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

Session Idea: What Makes Good Material for Simulation Based Learning in the Digital Humanities?

With one of this year’s bootcamps focusing on Gaming and the Humanities I figured it would be a good followup seminar to explore what types of collection materials are suitable for simulation based learning and what areas people would like to see explored using these methods.  The University of Wisconsin has developed ARIS, an opensource mobile platform suitable for tours and gaming.  They demonstrated the possibilities of this technology through their work with Dow Day, an augmented reality game which takes students through two days on the UW-Madison campus during a Vietnam War protest.  There was an article published detailing this project that can mostly be found starting at page 209 on google books (please contact me if you would like to read the entire article without the pages google has ommitted).

What materials lend themselves well to these types of digital humanities experiences?  Do we feel there is a need or desire for more experiences through tools like ARIS?  Is there a better or easier way to implement experiences and tools like this?  Would anyone like to learn how to use a tool like ARIS and use an event or collection materials to try this out?


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.

Session idea: What would a Delaware Valley Digital Humanities Center/Organization Look Like? Take 2.

UPDATE: And if read this and you’re thinking “Count Me In,” you can help get the ball rolling by visiting PhillyDH.org and signing up for the Google Group.

Last year, one of our most popular sessions was prompted by this question, originally posed by Seth Bruggeman. One year later, let’s revisit this idea and make some plans. Among THATCamp organizers, there is definite interest in continuing DH-related learning and discussion opportunities throughout the calendar year.

For this session, I’ll suggest we:

  1. Find a date, time, and location for a winter Delaware Valley Digital Humanities meet-up/workshop/hackathon
  2. Set a tentative agenda for this event, settling upon a speaker or topic of wide interest to the THATCamp Philly community
  3. Come up with a list of other possible DH-related topics or activities worthy of meeting up to discuss/do
  4. Take names of people willing to help organize and run these events, deciding who could handle space coordination, catering, speaker coordination, publicity, etc.

If doing something like this in a session might interest you, let us know in a comment.

BootCamp: Get Down with Drupal

Audrey Troutt (Goodwin College at Drexel University) has graciously agreed to give a BootCamp workshop on Drupal. Here’s the blurb she passed along:

Drupal is a flexible website development tool that you can use to build a blog, an online portfolio, a campaign website, an online store… anything!

It makes it easy to create and manage your website, even if you aren’t a technical person. You can point-and-click to add pages, menus, images and file uploads to your site.

Drupal is one of the best website development tools available and is used for major websites at places like Harvard, MIT, the Economist, MTV, Sony and even the Whitehouse. What’s more, it’s free and supported by a wide community of professionals and volunteers. Bring your laptop and come prepared to build your very own Drupal site–create a site on Drupal Gardens https://www.drupalgardens.com/create-site (it’s free) and I will show you how to get started. Try it out ahead of time if you like and send me your questions on Twitter @auditty.

BootCamp: What do you want to know about Omeka?

Rebecca Goldman has graciously agreed to return to THATCamp Philly to teach a Bootcamp workshop on using Omeka, the popular open source web-publishing platform. Since a workshop on Omeka could go in a lot of different directions, we’re looking for your feedback on how to frame the workshop. What would you like to know? Should the session focus primarily on setting up an Omeka site? Would you prefer more advanced topics? If so, what exactly? What do you want to learn about Omeka? Let us know in the comments! 

Back for 2012! Save the date for September 28 & 29

THATCamp Philly 2012 is:
Friday, September 28 (workshops)
and Saturday, September 29 (THATCamp sessions)

We’ll again be holding it at the excellent Chemical Heritage Foundation (thanks again for your support @ChemHeritage).

Registration will open Friday, July 13.

We’re excited to welcome new folks and welcome back our chums who attended THATCamp Philly last year.

You — yes, you — have two assignments:

  1. Get a friend to attend, especially someone who wouldn’t normally come to this type of thing.  We all need more interactions with more students, more tech people who don’t normally rub (suede) elbows with humanities types, and more people from the museum and cultural communities.
  2. Let us know what workshops you would like to see this year. How-tos, intro-to-x, code-y ones … what would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below or in tweets.

Lastly, if you’d like to join the fun of organizing THATCamp Philly, email us thatcampphilly (at) gmail.

We’re getting ourselves together to rework this website, so please bear with us.