Service Learning and DH

I’m interested in discussing ideas for providing alternative service learning assignments/components in the classroom.

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Data sets for the arts and humanities

While many excellent guides to data sets for the sciences and social sciences already exist, I’d like to develop a list of likely sources for arts and humanities folks. (Or maybe this also already exists, in which case we’ll have a short session!) What are the social science data sets humanists should really know about? What museums provide downloadable data or APIs through which you can query their collections? I’m interested in resources like the Million Song Dataset or Public Art Archive or Australia’s Cultural Dataset Consortium — how can I find more? I see this as a concrete session that will produce a shared resource for use in subject guides, teaching, blogging, more. (Plus, as a librarian I find making annotated lists of things inherently satisfying.)

This session did happen at THATCamp ACRL 2013, and our shared Google Doc is here. We’d love this to be a living document, and should note that folks interested in this topic should also consider adding their finds to the DataBib site.

Categories: Crowdsourcing, Session Notes, Session Proposals | 3 Comments

Geospatial “stuff” and DH

I have a social science, environmental studies background, and I’ve used and taught GIS. Recently, I’ve been interested in more user friendly mapping tools such as Google Earth. I’m curious if/how Geospatial tools fit into DH. My school is just starting a big DH initiative.

Categories: General | 3 Comments

DH + Library Toolbank

In this session I would like to create a list of resources libraries can use to quickly and inexpensively build digital projects. There are so many tools out there and more are being created all the time but it is sometimes hard to know where to start.

The goal is to create a toolbox, targeted at libraries, which will live online and be updated by the community. There is already Bamboo Dirt ( which is a great resource so it is worth considering how this project might relate to that one.

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These are some thoughts that have been spinning through my head since I did half of my MLIS online, and my work in libraries and as an online writing coach since then has made then spin faster.

Think about a typical reference desk, f2f transaction. Now think about a chat reference transaction. Think about a typical conversation on a social media platform, and about a typical conversation in an online classroom’s discussion board.

All of these seem like good places for the Socratic method, a time-honored tool of philosophy and education, to be used, and in some of them people work very hard to employ it. They definitely not equally successful, though. Why do responses become monosyllabic or angry or simplistic so quickly in online environments? How much of this is due to the environment, and how much is maybe just due to human nature? What could we do to make our conversations more Socratic?

P.S. Apologies for anything weird in here. I’ve never posted to WordPress from my phone before…I hope there weren’t any crazy spelling errors! I’ll try to double-check this on my laptop when I have internet tomorrow.

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Unleashing TEI and Plain Text Data for Textual Analysis, Visualization and Mining, or, Let’s Play with E-Text Data and Tools

Motivated by a recent mock keynote debate, “A Matter of Scale,” presented by Matt Jockers and Julia Flanders as part of the Boston Area Days of Digital Humanities Conference, and the imperative that librarians involved with many things “digital” learn not only how to build tools, in this case for textual analysis, but leverage existing tools to support teaching and research endeavors rooted in the text.  Coming from the tool-building perspective and tradition, I seldom have time to explore existing tools for textual analysis.  This is partly because at IU we are so vested in textual markup following the TEI Guidelines for which few external tools exist that act on the markup (thus our focus on building). But as is the case with many academic libraries attempting to balance scale of digital production, we are not always in the position to build boutique interfaces, tools and functions for hand-crafted markup.  Further, often early research inquiries can be better defined if not answered by initially playing and experimenting with raw data sets before embarking on markup.  Finally, after many years of leading e-text initiatives and championing the TEI, I would love to sit around with folks and compare and contrast, not just the possibilities, but also the outcomes of real research inquiries that formed the basis for many of the TEI collections I am offering up to the community for experimentation.  In other words, what can we ascertain without/beyond the markup and can those very queries yield answers regardless of the markup?

The other motivator for this session is two-fold.  At IU we’ve always exposed the TEI/XML, but at the most atomic level.  I am exploring workflows moving forward in which we batch not only the TEI but other versions of the data, primarily plain text, for easier harvesting and re-purposing.  One reason for doing this – there are many good ones – is that we want to demonstrate to our faculty partners the possibilities of sharing data in this way.  The content can and should be analyzed, parsed, and remixed outside of the context of it’s collection site for broader impact and exposure.  I am hoping, with your help, to figure out how to best push versions of this data into the flow, around a more formal call, initially, to the digital humanities community-at-large so I can track the various morphings and instantiations of this data to share back with the IU community, especially my faculty partners.

