April 11, 2015

UNL's Annual Digital Humanities Bootcamp

UNL Digital Humanities
On April 8th, I attended a two-day Digital Humanities Bootcamp hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. UNL has one of the world's largest Digital Humanities programs with faculty in over a dozen university departments. The university offers a Digital Humanities minor for undergraduate students and a Digital Humanities certificate program for graduate students.

The bootcamp functions as a beginner's guide to the digital humanities and occurs as a precursor to the Nebraska Forum on Digital Humanities hosted by UNL's Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (CDRH). For 2015, the theme was "Digital Cultural Heritage" and the annual forum featured leading national and international figures within the field. This year the CDRH celebrated its tenth anniversary and was featured in an article published by UNL Today.
UNL Digital Humanities

At the bootcamp, participants are acquainted with some of the tools associated with the digital humanities, including 3D modeling (as demonstrated UNL Assistant Professor of History's James Coltrain's video below), mapping (as seen in StoryMap and the ability to annotate maps to narrate stories), metadata (how to encode a document), archive building, network analysis (as shown with the Gephi platform for creating dynamic graphs), and text analysis.

I attended sessions about digital text analysis, metadata, and archive building. Tools for text analysis include Stanford University's Natural Language Processing (NLP) Group, Voyant Tools, and Google's Ngram Viewer. Attendees in the metadata session received introductory training for the text editing program Oxygen, an XML editor, and also received information about the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), as well as guidance regarding archive building.

I would like to thank the presenters and the bootcamp's organizers Rebecca S. Wingo and Jacob K. Friefeld for offering these valuable training sessions and project showcases.

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