Monthly Archives: November 2012

I really enjoyed exploring my chosen data source ‘Envisaging the West’. I was intrigued by the historical focus of the data initially, but I also gained a greater appreciation for the time and energy that went into collecting and saving so much data. I had no idea such a large amount of information could actually be contained on a website so effectively. With so many high quality interactive maps and letters, one would expect the site to be slower and less easy to understand, but it was organized very well. I think one of the most effective parts of this data site was the ‘browse by name’ tab. This would be very useful if you have only the name of the person you want to research and need documents of primary source. It was great to see the other project presentations, and I really enjoyed the different ways in which people handled their presentations – audio narration, script, powerpoint, and prezi.  The range of ways to present will be a reminder to me for future presentations in other classes as well. 




If you haven’t heard of Google Ngram before, I think it’s worth checking out.

So Google has digitized over 5.2 million books and this Ngram viewer allows a user to punch in a phrase, word, couple of words, etc. to search how those words have been used throughout history. The best part about it is that it is a visual representation.

Link to the Prezi. I couldn’t get it to embed. 

I think analyzing and presenting a DH project was awesome. It really helped solidify and bring together our conceptions of what DH really is. There were a lot of projects and I can see how they are all aspects of DH and how many of them work in conjunction with one another. For the Global Shakespeares project I highlighted the fact that they present almost all of their content in a video medium. it’s awesome to not have to actually imagine how the actors of the Shakespearean plays would use their body language and props on the stage. It would be impossible to compare American or English theater to other world regions or languages without a tool such as this archive. I don’t even have to speak other languages to utilize those videos. I also mentioned that I think the archive would be stronger if they had big data representations.

The other DH projects that I really liked were “For better or for verse” as well as the “speech accent archive.” I feel like it would actually be beneficial for the archive that I studied, the Global Shakespeares Archive, could benefit from these other two projects. Links could be include from one archive to another, making each individual archive stronger. They relate to each other because Shakespeare is poetry, of course, and the speech archive would help any Shakespearean actor!

Creating a Web Project

Our course goals will soon lead to me creating my own digital humanities project. I was, and still actually am pretty nervous about it, but at least now I have an idea on how to go about it. If I would have just went for it i would have been totally lost, but now I have notes from other projects on the do’s and don’t of creating an interactive website.

I really enjoyed the website that I chose! What I liked about my presentation was that I talked about how the site is free although the creators could charge for all the information that is on the site. Many history sites today as well as newspapers charge their readers to see their information, for example the New York Times only lets you go so many years back before it charges you. The other thing that I think I did a good job with was explaining that the site is good information for all ages. Simple enough for high scholars, yet informational enough for graduate students. The only thing I didn’t like was how fast I talked, but I had so much to tell that I felt was important enough.
The thing that I enjoyed about other student’s presentations was that they talked about the big data, which I totally forgot about. Also I liked how some projects mentioned Unsworth, which I also forgot about. I would have to say that my favorite website would have to be For Better For Verse. I thought the website seemed fun as well as informational. The site does seem quite difficult, however it can help for someone who is into poems! I totally see the digital humanities within this site and I think that it is awesome that something like this, can be put on the internet to help people who need it.

After sitting through all of the presentations and taking notes I had an epiphany. I still do not know how to put it in words, but I am almost certain I know what digital humanities in now. Seeing all of the information and how people put it online gave me an idea on what I am getting myself into with this Digital Humanities stuff. I also learned a lot of information on history and art. It was pretty cool exploring the sites and learning new things in interactive ways. My favorite project was the Speech Accent Archive. It was fun to be able to hear people speaking from all over the world, but also interesting to hear how different people that live in the same country as me can sound. I felt as though I did a good job discovering what can be done on the valley of the shadow website, there was a lot of hidden things I didn’t even find until I was almost done making the PowerPoint. I also felt as though I explained what the site is, pretty decently. I could have improved on quite a bit though, the main thing was getting more images of the site, so people could see exactly what I was talking about instead of me trying to explain it.

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”DH Metaphor Project Presentation” target=”_blank”>DH Metaphor Project Presentation</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>kaylablack</a></strong> </div>

I really enjoyed the project that I chose, “The Mind is a Metaphor.” The navigation of the site was very easy for me to learn in a short amount of time. I wish I would have been able to get the Prezi site to work for me because I think I would have been able to  represent how the site works much clearer. There were a number of flaws to the site, but the project its self was a very interesting concept. The blog like format of the site makes sense for that specific project because of the way it is being put together. Brad Pasanek, the brains behind the operation, is working on the project by adding material to the site in a very miscellaneous fashion. The archives can be sorted through by a process of elimination style of  advanced search and this is what I enjoyed most about the project I chose to analyze, aside for the metaphors them selves.

Some of the other projects that were presented in class I also found to be very interesting. Lauren Brooker’s choice of project that was a 911 digital archive was relateble to the entire class because it is a time in history that we were all around to witness. It does not make sense to me why the project has stopped adding material but it is still encouraged to send it in. I think having a digital archive, of that tragic time in our countries history, that is accessible to everyone is a great representation of Digital Humanities. I do not remember Laurens full definition that she gave DH, (somthing along the lines of shared information an learning from it?) but I found it to be very fitting and broad enough to fit almost everything the Digital Humanities has to offer!