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Jennifer Bengtson

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April 15, 2011

Project Update: Digital Repository for Mississippian Archaeological Site Materials

April 15, 2011 | By | No Comments

I have been working to create a basic organizational framework for my repository (http://chi.anthropology.msu.edu/2011/02/28/a-digital-repository-for-mississippian-archaeologists/), and the process is actually coming along much better than I expected it would. A couple of weeks ago, I met with Dr. Goldstein to discuss my plans and to briefly browse through the materials she has available for the Aztalan site. To maximize inter-site comparability, we decided that it would be best to decide on a basic set of material types that I would expect to encounter as the project progresses. My initial decisions are, of course, based largely on what I have available for Aztalan, but these types of materials will likely be available for other sites as they are added to the repository. The preliminary categories are basic site information, maps, images, full text documents, bibliographies, and raw data. Of course, I plan to design the repository in a way that unique or Read More

Katy Meyers

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March 14, 2011

Linked Data: Uniting Scotland’s Past

March 14, 2011 | By | One Comment

One of the best parts of asking for research help at the library is the way that the librarians can link data. If I’m researching haggis, they can not only lead me to recipes and history of haggis, but will also know that overall Scottish history is pertinent and may suggest some sources I never would have thought of checking- like a biography of a Scottish chef. I am able to get access to sources that I wouldn’t have been able to find through a simple online search. Linked data, however, is changing this.

Linked data consists of any information which has been connected and integrated with other information within the semantic web. The semantic web is a way of building relationships between items that are often easily connected in the human mind but not in computers. By defining rules for connecting information, the semantic web allows for once disparate information to Read More

Micalee Sullivan

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March 10, 2011

The Digital Archive and Copyright Headaches

March 10, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

Undoubtedly, by now, there has been a lot written about the issue of copyrights and digitized archival material. Yet, I’m pretty sure no one has a definite answer for me yet. I came to Arizona to do some research this week and was determined to find an answer to this problem. In my “Sixteen Tons” project, I wanted to use pictures that I have taken in the archives of, not just archival photographs, but also actual documents. Allowing students to view high res photos of the actual documents gives them the opportunity to struggle with interpreting the faded, spotty, and outdated handwriting just as a historian would and can be much more interesting to view than just transcribed material on a word document.

But even posting photographs of these documents provides many of the same problems that using archival photographs does – problems that go beyond just crediting Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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March 7, 2011

Asian Pacific American Digital Archives: Three Examples

March 7, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

This week, I came across this post on Angry Asian Man about a new digital archive collection of posters, artwork, and photographs documenting the work of the Kearney Street Workshop, a multidisciplinary Asian Pacific American artist collective, founded in San Francisco in 1972. The collection includes works primarily from the 1970s and 80s. I thought this open access archive was a fantastic example of a collection focused on APA community activism. I decided to do a quick search to see what more is out there in terms of Asian Pacific American Digital Archives. For this blog, I’m going to talk about three that I found that I thought were quite good.

To say a bit more about the Kearney Street Workshop collection, it is housed at Calisphere, which is a University of California archival project focusing on “the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.” Read More

Katy Meyers

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March 5, 2011

Announcing the GradHacker Bootcamp

March 5, 2011 | By | No Comments

We grad students at the CHI Initiative have been talking about what a great experience it is to be able to play with technologies in ways that many of us would never have attempted otherwise. We thought it would be great to be able to share in this experience with other graduate students who are interested in technology but have not yet had the chance to explore what’s out there. So, we decided to coordinate a CHI digital bootcamp for graduate students.

When: March 26th 8:30 to 3

Where: MATRIX 4th Floor Conference Room

Who: Any graduate or professional students

Why: To learn about technology in a collaborative and open environment with other graduate and professional students

This bootcamp will include roundtable discussions and demos on new Online Social Media like Twitter and LinkedIn, Reference and Collaboration Platforms like Zotero, and Personal Websites using WordPress or Drupal. We will also have an open play time where Read More

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