Digital humanities is experiencing a growing presence in history, but many historians are reluctant to embrace it as more than a method for storing their research or creating graphs. While compiling a digital archive is an important component of the modern historian’s repertoire, myriad digital tools exist to enhance research, presentation, and dissemination. I believe that by ignoring these digital methods, many academics are restricting their potential, both individually and their ability to collaborate with other scholars. So for me personally CHI is an opportunity to locate like-minded scholars, and connect with the academics who are utilizing and developing digital tools.
Digital preservation is one of the main reasons I chose to pursue the CHI fellowship. Whether it’s an individual artifact or a large architectural structure, I believe that tools such as photogrammetry can help preserve history. In addition, digital representations of artifacts and historical sites can be easily shared with other locations, such as museums or universities. Not everyone student can afford to study abroad in Italy, but as long the school has the equipment, a VR rendering of historic sites can be transmitted across the globe.
I plan to develop a project that can be used in museums. While I’m most interested in photogrammetry, the program and scope of my CHI fellowship project will depend on my ability to locate and access artifacts. Regardless of the form it takes, I hope that this fellowship will provide the opportunity to learn the skills I’ll need to develop similar projects for museums in the future, as well as engage with a network of other scholars interested in using digital preservation in both the field of history and museums studies.