Below is a list of a dozen different recent digital humanities projects. All of these are websites that were created by scholars and/or librarians, and all use digital tools to teach something about a humanities topic. Some display exhibits of primary documents; some feature digital editions of literary works; some present visualizations of data; and some offer interactive maps or timelines. Most of the sites have some combination of these things, and your website will eventually have all of these things, so any of these are potentially sources of inspiration for your site.
For your assignment this week, browse the list of websites explore a few of them, then pick one to analyze in detail. Write a 3-5 paragraph profile of the site that answers the following questions:
- What questions do the creators of this project ask?
- What types of primary sources do the creators use? Where do they come from?
- How was this project created? What software was used? What website builder/content management system was the site built in? If there are data visualizations, what tools were used to create them?
- Note: this may be difficult to infer since you haven’t worked with a lot of digital humanities tools, but all of these sites do discuss the tools that were used, so you should be able to identify them if you read closely. You do not need to identify every tool the site uses, but you should at least name one or two.
- How is the information presented? Describe how the information is laid out and how a user navigates the project.
- What do you like about this project? What elements might you want to incorporate into your own project?
- Analyze the look of the site, keeping in mind the techniques for visual analysis that Anne Frances Wysocki discusses in “The Multiple Media of Texts,” which we explored on 9/3. Do you think the site is well designed? Why or why not?
- Analyze the text on the site. How clear, well-written, and informative is it?
Post your profile as a blog entry (that’s right–this week, both your blog post and assignment are going on your blog). To earn full credit on this assignment, your profile must answer all of the above questions in enough detail to demonstrate a close, careful examination of the website. The writing does not need to be formal or polished, but it should be clear.
Digital Humanities Projects
- Michigan State University Vietnam Group Archive
- An archive of documents about the university’s involvement in the Vietnam War, including interactive maps and timelines.
- He Do the Police in Different Voices
- A digital edition of T.S. Elliot’s poem, The Waste Land, that visualizes when the poem shifts to different speakers.
- Digital Thoreau
- A digital edition of Henry David Thoreau’s writing that includes some data visualizations.
- Digital Harlem
- An interactive map showing Harlem in the 1920s and chronicling the history of the area.
- The Gender Novels Project
- A computational analysis of gender in novels from 1777-1922, with a lot of data and data visualizations.
- The World of Dante
- A multimedia exhibit of materials on Dante’s Divine Comedy, including maps, a timeline, digital editions of texts, an image gallery, and music.
- Robots Reading Vogue
- A collection of data visualizations analyzing both the texts and images from over a century’s worth of issues of Vogue magazine.
- Six Degrees of Francis Bacon
- A visualization of the social network of the seventeenth century English philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon.
- Navigating the Green Book
- An interactive map based on a travel guide that provided African Americans information on where it was safe to visit during segregation.
- The March
- An exhibit for a documentary about the 1963 March on Washington, including primary documents and an indexed version of the film.
- Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance
- A collection of writing by African American women from 1900-1922, including primary documents and a network visualization.
- The Inner Life of Empires
- A history of an eighteenth century family, featuring an image gallery and network visualizations.