Digital Humanities Research

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Presentation by Hope Greenberg, Scott Hamlin, Elli Mylonas and Patrick Yott at Nercomp 2008

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  • Copyright Hope Greenberg, Scott Hamlin, Elli Mylonas, Patrick Yott 2008. This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the authors. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the authors.
  • Digital Humanities Research

    1. 1. Supporting Digital Humanities Research: The Collaborative Approach <ul><li>Greenberg*, Hamlin°, Mylonas & Yott • </li></ul><ul><li>*UVM, °Wheaton, • Brown </li></ul>NERCOMP March 12, 2008
    2. 2. <ul><li>This session is being blogged. Please check in on it and add your comments. </li></ul><ul><li>http://blogs.nercomp.org/blogs/nac2008/ </li></ul>Supporting Digital Humanities Research: The Collaborative Approach
    3. 3. Projects <ul><li>A Digital Research Project in the Humanities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engages with a research topic, whether practiced by faculty or students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be motivated and carried out by faculty and by students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is informed by standards and practices recognized in the growing DH and DL communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is self conscious in its use of the digital medium and digital rhetoric </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Roles <ul><ul><li>Content Expert: faculty member/student researcher/archivist/community member </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Creator/Data Encoder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cataloger/Metadata Creator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology Bridge Person: digital humanities staff/ instructional technologist/digital librarian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical Expert: programmer, software architect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UI and Graphic Designer (accessibility, too!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Infrastructure Provider: digital repository </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Infrastructure Provider: systems staff </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Characteristics <ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Individualized presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Digital humanities standards and best practices </li></ul>Digital humanities research projects have sometimes contradictory goals: <ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Standardized presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Digital library standards and best practices </li></ul>
    6. 6. Digital libraries <ul><li>Digital projects need resources that are high quality, reliably available and well cataloged </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries preserve and disseminate digital resources as they do traditional materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital projects should build on digital library assets, and drive their development </li></ul>
    7. 7. Digital publications <ul><li>Significant as process and as product </li></ul><ul><li>Are a way to transfer (digital) scholarly skills to undergraduate and graduate students </li></ul><ul><li>Digital projects become scholarly product </li></ul><ul><li>They become assets to be cataloged, preserved and disseminated </li></ul><ul><li>They themselves become an object of scholarship </li></ul>
    8. 8. Digital Humanities @ Wheaton College Scott Hamlin Director of Technology for Research and Instruction [email_address]
    9. 9. Wheaton College Overview <ul><li>Norton, MA </li></ul><ul><li>Small private liberal arts undergraduate college </li></ul><ul><li>>1500 students </li></ul><ul><li>student faculty ratio: 11.7: 1 </li></ul><ul><li>3% of classes have over 50 students </li></ul><ul><li>LIS division </li></ul>
    10. 10. Digital Humanities Projects @ Wheaton <ul><li>Support </li></ul><ul><li>Research and Instruction Department </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison model </li></ul><ul><li>Genesis of Digital Humanities Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Awards and Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty Initiated </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison Initiated </li></ul>
    11. 11. Character of Digital Humanities Scholarship @ Wheaton <ul><li>Research and Pedagogy linked </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example from the Sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples from the Humanities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent example where research comes first </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using large, complex technologies in small ways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GIS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TEI </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology as a way to depth </li></ul><ul><li>Projects are Collaborative: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty/Archivist/Librarians/Technologists </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Character, Part 2 <ul><li>Level of support is high </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge: Hardly ever polished or complete </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to carry out a project quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty willingness to experiment with technology for teaching and research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process over Product </li></ul>
    13. 13. Book of Misfortunes and Shipwrecks: A Text Encoding Project (TEI XML)
    14. 14. [Map of the world], Vesconte Maggiolo. Neapoly [Naples]: 1511
    15. 15. Overview of the Process <ul><li>Choosing the text (Faculty and sometimes Archivist) </li></ul><ul><li>Project Planning (Faculty, IT, and sometimes Archivist) </li></ul><ul><li>Transcription (Students) </li></ul><ul><li>Structural Tagging (Students) </li></ul><ul><li>Content Encoding (Students) </li></ul><ul><li>Analytical Encoding and Glossaries (Students) </li></ul><ul><li>XML-> HTML Transformation (IT and Students) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Transcription Determinado t &etilde; go &dspir; reduzir en e &longs; te vltimo libro algunos ca &longs; os &dspir; infortunios &iota; naufragios &iota; co &longs; as acaecidas en la mar:
