New DH Sample Projects

“Featured DH Project”

The new format of the sample DH projects webpage is now very easy to navigate and is user-friendly. Upon visiting the site, I noticed several categories listed at the top of the webpage. They included: archive, visualization, mapping, digital edition, network analysis, textual analysis, and audio analysis. Users can click on the each individual category to find sample digital humanities projects that fall under the selected category. It is now much easier to explore the webpage due to its recent re-organization that is beneficial to all users. On the sidebar of the sample DH projects webpage, there is a section called a “Featured Project.” As of this blog post, the featured project was “The Great Parchment Book.”

 

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Logbook of ship trapped in ice

 

One specific category is “archive.” Projects under this category are “Old Weather”, “Lincoln at 200”, and “Database of Indigenous Peoples in North America.” These contain artifacts that were scanned and put into a digital format. For example, in “Old Weather” this is a logbook for a ship that became trapped in ice.
While the average student may not have access to the original copy of the logbook, it is now more easily accessible through the use of digital humanities. Damage by human use is less likely to happen due to the fact that less and less people are physically touching the artifacts. The use of digital humanities is also beneficial in that it allows the researcher to be more organized through digital means. Copies of the artifacts create the opportunity to go back to the source multiple times to get most of the information that the artifact provides.

Digital humanities has a lot to offer in terms of advantages to the humanists; yet, there are some drawbacks when it comes to the use of technology. First of all, scanning the artifacts has a lot of room for error. That is something I will need to take into consideration and try to limit when I am using this process. Also, with transcribing the artifacts digitally, it leaves a lot of room for human error and subjectivity. Again, with my best efforts, I will try to not let this happen. Despite some sources of error with the use of digital humanities, it is very beneficial to students and researchers.

Digital Archives

The new website for the Sample DH projects is very well set up. All of the projects are split in to different approaches which makes it easier to find something that works well with you. The categories are archive, visualization, mapping, digital edition, network analysis, textual analysis, and finally audio analysis. Depending on what works well for you, the website is set up to find a project that matches your taste. Because i am a very visual person, i spent some time exploring the the mapping and visualization sections and thought all of the projects were very interesting. The project that i found the most interesting in these areas was Map of Early Modern London, which we had talked about in class and I continued to look at.

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I will mostly be talking about the archive section. The summaries that are listed on this page make it incredibly easy to figure out which project interests you so you can have an idea about what it is before you go to their website.

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Old Weather

My favorite project stood out to me was Old Weather. Old Weather is a project that works to transcribe old ship’s logs in order to gain information about prior environmental conditions. My attention was drawn to this in the first place because i consider myself a boat person and love to spend time on the water and learning about early boats is something that interests me. Their website is incredible, it allows people to pick the boat that they want to look at the documents for, and then people can help with the transcriptions. They have currently finished 39% of the logs.

Creating a digital artifact from archival documents allows information to be studied that may not have been able to be earlier. Also, it makes it more accessible to the common person, which means that more people can access the information that the documents hold. I think the hardest part for me is going to be the transcriptions and i hope that i can make it through it.