Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

CHI Announcements



May 12, 2017

Launching NorrisTown!

May 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

Welcome to NorrisTown! This work of love (literally) has taken a long time. This will be updated through the summer as I find and digitize more material, so I would really appreciate your feedback, especially if you know more than I do about the town of Norris!

The website is largely clean and accessible (I hope!) with pdfs housed together along with reflective essays. There images from the Farm Security Administration (from the Library of Congers website). In addition, there is a list of sources online and books that the website shall point you to.

While I was initially very, very afraid of having to code from ground up, in hindsight, it was easy as long as I was patient while I continuously tested the mock-up page. It took a while to finalize the mock-up page but it was well worth it. In the long run, it saved time and effort. It also made it easier to isolate issues that cropped up as I was inputting information. For instance, as I replace dummy text in the reflective essay boxes, there were alignment issues on the page as the pdfs were suddenly sent to the bottom of the page. In addition, the drop down navigational menu was going into the background. Given that I had written the code ground up, I was able to (relatively) easily isolate the problematic code and rewrite/edit it. It was small and big things like this that made the process annoying in the short run but extremely fulfilling because I learned so much.

The website was mostly created ground up, without any themes. I used iframes to house pdfs for easy access and readability. While I am happy about the project overall, there is one niggling aspect that needs some fixing. The home page does not have the originally envisioned geo-rectified site plan of Norris. Although creating the geo-rectified image was easy, there were some issues with Mapbox and I am still working towards fixing it. I would really appreciate any ideas about how to fix it. For now, the home page consists of a map I created on Googlemaps that has markers. Each of the markers is an important place on the site plan and the markers themselves have little information blurbs as well as images (when available).

For now, though, I hope the website is interesting!

Ethan Watrall


April 12, 2017

Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellowship Information Session

April 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

Join us on Friday, May 5 from 9-10:00 am in LEADR (112 Old Horticulture) for a casual information session about the Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) Grad Fellowship Program. Attendees will be provided with an introduction to the fellowship program, including disciplinary and intellectual scope, expectations, activities, resources, and support. Attendees will also get the opportunity to meet past and present CHI Grad Fellows to learn about their experiences in the program. The session is open to any and all graduate students who are interested in finding out more about the CHI Grad Fellowship Program.

Read More

Ethan Watrall


April 12, 2017

Call for 2017-2018 Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship Applications

April 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative invites applications for its 2017-2018 Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship program.

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowships offer MSU graduate students in departments and programs with an emphasis on cultural heritage with the theoretical and methodological skills necessary to creatively apply digital technologies to cultural heritage materials, challenges, and questions. In addition, the fellowships provide graduate students with the opportunity to influence the current state of cultural heritage informatics and digital heritage, and become leaders for the future of cultural heritage informatics.

Read More

Bernard C. Moore


May 6, 2016

Namibia Digital Repository: Official Launch!

May 6, 2016 | By | No Comments

This post officially declares the project launch of the Namibia Digital Repository! For the past year, I have been slowly digitizing and piecing together a Namibian Studies online digital library. Far too often, existing scholarly materials pertaining to Namibia are not accessible to Namibians for many reasons; this project seeks to fill a gap in scholarly access.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, this project is both creative and agglomerative. It is creative in the sense that countless hours have been spent in front of scanners and VCRs digitizing books, photos, documents, and films (for more on this, click here). It is agglomerative in the sense that I also pull from existing Namibiana resources on the web, providing attribution and an alternate host for the files (for more on this, click here).

Screenshot of the Namibia Digital Repository

Screenshot of the Namibia Digital Repository

As of 5 May, 2016, I have uploaded 246 items into the repository, broken down into the following collections:

