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2011 February

Jennifer Bengtson

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February 28, 2011

A Digital Repository for Mississippian Archaeologists

February 28, 2011 | By | 8 Comments

For my CHI fellowship project, I will create a digital repository for materials relating to major Mississippian archaeological sites. The Mississippians were the most socially-complex peoples to ever inhabit prehistoric North America, and their sites generally date to between AD 1050 and AD 1500 (several groups in the Southeast United States continued to practice a Mississippian lifestyle at the time of European contact). Their lifeway was characterized by a ranked social structure with ascribed status differentiation, hierarchical inter-site political organization, ubiquitous cleared-field maize agriculture, and a set of common religious institutions and iconography. They dramatically modified their physical environments by clearing plazas and building earthen mounds of variable size and for various purposes, many of which are still evident on the landscape today. Mississippian groups inhabited an area spanning from northern Florida to Illinois and from the Atlantic plain to Eastern Oklahoma (though evidence of their influence is even more widespread). Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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February 18, 2011

Facilitating a Rhetoric of Collaboration: A Resource for Learning/Teaching Research

February 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

I entered the CHI fellowship program without a real sense of what my cultural heritage informatics project would look like. I knew that I wanted to to be useful, and I figured it would be a best if I could connect the project to my imminent dissertation. But beyond that, I had nothing. To tell the truth, I wasn’t even sure that I fully understood what a cultural heritage informatics project should do. This is to say that the project described below developed alongside the meetings and discussions we had with the CHI program. I found it particularly generative to learn about the projects that the other fellows were working on. In listening to Katy, Micalee, and Jen talk through their projects, I was interested in the ways their projects employed technological tools to deal with issues of access, as well as to organize information.

My project works toward similar goals. Basically, Read More

Micalee Sullivan

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February 16, 2011

Teaching Digital Humanities to the Progressive Era Historian

February 16, 2011 | By | One Comment

Last week I made my first attempt at installing Omeka onto a server – my first step towards creating my Sixteen Tons project. Let’s just say I’m still in the process of completing this first step, but I am happy to have been given the opportunity to try a task that I would have never even attempted before becoming a CHI fellow. At times, I feel like the digital underdog, frantically Googling things like, “what does RT mean on Twitter?” (it means Re-Tweet!). But I am most likely not an exception to the wide array of professional historians out there.

Historians now recognize and value the importance of digital archive collections. While computers cannot replace cultural submersion experiences that many history graduate students are expected to participate in for their specializing region/s, I personally have benefited from the vast amount of primary documents that are a growing part Read More

Katy Meyers

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February 14, 2011

Project Update: The Bone Collective

February 14, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

As I discussed in a previous post, the Bone Collective is the project that I will be working on as a Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) fellow. Currently, the Bone Collective project is in its initial development stage. This means that I am primarily learning to use the Mediawiki platform. Last week, I set up Mediawiki on our server- a task that took a surprisingly long amount of time but that was completely satisfying in the nerdiest way. There are a couple of lessons that I learned from this task. My initial reaction to the challenge of installing Mediawiki onto a server was that this task was way beyond my tech skills.

The first lesson of this experience was not to doubt my own ability. One of the benefits of being a fellow for the Cultural Heritage Initiative is that we get the opportunity to learn these technical skills through trial and Read More

alex.galarza

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February 4, 2011

Collaboration in Zotero

February 4, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

I recently gave two workshops on Zotero to give an overview of its features, evangelize for its use, and to suggest models for collaboration that take advantage of group libraries. One workshop was conducted as a departmental lunch-and-learn for historians, and the other for librarians interested in Zotero’s sharing capabilities. Each group was excited by the examples of collaboration I provided and provided their own stimulating ideas on how they might use Zotero. Here are some examples from my own collaborate work that I showcased:

Fostering a Field

My first example was the group library I have assembled for the Football Scholars Forum, an academic monthly book club that invites authors via Skype to discuss their work. In the Zotero library, we have a folder that contains all of the sessions we have conducted so far, with attachments to each citation that include review essays, news stories, and the audio recording of the Read More