Notes from New Digital Scholarship / Unpress session

The session was proposed by Adeline Koh — session description here:

I’m not so good at tracking the conversation, but here are some related links:

Notes from HTML5 hack session

People were interested in using HTML 5 for video, mobile-ready apps, and native offline use.

First thing we did was set up a little hack space at


Session Idea: From American Memory to David Rumsey and Beyond: Curating Maps Online

This is an action-oriented, idea-gathering session. I am interested exchanging notes with librarians, archivists, historians, technologists, and museum folks about the most innovative ways to curate a collection of old maps online. So I imagine that part of this session would be focused on gathering a list of the best sites currently out there and exchanging notes on what we like and don’t like about them: their organization, the features that they do or do not have, their audience and how they reach it. The other part would be taking a case study and planning an online exhibit for it.

The case study for this session is an online representation of Charles O. Paullin’s excellent Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932). Apart from the significant set of decisions choices demanded by map curation in general, which we’ll discuss in some detail, atlases pose a number of questions to curators: how should users navigate the collection as a whole? Page by page or section by section? What is the relationship of map to text in an online environment? Does the online curation of an atlas such as this call for new introductory essays? The emphasis of this project is on innovation, so no idea is too crazy. And happily, this project will actually be built. So help us make it happen!

Session Idea: History game logic… specifically based on primary source documents

Learning about history doesn’t necessarily need a game to make it interesting. But if you were to think about an electronic game for middle or high school students that is based on primary source documents, can we identify an underlying logic that could apply to primary sources in general?

Disclosure: I’m not a gamer! So when I say underlying logic I’m thinking about the structure or objective of the game: uncover clues to get to a destination; problem solve in order to achieve a new level; research or add data in order to change an outcome; all the other things I have no idea about. I’m looking for the broad experience of a group to play with this idea.

Discussion: Using Technology to Integrate Hidden Humanities into Everyday Life

I am interested in recent digital humanities projects that attempt to connect people with the hidden histories (or other humanities) in their everyday lives.

Here are a few examples based here in Philly:

A photo archive made accessible via an augmented reality ap for smart phones.

Forgotten urban history revealed through a GPS treasure hunt.

Oral histories collected into a Google Maps web interface.

All of these projects take historical data, knowledge and/or primary sources and overlay them on top of the everyday world.  Historical markers do this, too – analog style.  As someone interested in humanities exhibition design and public humanities, I think this is a powerful concept for making the humanities not only accessible, but relevant and engaging.

Do you agree?

Are there other projects you know of that take humanities data/knowledge/primary sources and tie them directly to contemporary geography and life?

What are the strengths and shortcomings of these projects?

What data sets or resources would you like to see used this way?

What are the best and/or easiest technologies for using this concept?

Beyond the Kiosk: Digital Humanities and Museum Exhibitions

What are ways in which museums could incorporate some of the techniques, tools, and thinking that underpin digital humanities into exhibitions? I’d like to brainstorm with others how we might use such things as large datasets, mobile technologies, or geospatial visualizations in creative ways to create visitor experiences that are richer, more exciting, and more imaginative than simply presenting information (even interactive information) on a kiosk. Could we find new ways of telling well-known stories, or inspire visitors to make new connections between themselves, the past, and other people? Could we create historical stories that look like art? Could we extend the gallery experience outside the museum walls?

Discussion Session: Spatial Humanities

As a map librarian and geographer I am interested in how geospatial technologies have really taken hold in the Digital Humanities and learning about how others are using or thinking about how to enhance collections and research with maps etc.

Let’s get together for a general discussion about how various geospatial technologies can be used to enhance digital humanities research. Discussion can be as basic as talking about adding location information in metadata and range to more technologically advanced projects using the web to provide access to collections using a geographic interface.