Basler Afrika Bibliographien: (2 Scanned, 18 Agglomerated)
Dissertations on Namibia: (7 Scanned, 24 Agglomerated)
Documentary Films on Namibia: (20 Digitized, 5 Agglomerated)
Finding Aids: (2 Scanned)
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung: (9 Agglomerated)
Labour Resource and Research Institute: (8 Agglomerated)
Legal Assistance Centre: (15 Agglomerated)
Leiden University: (3 Agglomerated)
Miscellaneous Articles: (3 Scanned)
Missionary and Travelers’ Diaries: (1 Scanned)
Namibia Documentary Series (Interviews): (11 Digitized)
Namibia Institute for Democracy: (12 Agglomerated)
Namibian Autobiographies: (5 Scanned, 1 Agglomerated)
Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit: (1 Scanned)
Nordic Africa Institute: (19 Agglomerated)
Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa: (6 Agglomerated)
Out of Print Books on Namibia: (44 Scanned, 11 Agglomerated)
Political Documents: (3 Scanned)
Thomas Baines: (11 Scanned)
Union of South Africa “Ethnological” Publications: (7 Scanned)

Some of these collections are still works-in-progress, particularly the ever-important “Out of Print Books” and the “Missionary and Travelers’ Accounts” collections, which will see their numbers rise as I include some recent scans I’ve made.

Furthermore, I’ve recently received a consignment from the retiring Professor Dr. Robert Gordon of the University of Vermont. Dr. Gordon is an esteemed and radical scholar, authoring several books on Namibian history and anthropology (perhaps his most famous is the 1991 The Bushman Myth). On his retirement, he has provided me with many boxes of old papers from the United Nations Institute for Namibia in Lusaka, Zambia and of early, pre-independence publications from the University of Namibia. During this summer, I will be digitizing these papers and publications to form two or three new collections. For digital library projects to succeed, it is necessary for them to incorporate new content regularly. I hope to continue to live up to this.

Other than continually adding more material during the summer, I will also be spending a great deal of time advertising the resource, appealing for other scholars, librarians, and archivists to make use of the repository, and hopefully add their own materials. I cannot do all of the work on my own.

The final aspect of the repository, and this is the most fun, is the use of exhibits. For those of us who use archival resources in our research, one often opens old finding aids to try to locate archival boxes relevant to our research. The first few pages of the finding aids often have a brief introduction from the archivist or scholar who organized the collection. This introduction is intended to go beyond just introducing the user to how the resources are organized; it is meant to provide thematic guidance. Exhibits in Omeka can function the same way. I plan to incorporate a number of short historiographic essays into these visual exhibits, introducing the user to the materials included in the repository, as well as the significance of each one. I have built one exhibit on Namibiana studies and resources in Finland, and I have another en-route exploring writings on trade unions and labour in Namibian history. These will form a crucial component into allowing other scholars to contribute more than just PDF scans and audio files. Exhibits will also help university students navigate the website in the best way possible.

I hope that all of you enjoy going through the materials I have created and collected over the past year, and I would love to receive feedback on the content and look of the site as well.

Bernard C. Moore



September 29, 2015

CHI Fellow Re-Introduction: Santos F. Ramos

September 29, 2015 | By | No Comments

Coyols Unapologetic Survival

I am a returning fellow for the program, last year having developed a digital project documenting Xicano culture in the Great Lakes Region, Indigenous food sovereignty, and MiXicano visual art. I am now in my second year of a PhD program in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures, focusing on Cultural and Indigenous Rhetorics. My research takes an ethnographic approach to examining the intersections of pedagogy, Indigeneity, and social movements, and I also try to spend as much time as possible supporting local community education programs geared toward Indigenous youth—such as the Indigenous Youth Empowerment Program and the Native American Youth Association.

One of my primary interests is looking at cultural continuance as a form of resistance to assimilation with Western modernity and considering the relationship between academic research and non-academic Indigenous communities who engage these types of practices. Especially as a Xicano person living in Michigan, much of my attention is also focused on inter-Indigenous relationships and with negotiating the often-conflicting markers of “Indigenous” and “migrant.”

I am excited to be back for another year in this program because it has created many opportunities for me to think about all of these fun/complicated topics in a different way than I am typically used to. By developing a website to explore these subjects, new questions come up about the way that cultures are being influenced by the intense emergence of digital platforms.

Here’s to another solid year as a CHI Fellow!

Update: the image used above was created by Angélica De Jesús and was used in my project for last year, The Xicano Cookbook: Survival in the Great Lakes Region.



