With one already in the books, the Humanities Digital Workshop is offering a series of free sessions this year introducing subjects and technologies of interest to students and others interested in DH. Open to the Washington University in St. Louis community.
On Saturday, November 9, Washington University in St. Louis hosted a lively (and successful?) THATCamp:
THATCamp St. Louis, 2013. One of the first sessions combined two suggested topics: "Beginners in the Digital
Humanities" and "Subject Librarian DH boot camp," which I volunteered to co-facilitate with Twyla Gibson. I hope that discussing some of the broad outlines
of digital humanities was helpful, but there was a lot to follow-up on. The thin list here leads to pages and resources with pointers to many, many more
resources for exploring DH.
Overview of DH
In the "Beginners" session, we discussed some of the broad outlines of digital humanities: the dispute over "hack vs. yack"—the practical creation of
tools and resources (especially scholarly digital editions) versus broad theoretical considerations. Within the "hack" camp of DH is another division—not
less contentious, but with slightly differing aims and perspectives: scholars involved with scholarly editing (and "digital projects" more broadly) on the
one hand, and scholars interested in text mining, on the other. The following are good resources for anyone getting started in DH:
Not all XML that might be relevant for faculty members, archivists, librarians and others in cultural heritage organizations is necessarily DH, but certainly
deserves mentioning, such as EAD (Encoded Archival Description) for encoding of finding aids,
PREMIS for describing objects in a digital preservation environments, and many others! On the other
hand, as prevalent as TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) is, it is is also not the only XML standard relevant to DH, as others have grown up out of it, such as the
Charters Encoding Initiative (CEI) and EpiDoc, for Epigraphic
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the Digital Library Federation's annual Forum in Austin, TX. This is the first time I have attended this conference and hope that I am able to attend again. I was able to hear presentations from a number of institutions and individuals doing great work in the digital library/digital humanities fields and take away a lot of great ideas for things I can incorporate in my own work. It was great to hear experiences from others using Omeka, which we have been using for our digital exhibits for about a year now and those using Hydra, which we hope to work with in the future. In addition to sessions focused on specific technology or software, I participated in sessions about asessment of digital library projects and about utilizing the full potential of student workers. Luckily I took furious notes and will be sharing all of my experience with my coworkers to discuss how we can use these ideas in our work in DLS.
A bonus of attending conferences is the renewed sense of excitement about working in libraries and being inspired by all the work that others are doing in this field. R. David Lankes, the keynote speaker, reminded us all that librarianship is a radical profession, that we are essential, and we are advocates for the improvement of society. With so much talk about libraries being marginalized because of technology and budget cuts, it's nice to be reminded of how important we are.
It's not too late to join tomorrow's workshop. Note the first 2 sessions will be held in Eads Hall, and all others in the Arc in Olin Library.
All sessions are free to WU community members. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop.
Under the Hood: The Command Line for the Digital Humanist
Beneath your computer’s user interface is a tool that humanities scholars should learn to use
Processing: A Visually Playful Introduction to Programming
First steps in programming, so that you can decide whether it’s worth it to put in more hours in pursuit of greater proficiency
Databases for People Who Study Novels, Organizations, & Shards
A sense of the choices involved in data modeling can be useful to any scholarship that concerns itself with aggregates.
October 5 (Part I)
October 12 (Part II)
Some Things to Know About the Web Before You Make a Website
November 16 (Part I)
November 23 (Part II)
Geospatial Technologies for the Humanities and Social Sciences
An introduction to mapping tools: like the programming workshop, this will help you decide whether to dig in further
January 25 (Part I)
February 1 (Part II)
Beyond Your Word Processor: Text Technologies for Humanities Research
For some forms of inquiry, you need to circumvent your word processor.
February 22 (Part I)
March 1 (Part II)
The workshops are aimed especially at humanities graduate students; all are welcome,
but space is limited. To register, email Doug Knox in the Humanities Digital
Workshop, firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions? Email or call 3149353247.
the late American poet James Merrill first accepted Mona Van Duyn’s personal
invitation to make Washington University in St. Louis the home for his literary
papers in 1964, neither Merrill nor Van Duyn, who was helping build the Modern
Literature Collection, could have guessed just how extensive and significant
his manuscripts would become. Nearly a half-century later, as interest in
Merrill’s legacy continues to grow, a new digital archive is now providing
convenient access to a cross section of the artist’s work.
The James Merrill
Digital Archive illumines the intriguing work that led to Merrill’s “Book
of Ephraim,” a series of poems first published in his Pulitzer Prize-winning
book Divine Comedies in 1976 and the
first installment of his apocalyptic epic The
Changing Light at Sandover in 1982. The result of collaboration among staff
from Washington University Libraries’ Manuscript and Digital Library Services
units, the English department, and students and staff in the Humanities Digital
Workshop on campus, the archive can be viewed at digital.wustl.edu/jamesmerrillarchive/.
occult was central to all of Merrill’s later work, including “The Book of Ephraim”
that is the current focus of the James Merrill Digital Archive. As the poet
himself puts it, the poem distills “a Thousand and One Evenings Spent / With
David Jackson at the Ouija Board / In Touch with Ephraim Our Familiar Spirit.”
The new website brings within easy digital reach hundreds of transcripts
resulting from the many Ouija sessions Merrill and his partner conducted using
a teacup and simple board, along with drafts of “The Book of Ephraim,” bearing
witness to a complex creative process.
The preceding selection was taken from an article about the newly launched James Merrill Digital Archive, written by Evie Hemphill. Read the entire article here.