Community Histories Workshop Featured in Rocky Mount Telegram

On December 2, 2016, Community Histories Workshop team members escorted a group of UNC faculty, library directors, and students to Rocky Mount Mills where Capitol Broadcasting Co. treated us to a tour. What a unique opportunity to take in a “before” view of the mill buildings in their current states, as well as two homes in the surrounding village—one recently renovated and one awaiting its facelift. We also had the great pleasure of meeting with folks from Braswell Memorial Library, Harrison and Harrison, D.J. Rose and Son, JOIN Development, SpringboardNC, Rocky Mount’s own Jean Kitchin (’70) and other interested parties to exchange ideas about how to engage with and best serve the community.

It was an eventful day! To read more about the visit and our collaborative project, see the full Rocky Mount Telegram article from December 3rd.

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Prospect Presentation at German Historical Institute

Michael Newton, Technology Lead at the Digital Innovation Lab, will be presenting a workshop at the first annual conference Creating Spatial Historical Knowledge: New Approaches, Opportunities and Epistemological Implications of Mapping History Digitally at the German Historical Institute in Washington DC on October 20.

His workshop will demonstrate the use of Prospect, a WordPress plugin that supports sophisticated curation of digital collections of structured data and offers a wide variety of data visualizations. Michael will demonstrate some of the main features of Prospect and highlight projects built with the platform.

Learn more about Prospect at prospect.web.unc.edu.

Prospect Training Videos (1)

The first of the Digital Innovation Lab’s training videos about Prospect is now available here. It briefly demonstrates the basic features and functionalities of Prospect’s front-end data visualizer using a sample data set about the first 20 presidents of the United States. You can interact with the Prospect exhibit for this data set yourself on this webpage.

The DIL is currently working on training videos about the back-end of Prospect to teach how to create, curate, edit and publish data sets and exhibits (visualizations) about them.

Debut of Prospect Nears

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Within weeks the UNC Digital Innovation Lab will release a beta version of Prospect, its open-source, next-generation data curation and visualization collaboratory. Although Prospect has been designed and implemented to support the needs of humanities scholars in particular, its powerful curation and visualization features can deal with data belonging to a wide variety of domains.

Gallery The Prospect website will contain information, resources and training materials to support the use of our exciting new digital platform.

DIL recognized by UNC College of Arts & Sciences

Digital archive captures mill town’s heyday

When Gastonia’s iconic Loray/Firestone mill was being redeveloped, UNC’s Digital Innovation Lab was on hand to help preserve and present the history of the mill and the people associated with it.  Digital Loray is the largest digital humanities project ever undertaken by the University, and comprises a digital and site-based public history project that documents and interprets the complex history of the mill and the surrounding village.

Video by Kristen Chavez ’13

WE APOLOGIZE, BUT DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, WE ARE TEMPORARILY UNABLE TO POST THE ACCOMPANYING VIDEO.

PLEASE GO TO THE ORIGINAL POST TO SEE THE VIDEO.

See the original post HERE.

2016 DIL/IAH Faculty Fellowships: Accepting Applications through September 30

Part of the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative the DIL/IAH Faculty Fellowships support UNC faculty who are interested in developing digital approaches as a significant dimension of their academic practice in the humanities; putting into practice digital methods related to the arts and performance; exploring how data and data studies are transforming intellectual work in the arts and humanities; pursuing an interdisciplinary, collaborative digital humanities project arising from their research, pedagogy, or engaged scholarship that is likely to be of interest to users beyond academic specialists and which raises larger social, historical, literary, or artistic issues; reflecting upon and discussing with colleagues the implications of digital humanities for their own academic practice; and applying what they have learned as DIL/IAH Faculty Fellows to their graduate and/or undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

Applications are due Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Please review the 2016 Guidelinesthoroughly. Apply online at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities website.

Applicants are strongly advised to attend an information session/workshop on either Tuesday, August 25, 3:30-5pm or Wednesday, September 2, 3:30-5pm in the Digital Innovation Lab (Greenlaw 431). If you have any questions, please contact Malina Chavez, CDHI Programs Coordinator.

