Category: Resources

Resource: A Digital Archive of 1,800+ Children’s Books

From the post:

Of the adult literary imagination of the time, Leo Bersani writes in A Future for Astyanax that “the confrontation in nineteenth-century works between a structured, socially viable and verbally analyzable self and the wish to shatter psychic and social structures produces considerable stress and conflict.” I think we can see a similar conflict, expressed much more playfully, in books for children of the past two hundred years or so. Enter the UCLA collection, which includes not only historic children’s books but present-day exhibit catalogs and more, here.

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Resource: 2,000+ Early Modern Paintings Now Free Online

From the post:

Georges Seurat, Henri Rousseau, Giorgio de Chirico, Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh — all of us associate these names with great innovations in painting, but how many of us have had the opportunity to look long and close enough at their work to understand those innovations? To feel them, in other words, rather than just to know about them? The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia has just recently made it possible for us to contemplate thousands of works of art including those of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern masters, zoomed in up close and at any length we like, by digitizing their collection and making it free online.

Read more here.

Resource: Data Packages for DH Beginners

From the resource:

I’ve written about this before: working in groups, my students are assigned a dataset at the beginning of the quarter. They learn how to work with it as the quarter progresses, doing a lot of secondary contextual research, interviewing an expert about it, manipulating the data, and finally building a website that makes a scholarly humanistic argument with the support of the data. You can see the mechanics of this on my course website.

People often ask me about the data I use, and indeed, that is a story in itself. I have 88 students this year, and since I don’t like any group to have more than seven people in it, I have 12 groups, each of which needs a dataset. (Really, some of them can share the same dataset; I don’t know why I get weird about this.) And they can’t just use any dataset. In fact, most of the data out there is inappropriate for them.

Read the full resource here.

Resource: CARTOColors

From the resource:

Picking colors is one my favorite things to do with visualization when I’m not in a rush for time. But when I can spare the minutes to pick and choose, it’s useful to have a quick reference. ColorBrewer is the go-to, but CARTOColors is a simpler take. It just shows you a bunch of schemes at once for sequential, diverging, and qualitative data.

Read more here.

Resource: Which digital tool should I use?

From the resource:

It can sometimes be overwhelming to decide which of the legions of digital tools out there are good for any given task, especially when you haven’t yet built expertise in the tools (or sometimes even the task). STEM people tend to lean towards the idea that the right tool is the one that gets the job done and former digital fellow Mary Catherine advocates tools that pass peer review, but those approaches inherently require a framework for evaluating those tools. The Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives Lisa Rhody’s Project Lab provides excellent guidance on how to scope goals so that it’s easier to evaluate which tools will help you accomplish those goals. A good first pass is to identify objectives and constraints.

Read more here.

Resource: Getting started with NoSQL for storing and retrieving data

From the resource:

As a data journalist, I have been working with increasingly large datasets as my confidence has grown in programming and creating visualizations. Through my learning process, I have realized the pitfalls of some programs.

Excel, for instance, is good for smaller datasets – which I’d define as under 10,000 rows or records. But if the dataset is larger than that, this trusty spreadsheet program can freeze up when trying to run queries. And if you have been making edits or designing queries, you run the risk of losing your work.

SQL is significantly more powerful and is a dominant database program used by back-end developers. But while SQL can process large datasets, if your dataset isn’t in perfect condition or has empty fields, you will have to spend time cleaning before importing your dataset. In recent years, NoSQL has become a viable – and attractive – alternative. This primer will explain why a NoSQL system might be right for your database needs.

Read the full resource here.

Resource: Geocoding with R

From the post:

In the previous post I discussed some reasons to use R instead of Excel to analyze and visualize data and provided a brief introduction to the R programming language. That post used an example of letters sent to the sixteenth-century merchant Daniel van der Meulen in 1585. One aspect missing from the analysis was the visualization of the geographical aspects of the data. This post will provide an introduction to geocoding and mapping location data using the ggmap package for R, which enables the creation of maps with ggplot. There are a number of websites that can help geocode location data and even create maps.

Read more here.

Resource: Kicking off the GCDI Sound Series – A Workshop on Sound

About the resource:

Later today, I am teaching a workshop on sound, kicking off our new GCDI Sound Series. In the workshop I will review a variety of digital tools, techniques and concepts for recording, editing and sharing sound… Like the workshops led by previous Digital Fellows, my workshop is publicly available to follow online. Currently, it is available through Google slides and it will soon also be available on my GitHub repository.

Read more here.

Resource: Version 8 of the Research Data Curation Bibliography Released

About the resource:

Digital Scholarship has released Version 8 of the Research Data Curation Bibliography. This selective bibliography includes over 680 English-language articles, books, and technical reports that are useful in understanding the curation of digital research data in academic and other research institutions. Printed from the HTML page, it is over 130 pages long.

Read more here.

Resource: 1,000+ Historic Japanese Illustrated Books Digitized & Put Online by the Smithsonian – From the Edo & Meji Eras (1600-1912)

About the resource:

We like to highlight Japanese book culture here every so often (see the related content below) not just because of its striking aesthetics and consummate craftsmanship but because of its deep history. You can now experience a considerable swath of that history free online at the Freer|Sacker Library’s web site, which just this past summer finished digitizing over one thousand books — now more than 1,100, which breaks down to 41,500 separate images — published during Japan’s Edo and Meiji periods, a span of time reaching from 1600 to 1912. “Often filled with beautiful multi-color illustrations,” writes Reiko Yoshimura at the Smithsonian Libraries’ blog, “many titles are by prominent Japanese traditional and ukiyo-e (‘floating world’) painters such as Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716), Andō Hiroshige (1797-1858) and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).”

Read more here.