Tag Archives: digital humanities

Crowdsourced digital history: Project South at Stanford — via NPR.org

Linton Weeks, in a post for NPR, describes a unique digital audio archive at Stanford on the civil rights movement: Project South. Here is part of Weeks’ description of the archive:

The Background: Exactly 50 years ago this year — in the summer of 1965 — a group of eight students filtered out into the Southern United States. Under the aegis of Stanford’s Institute of American History — and with help from campus radio station, KZSU — the young people gathered more than 300 hours of amazing audio recordings. They interviewed a lot of people — young and old, black and white — including members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

In the mountain of material: Audio appearances by Ralph Abernathy, Charles Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer and Hosea Williams. Andrew Young leads a singalong. The enterprising students captured the sounds of a Ku Klux Klan meeting and an address by Robert Shelton, a KKK imperial wizard.

Weeks invites readers to help him crowdsource the archive….

Historically speaking, I need your help.

Davis Houck, a communications professor at Florida State University, recently pointed me toward a little-explored archive at Stanford University called Project South.

It’s an intriguing trove — full of original source material. In fact, it’s so rich with historical moments, I need your help to sort it all out.

So I am asking anyone who is interested — historians professional and amateur — to do some research sleuthing. Let’s commit historical crowdsourcery.


Davis Houck, who wrote about the Project South archive for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., in 2014 tells NPR History Dept. that the relatively obscure archives “are just remarkable: from the highs of Dr. King’s oratory to Fannie Lou Hamer’s amazing testimony, to lots of singing, to a Klan rally! And I would underscore, and keep in mind this is somebody who writes about civil rights for a living, there’s simply nothing else even remotely like it.”

Read the rest of the NPR article here: http://goo.gl/QuRKzG

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. AP

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HathiTrust Research Center UnCamp–March 30-31, 2015

This looks great!

Save the date! HTRC UnCamp, March 30-31, 2015

HathiTrust Research Center UnCamp
March 30-31, 2015
University of Michigan
Palmer Commons
100 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2218


This year’s HathiTrust Research Center UnCamp will be held March 30-31, 2015 at the University of Michigan Palmer Commons (100 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2218).

Mark your calendars. HTRC is hosting its third annual HTRC UnCamp in March 2015 at the University of Michigan. The UnCamp is part hands-on coding and demonstration, part inspirational use-cases, part community building, and a part informational, all structured in the dynamic setting of an un-conference programming format. It has visionary speakers mixed with boot-camp activities and hands-on sessions with HTRC infrastructure and tools.

Who should attend? The HTRC UnCamp is targeted to the digital humanities tool developers, researchers and librarians of HathiTrust member institutions, and graduate students. Attendees will be asked for their input in planning sessions, so please plan to register early!

Registration. The UnCamp will have a minimal registration fee so as to make the Uncamp as affordable as possible for you to attend.

Additional information about the 2015 UnCamp will be posted at http://www.hathitrust.org/htrc_uncamp2015  as it becomes available. The 2012 and 2013 UnCamp programs and presentations are still available online.

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SLATE’s The Vault: Five of 2014’s Most Compelling Digital History Exhibits and Archives

From Slate‘s history blog, The Vault, Rebecca Onion features five digital collections and/or historical websites:

2014 brought us a wealth of new digital archives and document-rich historical websites to peruse. Here, in no particular order, are five of the best such sites I saw this year.”

Follow the link to enjoy. She promises a link to five more sites tomorrow.

Historical documents online: Five best digital archives from 2014.

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Darwin Manuscripts Project – The American Museum of Natural History


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Phillip K. Dick in the OC

I just attended a terrific panel on “Teaching with the Internet and Technology” at the PAMLA Conference in Riverside, CA. One of the presenters, Dr. David Sandner from CSU Fullerton, described a class project he incorporated into a more traditional literary analysis class: he had his students research and create a website,   called Phillip K. Dick in the OC. This is an excellent example of digital literacy practices in the classroom, and demonstrates the participatory learning ethos of the digital humanities. It is created in Google Sites, utilizing freely available free tools: choices made in order to demonstrate to other faculty, students, and administrators what can be done without a knowledge of coding. The site incorporates some original research as well as collecting materials and resources scattered across the web.

