A colleague drew my attention to Nicola Osborne’s liveblog of the very interesting event at the University of Edinburgh on 24 February 2012, Digital Scholarship: A Day of Ideas. It is wonderful to see that Edinburgh University, which, through EDINA and other activities, has made such important contributions to the growth of digital scholarship over…

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Ted Underwood’s recent posts about literary and non-literary diction between 1700-1900, and the various discussions they sparked, including Katherine Harris’s post on gender and DH archives, have had me thinking a lot about cultural poetics and the middle distance. In 19th-century studies, most DH projects have tended to operate at two different scales: large-scale text analysis projects (associated with so-called…

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Last week I attended the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference and heard a talk by Robert Groves, Director of the US Census Bureau. Aside the impressiveness of the bureau’s work I was struck by how Groves conceived of visualisations as requiring either fast thinking or slow thinking. Fast thinking data visualisations offer a clear message without the need for the viewer to spend…

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University Distinguished Professor Salman Rushdie and Erika Farr, digital archives coordinator in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) discuss how computers and other technology affect Rushdie’s writing and creative process. This builds on previous conversations and addresses new developments such as Rushdie’s acquisition of an iPhone and the ways in which mobile computing has an impact on his work. In addition, given Rushdie’s work on his memoir and his use of his paper and digital archives in MARBL, the discussion turns to the ways in which archival science and archival access changes the way he uses his own archives.

Because of my interest in both history and games, I’m always on the look-out for good writing or new takes on how to bring elements of the gaming world into the framework of historical inquiry.  Increasingly, I’m finding my best sources of this kind of reading from my Twitter stream, as was the case when Shawn Graham (@electricarchaeo) pointed me towards an article in the recent edition of the Canadian Game Studies Association journal, ‘Loading…‘, titled ‘Beyond the ‘Historical’ Simulation: Using Theories of History to Inform Scholarly Game Design‘. 

Ted Underwood, Big but not distant, March 3, 2012 It’s true that DH doesn’t have to be identified with scale. But the fact remains that problems of scale constitute a huge blind spot for individual researchers, and also define a problem that we know computers can help us explore. And when you first go into an area that…

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…Here is the real point I’m trying to make here: It is not about “should.” What women should do has nothing to do with it. The point is, women aren’t. And neither, for that matter, are people of color. And unless you believe (and you don’t, do you?) that some biological explanation prevents us from excelling at programming, then you must see that there is a structural problem.

So I am saying to you: If you want women and people of color in your community, if it is important to you to have a diverse discipline, you need to do something besides exhort us to code.

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    Today, Peter Haber, Jan Hodel, and Mills Kelly (along with the indispensable help of Dan Ludington) are pleased to announce the launch of Global Perspectives on Digital History, the latest of the PressForward publications from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Like Digital Humanities Now, Global Perspectives on Digital History aggregates and selects material…

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With all of the excitement about new interfaces to visualize the past, it’s easy to forget the old standby: the timeline. It has the power of simplicity, the challenge of over-simplifying. And in museums it has a visceral appeal: walk through history!

Timeline as interface, in the museum and on the web

For most public visitors to history, whether in school, in museums, or online, the timeline seems a natural, intuitive, way to present and understand the past. After all,what simpler metaphor for the past could there be than a timeline, with its suggestion of a direct connection between history and physical or virtual space?