Every institution wants their materials to be used. Well how about their metadata? Open data allows cross linking and aggregation of metadata across repositories for the creation of powerful research tools. What better way to promote collections, digital assets and other institutional resources than allowing information about these materials to be collected with those held by other institutions on similar subjects? What can we do with open data? What should we do? What can’t we do? Check out http://www.historypin.com/ for an example of open data in action. Want more information before discussion? Check out http://lod-lam.net/ before we meet.
This idea is similar to the one in Siobhan’s previous post, although I’d like to focus on increasing access and use through education (elementary school through graduate research). Before instructors can build new assignments and rubrics around DH resources, they need to know that these resources exist. How can archivists and digital humanities people do a better job of interacting with various aspects of the education community? Should we skip the instructors and go straight to the students (Facebook ads? Subliminal messages on Jersey Shore?)? Or are there specific programs that archives and digital humanities projects are using to reach out to educators (Weekly educators’ newsletters? Special events for educators?)? And what kind of IT infrastructure has to be in place for these outreach projects to work?
How do you set up DH assignments in the classroom and evaluate them fairly and effectively? I’m interested in hearing from other professors about their answers to these questions. Do you give students examples and guidelines for writing blog posts? How do you develop and find these? How do you grade posts and comments? How do you decide on grading for DH group work? While grading can seem like a pedestrian concern, evaluation criteria reflect the goals of DH assignments, communicate to students our reasons for requiring them, and provide us with one important way of assessing their use. I would be grateful for a conversation on the issue.
For campers like me who need somewhere to get started: all session participants come having read the foreword and introduction of A Companion to Digital Humanities (Oxford, 2004), plus at least one chapter of their choosing — all freely available online at http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/. We can branch out from talking about what we’ve read to talking about what we know or don’t know, what we’re learning, and what has inspired (or possessed) us to jump into THATCamp as beginners.
Recent years have witnessed an explosion of digital humanities projects throughout the Delaware Valley. Whether sponsored by universities, cultural institutions such as museums and archives, or commercial service providers, it’s clear that a lot of folks in our region are thinking about how to use digital technologies to explore all facets of the human experience across time and place.
That being the case, and presuming that a successful THATCamp Philly points to some interest in pooling skills and interests, might it be useful to consider possibilities for a Center for Digital Humanities right here in our own backyard? Centers are usually designed to connect people and institutions with the communities that surround them, usually by providing some kind of service. So, what kind of service(s) could/should our hypothetical Delaware Valley Digital Humanities Center provide? Who would be involved and how would it be structured? Is it possible to conceive of a DVDHC that gets real work done for real people while modeling a DIY, open-access ethic unencumbered by institutional affiliations and the sordid demands of fundraising?