Hackfest Idea: Link up your archive to the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Last year, we received great advice for future directions for the digital Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia — we have implemented some THATCamper suggestions already, and more are on the way.  This year we’d like to invite you to help put another of those good ideas into action — that is, help us create a hub that links the encyclopedia’s content with your digital finding aids and collections. Take a look at our WordPress web site, http://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org, and bring your stuff!  We can add to the lists of collections that appear with each essay, to the media links, or to the image galleries (jpegs and extended text). Before we’re through, let’s also figure out a way to keep this up as the encyclopedia continues to grow.  We would love to boost your collections through links in the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.  Who’s in?

Update: In addition to the topics already on the web site, we are ready to link collections to the following new topics:

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • The Centennial
  • Flax and Linen
  • French Revolution
  • Indentured Servitude
  • Ladies Association of Philadelphia
  • Laurel Hill Cemetery
  • Pennhurst State School and Hospital
  • Spanish-American Revolutions

Idea for a Session: Digital Archives and How to Use Them in Research, Writing, and Teaching

The creation of digital online archives has been a vital part of digital humanities work, transforming everything from practical access to the kinds of questions we can ask of our subject.  Now that we’ve got them…what do we do with them?  The idea for this session comes from a literature person who isn’t a “maker”–I don’t make digital archives, I’m not an archivist–but I do want to use them in my research and writing.  Specifically, I’m interested in the position of the reader/user of digital archives of intimate life writing, like letters (for instance, the online Carlyle and Browning archives); perhaps digital archivists (those who do the making) and those who benefit from their work could come together to explore broader questions like:

+ How do theories of the archive accommodate digital archives?  Do they?  Does the idea/work of the digital archive subvert/interrogate archive theory?

+ Does the position of the reader/user change in the digital/online space?  Are ways of reading transformed?

+ How does access change our experience of the archive: the actual physical experience of the two spaces and how we navigate them and how it impacts our work?

+ Future possibilities for researchers/writers/teachers to take advantage of the work done by digital archivists?  Journals like Archive, etc.