear not if you aren't able to attend this one.)

And still more local Data Rescues are breaking out all over the place--quite literally from coast to coast. It's amazing and wonderful to witness! You are our heroes: #DataRescueBayArea (on 2/11), #DataRescueBoston (will be in February, write to them at And also: Atlanta, Austin (check them here), Boulder, Chapel Hill, DC, Denver, Haverford, Miami, NYC (different event), Seattle, Twin Cities, Wageningen. 

We're hosting our first webinar on Monday, 1/30, at 2p EST--if you're thinking about hosting a Data Rescue event in your community, please join in! You can register here

 Photography: Naomi Waltham-Smith

Photography: Naomi Waltham-Smith

For those who, like me (Bethany), have solidly mediocre tech skills, there are other paths to explore and build Data Refuge. Locally, our Storytellers--including Ph.D. Candidate Steve Dolph, Azavea's Dan Ford, Ph.D. And. Billy Fleming, Prof. Tad Schurr, and Prof. Naomi Waltham-Smith--are working on a range of writing, research, and art projects. We are eager for collaborators in other places. Lots of skills are needed to build Data Refuge Here's a few examples of projects we're working on locally: 

  • series of portraits of Data Rescuers, including Ana Barrera
  • a series of essays on "Ecologies of Data," founded by Patricia E. Kim
  • a collaboratively authored Lexicon (you can sign up here), edited by Steve Dolph  
  • stories about how Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and City of Philadelphia agencies and departments, as well as neighborhood groups, and individuals use these data in their everyday lives to (try to) stay sane and healthy

We want to know about your local stories!

Next week, we'll also travel to DC to testify on transparency and data management on Capitol Hill, in a hearing convened by the bi-partisan Congressional Transparency Caucus, where we'll be joined by our partners from the Sunlight Foundation, the Library of Congress/End of Term Harvest and Internet Archive. And, of course We'll head to #DataRescueNYC on Friday. It's going to be hyuuuuuuge. Other groups are planning additional Data Rescue events in NYC with more info soon.  

Your updates make us really happy. Keep up your good works and spirits. #Resist #FactsMatter