When I was an undergraduate in English and History there were plenty of times I wished that it was possible to view a document in its original format. The handwriting of the author, the actual size of a map, the intricate brushstrokes of a renaissance painting… all of these were reduced to images in a textbook. The last decade of humanities computing, however, has made it possible to allow the new generation of History and Literature students to experience their topics in new and exciting ways. I’m very jealous!
Having finished the MLIS degree at Western in January, I found myself intrigued with the Digital Humanities. I attended THATCamp Chicago about a year ago and was excited to find out that librarians can play such exciting roles in this up and coming field, and decided to pursue my interests as I enter the LIS PhD program. My dream job would be creating interactive digital syllabi for Humanities courses, and to get myself there I am working at understanding how both students and faculty in these disciplines work with digital tools. For the past year I have been researching the ways that Ebooks have become integrated with the scholarship of historians… both in their research and in the classroom. I have been observing behavior of humanists, and relaying my findings to the wider academic community, “talking the talk”, as they say.
I’m extremely excited to take the next step, part of which is the reason for the creation of this blog. I will be using the space here to document my reflections on William Turkel’s Digital History course, to communicate with classmates and to track the progress I make as I attempt to “walk the walk” and recreate myself as a digital historian.