Doing the Digital Humanities

  • Our first experience with actually doing the digital humanities came with learning how to apply our knowledge of TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) to transcribe a leaf from the original manuscript of Thoreau’s Walden for the Digital Thoreau Project.  We were charged to conduct diplomatic encoding by making decisions about which elements to use (i.e. surface, zone, line, comment, graphic, addition, deletion, etc.)  and used the Gimp software to identify zone boundaries of the leaves and to view them up-close.  Overall, this was an extremely challenging assignment.  Not only was TEI a completely novel concept to me, but Thoreau’s hand-writing was little better than chicken scratch.  My blog posts that follow, along with the uncertainty in my transcription, evidence my frustration.

         Below are links to the rough and final drafts of my transcriptions,                                accompanied by their blog posts.

Text Encoding Initiative: Rough Draft

Text Encoding Initiative: Final Draft

  • The Omeka project was our second experience withdoing the digital humanities. For this project, we worked with the Sustaining the Saco Estuary Project, whose research is funded by an $125,000 EPSCoR grant.  The goal of the project is to develop a set of indicators to assess changes in the health of the tidal portion of the Saco River to be used for local decisions about how to improve the estuary’s health. Our job was to create a thematic research collection to make the project known and available to the public, other researchers, and others interested in the University’s work.  I focused particularly on the photography of a local photographer, Robert H. Gay, and worked with Renee DesRoberts at the McArthur Public Library in Biddeford, Maine to scan and digitize glass plate negatives of the photos for our site.
         Below is the link to our Omeka website:
  • Our third and final experience with doing the digital humanities was our Remediation Project, in which we were given the task of taking a project which we had done for a previous class and “remediating” it – in other words, digitizing and presenting the information in a new and dynamic way.  I chose to remediate a paper discussing the ways in which John Smith and Walt Disney created the American image of the historical character, Pocahontas, as a beloved Indian princess that I completed for an American Literature class.  I remediated the written paper into a website using wordpress.com.
         Below is the link to this Remediation Project:

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