May 4, 2015

Wheelwomen at Work is live!

May 4, 2015 | By | No Comments

I am excited to announce that Wheelwomen at Work is live!

Over the past academic year, I’ve been researching, writing and developing my CHI digital humanities project Wheelwomen at Work: Mapping Women’s Involvment in the Nineteenth-Century Bicycle Industry. For my launch post, I am going to recap why I developed the project, what tools I used, and future directions for the project.

My dissertation explores how nineteenth-century women used bicycling as an activist strategy. While conducting research, I uncovered how women’s involvement in the nineteenth-century bicycle industry was multifaceted and key to the industry as a whole, even though men held leadership positions in bicycle companies. I have found evidence of women who designed and produced bicycle accessories and clothing, while others developed frames and components. Women also worked in bicycle shops in sales and even as mechanics, and it was common for bicycle corporations to hire women as sales ‘agents’ to promote their brand. Other women quietly worked their way up to management positions in local factories. Young, working- class women were the invisible laborers behind most components and accessories, working long hours in dangerous machine shops and factory floors. I found a wealth of sources on women in the bicycle industry, yet they were largely scattered across archives. I believed these sources could be much more useful to scholars and lay enthusiasts in an accessible and organized format. I hoped that digitally curating these sources could allow for a deeper and richer understanding of women’s contributions to the bicycle industry, instead of reading individual women’s work as an outlining example isolated from one another.

Read More

Ethan Watrall


April 29, 2015

Call for 2015-2016 Cultural Heritage Informatics Graduate Fellowship Applications

April 29, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative invites applications for its 2015-2016 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship program.

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowships offer MSU graduate students in departments and programs with an emphasis on cultural heritage (Anthropology, History, Art History, Museum Studies, Historical & Cultural Geography, Classics, etc.) the theoretical and methodological skills necessary to creatively apply information, computing, and communication technologies to cultural heritage materials. In addition, the fellowships provide graduate students with the opportunity to influence the current state of cultural heritage informatics, and become leaders for the future of cultural heritage informatics.

During the course of their fellowship (which lasts an academic year), students will collaboratively develop a significant and innovative cultural heritage informatics project. Projects might include (but are certainly not limited to) a serious game, a mobile application, a digital archive, or a collaborative digital publication. To support their work, fellows will receive a stipend of $2000 Read More

David Bennett


October 23, 2014

Visualizing Southern Television 2.0: Launched!

October 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Today marks the official launching of Visualizing Southern Television 2.0, the second version of my project digitally mapping the footprint for television stations in the south between 1946 and 1965. Back in June, I began the process of deconstructing the mapping infrastructure of VST with three main goals: to improve the aesthetics of the mapping system, to introduce a visual representation for station signal range, and to visualize the estimated reach of each tower’s broadcasts, over time, in order to show which geographical areas were within the reach of any given broadcast signal. Read More



September 22, 2014

CHI Fellow Introduction: Christine Neejer

September 22, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

When we think about business and industry in the nineteenth-century United States, a few archetypes come to mind: the wealthy tycoon, the factory worker, the inventor, and the small business owner. Most of us usually imagine these people as men. This is not an accident, but a result of what we learned in high school and college history courses about nineteenth-century life. Images of young girls working in textile mills may come to mind, but rarely do we picture nineteenth-century women filing patents of their own inventions, running a store or building complex machinery. Yet, with a little detective work, one can find a variety of sources which showcase the diversity of women’s engagement with business in the nineteenth-century.

Read More



May 12, 2014

rapKenya is Launched!

May 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

rapKenya imageI am excited to launch my project, rapKenya, which can be viewed at . rapKenya is intended to be a one-stop online resource for people interested in accessing and learning more about Kenyan hip-hop culture, particularly rap music.There are two components of this project: 1) digitization and annotation of Kenyan hip-hop lyrics and, 2) building of an online Sheng dictionary. Both components work towards the goal of giving people access to Kenyan hip-hop lyrics and help them discover the meaning of the lyrics. So far, I have completed what I would call the phase one of this project. I have built a website where this project will live using Foundation5 html framework.

Read More