LIS 9372 – DH and LIS

Digital Humanities and Library and Information Science

LIS 9372L-001 (Summer 2015)

Instructor: Kim Martin

Thursdays 6:00-8:50 pm

Course Objectives
Course Evaluation
Course Outline and Readings

Course Description:
DH, or the Digital Humanities, is a growing area of study that sees scholars from traditionally text-driven disciplines (Languages and Literatures, History, Philosophy, etc) experiment with and develop technologies that drive their scholarship into new and exciting areas. The library has always played an important role to humanities scholars, and the ongoing digitization, organization, and accessibility of library material will help to shape the future of DH. This course will serve as an introduction for LIS students, surveying the beginning of DH, its growth over the past two decades, and contemplating what the future holds for DH and the librarians involved in its constantly fluctuating path.

Students will be exposed to a variety of DH methods, sources, texts, tools, and conferences. They will be encouraged to take part in the DH network by participating online via Twitter and blog posts.

Course Objectives:

  1. To introduce the concept of digital humanities and its relationship to library and information science.
  2. To increase awareness of the potential issues surrounding digitization and accessibility of library materials.
  3. To expose students to the wide breadth of tools necessary to support DH scholars in an academic institution.

Course Evaluation:

In class participation (10%): This class will function largely as a seminar course with a hands-on learning component. In order for us all to benefit from our time spent together, it is necessary to participate in discussions, and to attend all of the courses.

Online participation (15%): This will take place in the form of three blog posts which are to be sent to me either by email or online via Twitter. The themes are as follows, and are required to be handed in on Weeks 4, 6, and 10. More information regarding these will be handed out in Week Three.

Themes (one of each of the following):

1) Tool critique; 2) Article review; 3) Blog Post response

Literature Review (20%): This assignment should provide a clear and concise examination of either a methodological approach or an overview of a discipline-specific to DH. Topics are to be discussed with me in class on Week Three.

Seminar/Workshop Lead (15%): During the class you will be asked to lead either a seminar discussion (Digital Disciplines) or hands-on exercises (Digital Methods). A sign up sheet will be handed out in Week Two.

Final Assignment (40%): This piece, due in Week Twelve, can take a number of formats. Three options are listed below, but you may also come and talk to me if you have another idea. I will outline the mandatory requirements for the assignment in Week Three.

Option 1: DH Tool concept paper

With the knowledge you have gained throughout the course, you are to create and design a tool prototype for digital humanities scholars. You must explain the reason your tool is needed, who would use it, what problems it might solve, and how/where it might be implemented.

Option 2: Digital Preservation Plan

Find 5 different items that you believe would be of interest to a future humanities scholar (texts, images, objects, etc). Document these materials digitally and create a mini-exhibit of this material. Write a critical reflection on this process, being sure to include the ways that the different methods of preserving these documents might affect their understanding by future scholars.

Option 3: DH Center Grant Application

As a newly hired librarian at a mid-sized Canadian university, you must convince funders that your institution needs a DH center. What would the space entail? Who would run it? Who would be the main patrons? Justify each of your answers and provide examples where previous centers have succeeded and failed.


Erin Auger (@ErinAuger5

Courtney Boudreau (@courtums)

Ashley Cooper (@spindriftages

Alison Frayne (@alison_frayne

Kayla Gauvin (@kay_gauvin

Katelyn Granger (@accio_librarian

Diana Haefele (@ProjectRead_

Catherine Hana (@poorcate)

Sandra Harnum  (

Stacey Lapp  (@libralien

Kristen Lemay  (@Autumn_Kristen

Lisa Levesque (@OhDearJustNo

Eilidh Macconnell  (@emacconn

Karen Maclachlan (@karenmac_1

Lynn M.  (@LlyyiinnL)

Meg M. (@carto_hum)

Caleigh Monk  (@caleighjanet

Emilio Ortiz-Desantis (@emilio_mlis)

Anna S. (@botanising

Lydia Thorne (@liddylib

Elise Tung ( @elise_tung)

Amanda Wheatley (@adwheatley92

Course Outline and Readings

Week One: Introductions and Social Media set up  (May 14th)


Week Two: Defining the Humanities  (May 21st)


Week Three: What Is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in the Library?  (May 28th)

*Assignment* Seminar: Alison – Architecture

*Assignment* Workshop: Eilidh – Inklewriter


Week Four: Scholarly Communication  (June 4th)

*Assignment* Workshop: Stacey – Hootsuite

*Assignment* Workshop: Courtney – Twitter


Also check out:,,

***NO CLASS***  Thursday June 11th   ***NO CLASS***

Week Five: Meta-Data-Bases  (June 18th)

*Assignment* Seminar: Katelyn – Peace Studies

*Assignment* Workshop: Lydia – Drupal


Week Six: Big Data, Big Questions  (June 25th)

*Assignment* Seminar: Erin – Drama

*Assignment* Seminar: Karen – Music


  • Ramsay, Stephen. 2014. “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around ; or What You Do with a Million Books.” In PastPlay: Teaching and Learning with Technology, edited by Kevin Kee. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. *
  • boyd, danah, and Kate Crawford. 2012. “Critical Questions for Big Data.” Information, Communication & Society 15 (5) (June): 662–679. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2012.678878.
  • Manovich, L. (2012). Trending: The Promises and the Challenges of Big Social Data. In M. K. Gold (Ed.), Debates in the Digital Humanities (pp. 460–475). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Also, check out:

Week Seven: Text Analysis for the Humanities  (July 2nd)

*Assignment* Seminar: Diana – English

*Assignment* Workshop: Catherine – Visualize


Also, check out:,

Week Eight: Media Matters, Problems of Preservation  (July 9th)

*Assignment* Seminar: Lisa – Material Culture

*Assignment* Workshop: Emilio – Audacity

*Assignment* Workshop: Elise – Digital Curation


  • Kirschenbaum, Matthew. 2012. “Introduction” in Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press. *
  • Kretzschmar, W. a., and W. Gray Potter. 2010. “Library Collaboration with Large Digital Humanities Projects.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 25 (4) (October 19): 439–445. doi:10.1093/llc/fqq022.
  • Parrika, Jussi. 2012. “Archives in Media Theory: Material Media Archaeology and Digital Humanitites” in Berry, David M. (ed.) Understanding Digital Humanities. New York, N.Y: Palgrave Macmillan. *

Week Nine: Gaming History  (July 16th)

*Assignment* Seminar: Amanda – Gamification Theory

*Assignment* Workshop: Ashley – Google Art Project

*Assignment* Workshop: Lynn – Gaming History


Also, check out:

Week Ten: Meaning through Maps  (July 23rd)

*Assignment* Seminar: Kristen – Geography

*Assignment* Workshop: Meg – QGIS

GUEST SPEAKER – Sarah Simpkin, GIS and Geography Librarian, University of Ottawa


Also, check out:

Week Eleven: Interdisciplinary Scholarship  (July 30th)

*Assignment* Seminar: Caleigh – Art

*Assignment* Workshop: Anna – Hathitrust

*Assignment* Workshop: Sandra – Glogster


Week Twelve: “Making it” in the Humanities  (August 6th)

*Assignment* Workshop: Kayla – Gravestones


Week Thirteen: Center or periphery? A place for DH  (August 13th)


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