Some of the discussion at the panel revolved around the problem of student motivation. While students in Dr. Sandner’s class were graded upon their contributions to this website, they worked in groups according to interests and abilities. Some of the students have continued to work on the site since the class ended. One of the points the panel participants made was that students are willing to work, if the assignments have real world impact. Students often perceive papers and assignments read only by their professors as “busywork.” In my next post, I will write about an initiative at Northern Arizona University that also demonstrates the extent to which students can be motivated to work hard–in this case, to produce a professional academic symposium about video gaming without any extra credit.

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Princeton’s Center for Digital Humanities, News – excerpt

Here is a short news article from Princeton explaining some of the projects they are undertaking at their Center for Digital Humanities. It gives an excellent example of how a humanities undergraduate can work with a faculty member to do real research using digital tools. This is the kind of work I would like to do with undergraduates!  I’ve included an excerpt below and the link to the article.


Sometimes, opposites attract.

Princeton senior Brian Lax is an English major, passionate about British literature. He is also passionate about computer science and is earning a certificate in statistics and machine learning. Determined to marry these two seemingly disparate parts of his academic experience for his senior thesis, he set out to track revisions of poems by W.H. Auden across time — using the computer as his chief research tool.

Working with his adviser, Meredith Martin, associate professor of English and director of theCenter for Digital Humanities, Lax began his journey into the field of digital humanities.

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A Teaching Blog I Really Like: Te@chthought http://teachthought.com/

I just discovered this blog today, and already I have found several very useful posts, especially in the Technology section. Have a look!


I will be reading more, to be sure!!

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At MLA meeting, digital humanists share both research and success stories | Inside Higher Ed

At MLA meeting, digital humanists share both research and success stories | Inside Higher Ed.


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Filed under alt-ac, DH jobs, Digital Collections, Digital Humanities

Digital Humanists: If You Want Tenure, Do Double the Work | Vitae

Digital Humanists: If You Want Tenure, Do Double the Work | Vitae.

This article from the new Chronicle of Higher Education job site, Vitae, describes the difficulties digital humanists encounter when tenure committees evaluate their work. As a Ph.D. Candidate in English literature trying to bootstrap my way into the digital humanities (in a program that does not value it), I am not at all surprised that digital projects often do not count toward tenure. My digital projects are, as my dissertation advisor puts it, “a distraction from my real work.” Evidently the situation doesn’t get any better if you find a tenure track job in English. This is changing, slowly–but the main trend is for digital humanists to work off the tenure track in alt-ac positions. While it may be a plus to not have to work for tenure, neither do alt-ac positions provide the benefits of the tenure track.

The good news, according to the article, is that some programs are slowly coming around. The MLA has issued guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship.

The recommendations advise making expectations clear to candidates; asking faculty members familiar with digital work to participate in the review; accepting the work in its original, electronic form and not only, for example, as printed screen shots; and staying informed about technological innovations that help people with disabilities to conduct research, among other principles.

It is a good start.

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Filed under alt-ac, DH jobs, Digital Humanities, English Literature

The Algorithms of Our Lives – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Here is another thoughtful article, this time from The Chronicle of Higher Education, about the need to theorize the role of software in digital media, especially the way users interact with digital materials (the article is linked below). Although not the major point of the article, the author Lev Manovich makes an interesting observation about digital humanities:

Over the past few years, a growing number of scholars in the digital humanities have started to use computational tools to analyze large sets of static digitized cultural artifacts, such as 19th-century novels or the letters of Enlightenment thinkers. They follow traditional humanities approaches—looking at the cultural objects (rather than peoples’ interaction with these objects). What has changed is the scale, not the method.

Instead, Manovich argues that “peoples’ interaction with these objects” — not documents, but performances–is the data of the future, and software not only makes new sorts of interactions possible, it is also the means for tracking and analyzing those interactions.

via The Algorithms of Our Lives – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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