    17. 17. Some of the entities used
    18. 18. Encoded Text
    19. 19. Transformed text
    20. 20. Student Response “ I learned not only a new way to represent data electronically, but it allowed me to do a very very close reading of each of the words, phrases, characters, definitions, etc.” “ [This work] is more interesting, allows a closer reading, and an online representation of your work, which is very rewarding.” “ I usually stink at computers, and this project showed me that I can do something really good with them and come up with a great final product.” “ I feel like its a great idea to build on this work we've done. It would be interesting to have more research done on the various people and places that we did not research.”
    21. 21. Student Reactions (continued) “ It was an interesting new way to analyze a text. I love learning languages and reading, but sometimes the lit classes are too dry. This class allowed us to better analyze the text linguistically and contextually.” “ I feel like I better understand the Spanish language. And not just in comprehension, but also the inner workings. For example, I used to put a tilde over a 'n' just because, but now I know what their purpose is. I also feel like I wasn't wasting my time with my work. Projects that can actually be used for something or by someone make me feel like there is a point to doing them.” “ I actually like working with TEI because it is a very mechanical process. It gets accomplished in steps so it is not so intimidating, although it is confusing at first.”
    22. 22. Digital Humanities at the University of Vermont Hope Greenberg Academic Computing Services Center for Teaching and Learning Learning Resources Group
    23. 23. Digital Humanities at UVM: A History of Failure
    24. 24. “ I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that haven't worked.” - Thomas Alva Edison
    25. 25. Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Academic Computing Services (ACS) Center for Media Development (CMD) Learning Resources Group IT Support, serving 12,000 students, 3,000+ faculty and staff: Enterprise Technical Services Departmental IT Groups and then there is us:
    26. 26. Academic Computing Services “ We will explore we will recommend we will encourage you we will teach you how to do it but we can’t do it for you .”
    27. 27. WebCT  Blackboard web blogs wikis podcasts workshops video SPSS GIS EndNote Word PowerPoint php xml dSpace ContentDM CSS PhotoShop MySQL We support PEOPLE
    28. 28. But what about digital humanities?
    29. 29. The Idea We can build and support an infrastructure for humanities faculty and students to create the digital resources they need to advance their teaching, learning, and scholarship goals.
    30. 30. Experiment 1: R&D Marketing
    31. 32. Experiment 2: Inspire with exemplars
    32. 35. <HEAD TYPE=&quot;article&quot;>PERFUMES FOR THE LADIES, AND WHERE THEY COME FROM.</HEAD><DIV2 TYPE=&quot;images”> <p>Perfumes appear to have been in general use throughout Asia from the remotest times. Their ~eneral introduction into Europe was of comparatively recent date; and up to the present time, tl~e favorite and costly perfumes are still brought from the EasL</p></DIV2>
    33. 38. Experiment 3: “ Grow” student expertise
    34. 40. Experiment 4: Combine forces
    35. 44. Experiment 5: Image Collections
    36. 48. Experiment 6: A more formal approach…
    37. 49. i.e., get more $$
    38. 51. We have learned…
    39. 52. Looking Ahead…
    40. 53. “ If we knew what we were doing it wouldn’t be called research.”
    41. 54. University of Vermont Center for Digital Initiatives: http://cdi.uvm.edu Questions: [email_address] Winona Salesky’s blog on the process of building the CDI: http://thedil.wordpress.com/
    42. 55. Digital Humanities at Brown <ul><li>The semi-permeable membrane… </li></ul><ul><li>Elli Mylonas, Scholarly Technology Group </li></ul><ul><li>Patrick Yott, Center for Digital Initiatives </li></ul>
    43. 56. In Brief <ul><li>“University-College” </li></ul><ul><li>680 faculty </li></ul><ul><li>5800 undergraduates and 2200 graduates </li></ul><ul><li>Support for digital activities </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CIS-Teaching and Learning Services (6) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CIS-Scholarly Technology Group (3) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Library-Center for Digital Initiatives (5.5) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    44. 57. <ul><li>1964-Development of Brown Corpus (Linguistics) </li></ul><ul><li>1968-Development of Fress Hypertext System (CS) </li></ul><ul><li>1983-Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship (IRIS) develops seminal Intermedia hypertext system </li></ul><ul><li>Late 1980s-> George Landow and later Bob Coover teach hypertext fiction and digital writing. </li></ul><ul><li>1994-The Scholarly Technology Group (STG) is formed </li></ul>
    45. 59. <ul><li>3 Staff </li></ul><ul><li>4-5 undergraduates, 3-4 graduate students </li></ul><ul><li>Attract projects through a “grants” program </li></ul><ul><li>Serve as seed projects for external funding </li></ul><ul><li>NEH/other grants </li></ul><ul><li>Close collaboration with the Women Writers Project </li></ul><ul><li>Close collaboration with the library’s Center for Digital Initiatives </li></ul>
    46. 60. Monastic Archaeology Project
    47. 61. <ul><li>Florentine Gazetteer based on 1585 axonometric map. </li></ul>
    48. 62. Fortune Hunting: An art project that plays with the idea of the archive
    49. 64. <ul><li>5.5 staff (+ affiliated staff throughout library) </li></ul><ul><li>Digitization of library’s special collections </li></ul><ul><li>Support for faculty projects </li></ul><ul><li>Development of campus-wide digital repository </li></ul><ul><li>Development of dl software and tools </li></ul><ul><li>Close collaboration with STG </li></ul>
    50. 65. Digitizing Special Collections
    51. 66. Digitized Materials in the classroom
    52. 67. Faculty projects
    53. 72. METS based digital objects
    54. 74. 1648 print shop inventory listing prints and plates
    55. 77. Thank You!

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