Hi, I’m Alex, and I’m the DHIL’s newest digital fellow. Though I’ve spent years learning various digital humanities tools in an amateur setting--thanks Tumblr!--my formal experience with DH has been very short; I fell into it rather than consciously choosing it as a research avenue. I was first introduced to the digital humanities in Spring 2018, and was set to attend the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) during that same summer. Still, I hadn’t even considered it for my own research until I was beginning to flesh out a research plan, and realized that my entire thesis rests on my ability to use different digital humanities tools. Since that realization, I’ve been slowly growing my arsenal of DH tools for various research and non-research related endeavours.
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Digital Humanities Innovation Lab blog
British Library Labs
On February 25, 2019, the DHIL was excited to host a keynote and workshop by Mahendra Mahey, British Library Labs (BL Labs) Manager. The British Library is one of the largest reference libraries in the world, created in 1753 as a part of the British Museum and made a separate institution in 1973. BL Labs is a part of the British Library’s Digital Scholarship team, and it works to connect researchers, artists, and educators with the BL’s digital collections in innovative ways.
We are very excited to announce the launch of The Prud’homme Library, a physical and digital exhibition of artworks and artefacts recently discovered in the attic of a Saskatchewan farmhouse. The exhibition is a remarkable collection of fakes and forgeries, ranging from rare vases to space exploration logs, false obituaries to oil paintings. It is believed that an anonymous donor left a small wooden crate on the porch of the Bishop of Prince Albert Diocese, Msgr. Joseph Henri Prud’homme’s Palace in the late 1920s.
As a part of our support for researchers’ digital humanities projects, the DHIL regularly offers tool- and skill-based workshops, like qualitative analysis with NVivo or spatial data visualization with Story Maps. In an effort to include more “yack” along with the “hack” – for more critical discussion to complement our digital humanities workshops – we wanted to offer a space for our community to focus on some of the cultural and political questions that have arisen as humanities departments have embraced the digital.
Bringing labour into the open
The Digital Humanities Skills Workshop Series continued on Tuesday, October 30 with the workshop, “Using NVivo for Humanities Research.” Facilitated by Graduate Peer NVivo Facilitator, Esteban Morales, and DHIL Fellow Kandice Sharren, this workshop explored the possibilities NVivo represents for humanities research and introduced participants to the basics of using it.
This fall, the Lab is very happy to welcome a new User Interface Developer to the team! Catherine Winters joined us this September, and I talked with her about her path to the DHIL, designing cooperative interfaces, creating Twitter bots, and growing up with the World Wide Web.
Kim: Hi Catherine! So my first question is, what does a User Interface Developer do?
Catherine: Hi! Well, I make our Digital Humanities projects easier to use by improving their user experience.
When did you first learn to code, and how?
Hello! Hannah Holtzclaw here, the Digital Humanities and Innovation Lab’s newest technical fellow. As a new team member to DHIL, I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself and the role of DH in my personal pedagogy and philosophy.
“If I had to draw a map of those four-plus years to illustrate the time between the day of my mother’s death and the day I began my hike on the Pacific Crest Trail...the map would be a confusion of lines in all directions, like a crackling Fourth of July sparkler with Minnesota at its inevitable center,” Cheryl Strayed writes in her autobiography, Wild. “But,” she continues, “those lines wouldn’t tell the story” (28).
For a week in June, I joined seven other members of the Digital Humanities community from around the world for a week-long session called “Open Access and Open Scholarship” to learn more about how to responsibly make scholarly communication open and accessible to the public. I was at DHSI, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria, which has become one of the most well-attended DH training programs in North America.