Last week the new Praxis cohort ratified its charter. This important document ended up demanding much more deliberation than we had anticipated. Nonetheless, after a couple weeks of thinking about what really mattered to us in commencing our program, we established a set of core beliefs and structuring principles which I believe will help guide us through a very exciting year.
We took inspiration from the previous cohorts’ charters in several respects because in many ways we feel we are continuing in the same tradition. We, too, will conduct our work in the spirit of open source. We, too, feel that a key part of this experience will be our all sharing credit for the project. We also hope to learn programing skills central to the DH profession, and we plan to launch a digital tool at the end of the year as an outcome of our participation in the program.
A key tenet which is of primary importance to our particular cohort is that of flexibility, and this ideal influences many aspects of our charter. For instance, we want the tool we build to be adaptable for various scholarly needs. As of yet, we are in the early stages of conceptualizing this tool, and the issue of flexibility and utility will no doubt arise as we progress. (I anticipate many reflective blogs to come on that topic.) Perhaps even more importantly, we plan to be flexible–understanding, sensitive–with each other. We all come from different scholarly and professional backgrounds, and we all have personal lives with various demands and responsibilities. It will be our goal to be supportive of each other personally while working together to make the Praxis experience an enriching one for all.
Last Wednesday, Eric and Wayne showed us how to use GIT Hub to publish the new charter on the Praxis website. This was our first lesson in programing. Our brilliant SLab computer mentors entered the new charter text, encoded it in HTML, and then let us do the simple–but no-less-important–step of hitting “Enter.” Upon striking the key, watching a whir of yet incomprehensible code flash across the screen, and thus finalizing our newly forged charter, we felt a rush of glee. In that moment, we had plunged headfirst into the new and intriguing world of Digital Humanities, and we had a charter to guide our voyage.
The Getty Research Institute is recruiting a Digital Humanities Specialist. Here's an excerpt from the ad: The Getty Research Institute (GRI) seeks a creative, technology-grounded person with a background in art history and/or computer science to conceptualize, advise, and coordinate digital humanities projects and collection digitization projects. Reporting to the GRI Deputy Director, the position […]
The Washington Research Library Consortium is recruiting an Applications Support Engineer. Here's an excerpt from the ad: The Applications Support Engineer plays a key role in achieving the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) vision and mission by providing high-quality technical development and support for a variety of commercial, in-house and partner developed software programs. The […]
Google Books Case Appears Ready to Be Decided JSTOR Tries Individual Subscription Service for Researchers Hands-on with Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon's Next-Generation 7 and 9-inch Tablets Harvard Plans to Boldly Go with 'Spocs' The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish All It Takes Is Two Words to Wipe Away One […]
We’re pleased to announce the release of Neatline 2.1.0! This is a fairly large maintenance release that adds new features, patches up some minor bugs, and ships some improvements to the UI in the editing environment. Some of the highlights:
- A “fullscreen” mode (re-added from the 1.x releases), which makes it possible to link to a page that just displays a Neatline exhibit in isolation, scaled to the size of the screen, without any of the regular Omeka site navigation. Among other things, this makes it much easier to embed a Neatline exhibit as an iframe on other websites (eg, a WordPress blog) – just set the src attribute on the iframe equal to the URL for the fullscreen exhibit view. Eg:
- A series of UI improvements to the editing environment that should make the exhibit-creation workflow a bit smoother. We bumped up the size of the “New Record” button, padded out the list of records, and made the “X” buttons used to close record forms a bit larger and easier-to-click. Also, in the record edit form, the “Save” and “Delete” buttons are now stuck into place at the bottom of the panel, meaning that you don’t have to scroll down to the bottom of the form every time you save. Much easier!
- Fixes for a handful of small bugs, mostly cosmetic or involving uncommon edge cases. Notably, 2.1.0 fixes a problem that was causing item imports to fail when the Omeka installation was using the Amazon S3 storage adapter, as we do for our faculty-project installations here at UVa.
Check out the release notes on GitHub for the full list of changes, and grab the new code from the Omeka add-ons repository. And, as always, be sure to send comments, concerns, bug reports, and feature requests in our direction.
In other Neatline-related news, be sure to check out Katherine Jentleson’s Neatline-enhanced essay “‘Not as rewarding as the North’: Holger Cahill’s Southern Folk Art Expedition,” which just won the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art Graduate Research Essay Prize. I met Katherine at a workshop at Duke back in the spring, and it’s been a real pleasure to learn about how she’s using Neatline in her work!