I recently blogged about this very concern on Day of DH 2013.  So this is the first step of a multi-step process that I would like to see culminate in a greater unleashing of XML and plain text data (later summer / early Fall?).  And would love your input and contributions.

This session is by no means limited to the following e-text data sets I will provide (data access details forthcoming):

Serve up or use your own e-text data sets of interest.

Nor is it limited by the following tools I have identified for starters:

In fact, it would be best to partner up with folks who are a familiar with a particular tool.  Vote for this session and come to this session, claim a tool!

PS  All data will be posted on this public-facing wiki page:

PPS  I would like to thank my intern extraordinaire, Beth Gucinski, our server admin, Brian Wheeler, and the smartest lead developer ever, Randall Floyd.  Thanks for putting up with all my last minute requests.  You guys rock.

Categories: Data Mining, Open Access, Session Proposals, Text Mining, Visualization | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Digital Storytelling Jam Session

Enthralled by the surge of digital production in the area of storytelling? Believe it can be used to teach or communicate concepts relevant to digital humanities and librarianship? Hesitant to get started on your own?

Inspired by the brilliant MOOC, ds106, and energized by the potential power of group dynamics, I’m proposing a talk/make session. Let’s talk about how digital storytelling can be leveraged by humanists and information scientists, look at a couple of the VERY many tools at our disposal on the open Web and then storyboard an idea to leave with and implement after THATCamp!

Categories: Collaboration, Session Proposals, Teaching, Workshops | 1 Comment

DH 101: Getting Started in Digital Humanities

I cannot speak for other participants, but I am somewhat intimidated by all the tools, technologies, and projects that fall under digital humanities. The question I have is: how do I get involved? What technologies do I need to know? How do I convince stakeholders in my library that DH has value? I am sure that other newbies to DH have similar questions.

Ideally, participants would be a mix of newbies (such as myself) and people with more experience in DH. I have no set agenda in mind except as a come-and-go-as-you-please seminar/discussion format. If anyone has any suggestions to make the most out of this proposal, please e-mail me at .

Categories: General, Libraries | 1 Comment

UPDATED! DH and Makerspace Mashup

This is a talk session for those who are thinking about how to bring a maker space into an academic library. If you’ve been following the library and maker space movement, then you know that people usually don’t think about libraries when they think about maker spaces. And they especially don’t think about creative, collaborative, maker spaces when they think about academic libraries.

But as universities and colleges become more and more about the experience they offer and not just the degree one can attain, the learner’s experience in the library becomes a great opportunity to attract and retain students. Today’s students need the opportunity to move beyond what library information commons offer – computers, group study spaces, whiteboards – to tools to be producers – taking their knowledge and theory into application and prototyping.

Maker spaces tend to be STEM centric. (Another great opportunity for libraries!) In this session I’d like to facilitate a discussion on the idea of creating a ‘maker space’ in an academic library that incorporates the Digital Humanities. What would the guiding principles be? What would the space look like? What equipment would be needed? What software? What furniture? Supplies? What else? How should it be supported? Advertised? Assessed? And more.

If this topic interests you I hope you’ll come and contribute. I hope it will be a great opportunity to come away with a plan of action or at least a better vision for how it could be done.

Kate Ganski, Library Instruction Coordinator, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

Notes were compiled from our TALK on Google Docs titled: DH and Makerspace Mashup. Please continue to add ideas here and let us know what projects and conversations develope back at your home institutions.

Let’s keep the conversation going on Twitter: #DHMakerspace

Categories: Collaboration, Libraries, Your Categories Are Inadequate | 1 Comment

Let’s Make a MOOC! Crowdsourcing an Information Literacy MOOC

Seems like everytime I check my education news feed there is at least one article talking about MOOCs. Advocates hailing the disruptive impact of MOOCs to bring higher education to the masses. Proponents tempering the MOOC frenzy with reminiscences of early technological fads. No matter what side is argued the fact remains that MOOCs are a new player in this old game of higher education and almost every university is crafting a plan to incorporate them into their programs.

Inspired by Hybrid Pedagogy’s week long MOOC MOOC let’s bring our collective knowledge of delivering information literacy instruction together to crowdsource a week long information literacy MOOC. Let’s design the instruction blocks, learning activities, and assessment challenges using open educational resources (OERs), free and open access readings, cloud based productivity tools, and open badges.

We’ll need many hands to make this a success. We may not finish but we’ll be off to a great start to making a great course.

Kate Ganski, Library Instruction Coordinator, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
Kristin Woodward, Instructional Design Librarian, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

Categories: Crowdsourcing, Digital Literacy, Libraries, Teaching | 11 Comments