Registration Open for Fall ’15 DH Practicum

Registration is now open for the Fall ’15 offering of the lab’s Digital Humanities Practicum (American Studies 850).  This course approaches digital humanities through practical experience in a lab setting and seminar-style reflection upon and discussion of that experience.

The lab develops tools and collaborative work processes that make it easier, cheaper, and faster for scholars, students, and cultural heritage organizations to “do” public-facing digital humanities projects.  A significant expression of this commitment is the continuing development and refinement of DH Press, an award-winning multi-purpose digital humanities toolkit built on the widely-used WordPress digital publishing platform.   Our commitment to developing new models for public engagement through digital humanities is currently being expressed in “Digital Loray”: an extended, community-based effort to use digital technologies to integrate local history into the experience of one of the largest adaptive reuse projects in the state’s history (the Loray Mill in Gastonia, NC).

Participants will work with Will Bosley, General Manager, and other staff of the DIL to contribute to ongoing DIL project work and to augment and expand published projects.  In addition to exploring and evaluating a range of digital humanities tools, they will learn to use DH Press to design and implement digital humanities projects and explore different ways of visualizing digital humanities data for academic and non-academic audiences.  They will gain valuable experience in developing effective work practices and hone project management and communication/presentation skills of particular relevance to interdisciplinary, collaborative, public-facing  digital humanities practice.

The seminar dimension of course, led by Robert Allen, James Logan Godfrey Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Director of the DIL, will connect the practicum experience with issues and debates in the digital humanities more generally through reading and discussion.

Enrollment is limited and is by permission of the instructor.  This course welcomes participation from graduate degree-seeking students from across the UNC-CH community; staff and faculty; graduate students at Duke, NCSU, and NCCU (via inter-institutional registration); and independent scholars/humanities practitioners (enrollment through Friday Center for Continuing Education).  No previous training or experience in digital humanities is required beyond the level of computer literacy and competence expected of any graduate-level student in the humanities.  This course counts toward the UNC-CH graduate certificate in digital humanities.

The course will meet on Mondays 3:30-6:25 pm in the Digital Innovation Lab (431 Greenlaw). Participants should plan to spend at least one additional hour each week in the lab during business hours working on small-group projects.

Expressions of interest should be sent to Professor Robert Allen: rallen@email.unc.edu

 

“Seeing Ourselves”: New DH Press Prototype

The challenge for first-year American Studies PHD student and DIL graduate associate Charlotte Fryar: build a prototype interface in DH Press for interacting with historical film footage that could be used online and on touchscreen tablets.  Oh, and can you do it in six weeks while you’re assisting for an undergraduate class, working on other lab projects, and taking a full load of classes?

The specs: display, index, and geo-tag identified individuals, places, and events from a film shot in 1942; locate them on interactive map (include contemporary street views); and create a space for streamed audio and transcripts of comments about and memories of the film and the people/places/events it depicts.

The answer: a resounding “yes, I can!”  Here is what she (working under the guidance of Michael Newton and with the latest version of DH Press) came up with.

The film chosen for this use-case is H. Lee Waters’s “Gastonia, 1942,” preserved and shared on YouTube by the Duke University Special Collections Library.  Charlotte used two brief scenes from the film as test content: a shift change at the mill, and workers and their families gathering at the neighborhood movie theater, the Carolina, where they would be able to “see themselves as others saw them” a few weeks later.

The prototype will be further developed this summer in conjunction with the DIL’s Digital Loray project and the Loray Mill’s planned history center.  “Seeing Ourselves” also grows out of discussions with UNC Folklore grad, Martin Johnson (Catholic University) about developing tools to reveal the remarkable work of the hundreds of local and itinerant filmmakers in the US and around the world.

Charlotte’s prototype also points to many other materials and use-cases that could take advantage of these features of DH Press: oral history, folklore, and ethnographic interviews;  home movies; and family history come to mind immediately–and to other settings in which DH Press can be deployed: historic sites, museums, K-12 learning units, college-level classes, online learning. 

“Seeing Ourselves” debuted as a part of Robert Allen’s presentation at the Arclight Symposium on the application of digital technologies to cinema and media history at Concordia University in Montreal the week of May 11th.

Congratulations, Charlotte!