The National Agricultural Library is recruiting an IT Specialist (Applications Software). Here's an excerpt from the ad: The incumbent: Serves as NAL expert for the Drupal content management system and leads and trains less experienced staff in Drupal development. Leads the design, documentation, development, modification, testing, installation, implementation, and support of new and existing web […]
The University of Houston Libraries are recruiting a Digitization Operations Librarian. Here's an excerpt from the ad: Responsibilities: Reporting to the Metadata and Digitization Operations Coordinator in the Metadata and Digitization Services (MDS) Department, the Digitization Operations Librarian will provide leadership and expertise in digitization activities for the unit. This incumbent will work closely with […]
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SURF has released the European Landscape Study of Research Data Management. Here's an excerpt: This report presents the results of an online survey to establish which interventions are already being used by funding agencies, research institutions, national bodies and publishers across the European Union member states and a number of countries outside Europe in order […]
Jonathan Zittrain, Kendra Albert, and Lawrence Lessig have self-archived "Perma: Scoping and Addressing the Problem of Link and Reference Rot in Legal Citations" in SSRN. Here's an excerpt: We document a serious problem of reference rot: more than 70% of the URLs within the Harvard Law Review and other journals, and 50% of the URLs […]
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One of the ways I clear my head on the weekends is by doing trail maintenance for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in the Prince William Forest Park. There is nothing like getting down and dirty with a chainsaw, a Pulaski, or a McLeod, to help you forget for a minute that you have so many and various job responsibilities. And, once all the committees, compliance reports, and other minutiae of higher education vaporize, I find that I get some of my best thinking done about my teaching when I’m out on the trail digging, felling, and fighting erosion.
Last month I was fortunate enough to have a crew of Marines come out to the trail I oversee to help me out. The four men and four women of that crew got more done in four hours on the trail than I could have in three weekends of work. About an hour into our morning together one of them came up to me and said, “Sir, you need to understand. I just want to move some shit.” I pointed him at a large tree stump that was in our way, and half an hour later it was history.
This weekend I was up in Shenandoah National Park moving some very large rocks to help build a culvert out of a spring along the Appalachian Trail. While I was working, I got to thinking about that Marine’s desire to just move some shit, and it occurred to me that one of the things we don’t do very well in post-secondary history education is give our students the opportunity to do that—just move some shit. They spend far too much time sitting in a classroom listening to lectures, circled up with others in the class discussing a primary source, or reading, analyzing, and writing about sources we give them and not enough time just moving shit.
Don’t get me wrong. While I’m on the record in dozens of places opposing the continued reliance on the lecture/listen format, I’m not entirely opposed to some lecturing, so long as it is not the be all of our courses. And there is a lot to be said for discussions, learning to analyze texts, and the other things we do. But I think it’s also important that we give our students opportunities to move some shit as part of their history education.
By that, I mean, we need to give them space to create things beyond the many papers they’ll write for us, to make things such as exhibits, websites, public displays around campus, 2nd grade curricular materials, digital stories, or any number of other tangible things that historians can do beyond analyzing sources and writing about them. Employers value these sorts of tangible outputs as demonstrations of our students’ ability to get things done. Students value them because through making and creating they learn in ways that let them apply the traditional skills and knowledge we give them to real world contexts that look and feel like what they’ll be doing after they graduate.
One of the best examples I have of the value of giving students the freedom to be historians is a photographic exhibit my former student Natasha Müller created in 2009 for an event commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. My only contribution to the project was pointing her at the collection of photographs at the Library of Congress and then acting as her mentor along the way. Everything else was her effort—from coming up with a concept for the exhibition, to selecting the photographs, to contacting the photographer, to getting space on campus, to launching the opening.
In a world where the vast majority of American adults think that college is not worth what it costs, giving our students the opportunity to move some shit is one way we can contribute to changing that perception. The more those outside our campus can see tangible outputs from our students as opposed to being told that we’ve done an excellent job of teaching them critical thinking skills, the better off our students (and we) will be.
ALCTS Board Endorses Digitization Capture Recommendations PASIG Webinar: How to Assess your Digital Value at Risk—An Introduction to the Digital Value at Risk (DVAR) Calculator Research Data Sharing without Barrier. . . Get Involved? iPRES 2013 Perspectives from a Recent Graduate: Combining Theory with Practice Digital Scholarship | Digital Curation News
Constantia Constantinou has been named Dean of University Libraries at Stony Brook University. Here's an excerpt from the announcement: Constantinou has served as the Library Director and Library Department Chair at the SUNY Maritime College Library since 2001. The SUNY Maritime College Library is considered a premier maritime library, a national leader in maritime collections, […]
The Wheaton College Library is recruiting a Digital Asset Curator. Here's an excerpt from the ad: The Digital Asset Curator serves as an instructional consultant, a technology specialist, an educator, and a research partner with an emphasis on the use and development of online information resources for teaching and learning, including web-based resources. The position […]
The Public Access to Public Science Act has been introduced in the House of Representatives. Here's an excerpt from the announcement: Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) today introduced the Public Access to Public Science (PAPS) Act. This legislation would ensure public access to […]
The Texas A&M Libraries are recruiting a Web And Information Designer. Here's an excerpt from the ad: The Web & Information Designer is responsible for designing and producing a variety of web-based graphical imagery, animations and other multimedia-rich content that achieves the objectives of the Texas A&M University Libraries Digital Scholarship | Sitemap
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