Author: Author on Source

Laura Crossley is a Digital History Fellow at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at George Mason University.

Resource: Memorandum of Understanding Collection

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From the resource:

The Digital Humanities Liaison (Rafia Mirza), Director of Scholarly Communication (Brett Currier), and The Research Data Librarian (Peace Ossom Williamson) have developed a workbook for the use of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in Libraries. We have developed a MOU template to apply to large scale collaborative projects. We have found that this workflow and management has assisted the library with organizational commitment, identifying hiccups and limitations before starting the project, and priority evaluation with competing projects. Because the shift from transactional work to long term projects is happening in many libraries, The MOU team has created a workbook available through ResearchCommons. This collection includes a general MOU template, templates for particular projects, a workflow, and instructions for each.

Read more here.

Resource: SSRC Labs – Doing Digital Scholarship

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From the resource:

The Digital Culture Program has been working in collaboration with various partners in the digital humanities, libraries, and computational social sciences to create packages of self-directed training modules and resources. These resources will be aggregated and hosted as SSRC Labs. Today, the first series of modules, Doing Digital Scholarship (DoingDS), goes live.

DoingDS (labs.ssrc.org/dds), created in collaboration with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University, is a set of introductory lessons and readings on a variety of topics, from foundational skills like building a professional identity online to more advanced topics like mapping and spatial analysis and how digital methodologies affect pedagogy. The lessons are based on RRCHNM’s successful Doing Digital History summer institutes, with the curriculum expanded outward to include other social science and humanities disciplines and modified for self-directed rather than in-person instruction.

Read more here.

Editors’ Choice: Archivists as Peers in Digital Public History

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In the last 25 years we have seen the web enable new digital means for historians to reach broader publics and audiences. Over that same period of time, archives and archivists have been exploring and engaging with related strands of digital transformation. In one strand, similar focus on community work through digital means has emerged in both areas. While historians have been developing a community of practice around public history, archivists and archives have similarly been reframing their work as more user-centered and more closely engaged with communities and their records. A body of archival work and scholarship has emerged around the function of community archives that presents significant possibilities for further connections with the practices of history and historians. In a second strand, strategies for understanding and preserving digital cultural heritage have also taken shape. While historians have begun exploring using tools to produce new forms of digital scholarship, archivists and archives have been working to both develop methods to care for and make available digital material. Archivists have established tools, workflows, vocabulary and infrastructure for digital archives, and they have also managed the digitization of collections to expand access.

At the intersection of these two developments, we see a significant convergence between the needs and practices of public historians and archivists. Historians’ new forms of scholarship increasingly function as forms of knowledge infrastructure. Archivists work on systems for enabling access to collections are themselves anchored in longstanding commitments to infrastructure for enabling the use of records. At this convergence, there is a significant opportunity for historians to begin to connect more with archivists as peers, as experts in questions of the structure and order of sources and records.

In this essay we explore the ways that archives, archivists, and archival practice are evolving around both analog and digital activities that are highly relevant for those interested in working in digital public history.

 

Read the full piece here.

CFP: HASTAC 2019 – “Decolonizing Technologies, Reprogramming Education”

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From the CFP:

On 16-18 May 2019, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC), in partnership with the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Department of English at the University of Victoria (UVic), will be guests on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) people, facilitating a conference about decolonizing technologies and reprogramming education.

Deadline for proposals is Monday 15 October 2018.

Read the full CFP here.

Job: Associate Director for Digital Collections Management and Discovery, NYPL

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From the ad:

The Associate Director provides strong leadership and coordination in the strategic planning and implementation of policies, systems, and services to support the digital lifecycle of collections. S/he oversees the operations of the Digital Imaging Unit, the Audio and Moving Image preservation unit, vendor-contracted services, the Digital Preservation Manager; and product management for systems that promote discovery and access to collections, including collaborative platforms such as DPLA, HathiTrust, and the ReCAP Shared Collection. S/he collaborates with Library leaders in the Digital and IT teams to align the goals of digital preservation and digital collection services with current and future needs, including enhancing and upgrading repository infrastructures and optimizing end-to-end processes.

Read the full ad here.

Job: Tenure-Track Position in Digital Humanities, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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From the ad:

The Faculty of the Humanities of the Hebrew University is seeking a scholar who can lead its Digital Humanities initiative. The Faculty has made a strategic decision to consolidate and expand its existing yet disparate strengths in Digital Humanities through a hire of an exceptional scholar with a proven record of employing innovative Digital Humanities methodologies and a commitment to the Digital Humanities project broadly conceived. Priority will be given to scholars with a research focus in core Humanities disciplines. The appointment will be made in the relevant disciplinary department(s).

Read the full ad here.

Editors’ Choice: Do topic models warp time?

Graph of the pace of change in fiction between 1885 and 1984 using topic models

Recently, historians have been trying to understand cultural change by measuring the “distances” that separate texts, songs, or other cultural artifacts. Where distances are large, they infer that change has been rapid. There are many ways to define distance, but one common strategy begins by topic modeling the evidence. Each novel (or song, or political speech) can be represented as a distribution across topics in the model. Then researchers estimate the pace of change by measuring distances between topic distributions.

In 2015, Mauch et al. used this strategy to measure the pace of change in popular music—arguing, for instance, that changes linked to hip-hop were more dramatic than the British invasion. Last year, Barron et al. used a similar strategy to measure the influence of speakers in French Revolutionary debate.

I don’t think topic modeling causes problems in either of the papers I just mentioned. But these methods are so useful that they’re likely to be widely imitated, and I do want to warn interested people about a couple of pitfalls I’ve encountered along the road.

One reason for skepticism will immediately occur to humanists: are human perceptions about difference even roughly proportional to the “distances” between topic distributions? In one case study I examined, the answer turned out to be “yes,” but there are caveats attached. Read the paper if you’re curious.

In this blog post, I’ll explore a simpler and weirder problem. Unless we’re careful about the way we measure “distance,” topic models can warp time. Time may seem to pass more slowly toward the edges of a long topic model, and more rapidly toward its center.

 

Read the full post here.

Job: Assistant Professor of English, Widener University

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From the ad:

The English Department at Widener University seeks applicants for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English in British literature of the long 18th century (1688-1830), particularly Romanticism. Research fields are open and should complement existing faculty expertise… Candidates with teaching and research interests in digital humanities and/or textual scholarship are especially encouraged, as are candidates with proficiencies in the relationship of British literature of the long 18th century to transatlantic, global, and colonial contexts as well as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Applicants should be committed to excellence in teaching and advising, to working collaboratively, and to participating in a department and college that values diversity.

Read the full ad here.

Job: Educational Technology Specialist, NYU

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From the ad:

Arts and Science is seeking a talented Educational Technology Specialist to join the Arts and Science Educational Technology team, with at least half time dedicated to working with the Liberal Studies (a small college-like unit of FAS with approximately 2,600 undergraduates and 84 full-time faculty). In addition to working with the Arts and Science Educational Technology team, this individual will work closely with the Liberal Studies Academic Affairs leadership and consult with faculty to design, develop, and implement technology-enhanced teaching and learning initiatives, including those delivered face-to-face and online.

Read the full ad here.

Announcement: Open Library – Search Full-Text within 4M+ Books

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From the announcement:

Open Library now lets you search inside the text contents of over 4M books!… When you search across 40M documents, it can be a challenge to find the one you’re looking for. One feature which Open Library has been missing is a way to limit Internet Archive’s full-text search to only include results from books on Open Library. So for the last two years, Open Library has patiently waited to take full advantage of full-text search for its users.

Read the full announcement here.