Exploring the Local Landscape with DPH

For this activity, I chose to explore my local landscape of with Clio.  Generally, it showed me what I expected.  Once it picked up on my local area, it brought up several pins of historic locations throughout the DC metro area on a Google Map.  The closest were located in historic Occoquan, VA.  When I clicked on those pins, it showed me the historical marker designating that spot, as well as gave a history of the location, images related to the location, sources, and additional links.  It also gave the information of who input that information and when, so pins can be updated based on new exhibits or information.  It was a fun, basic mobile site to play with in my local area, but it didn’t do anything extra, such as overlay historic images on current locations.  This project definitely believes in the idea of crowdsourcing public history, allowing individuals to add and edit information on each location, while being vetted by the project administrators.  I can definitely see how this project can grow as technology and interest increase, but as of right now, it’s a simple mobile history project.

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Oral History Metadata Synchronizer

The University of Kentucky created an Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) in order for users to add metadata to oral histories.  It has created multiple tutorials and guides to make using the site more user friendly.  It allows the user to not only add metadata, but also to add transcripts and tags.  Audio and video can be used in the OHMS system.  It is fairly easy to use, and any issues are easily solved by using the tutorials and guides.

Personally, as a not-so-technologically-minded-person, it was a fairly simple site to use.  I did have some trouble with my original choice for an oral history, a YouTube video, when it would not load the video.  I simply chose to move on to an audio clip from the Library of Congress instead of fighting the system.  I’m sure if I took more time to figure out the problem, it would be fixable.  Once I uploaded the clip and added the metadata, I simply needed to add the transcript and tags.  It was a quick and easy process, with minimal headaches involved – always a plus for me!

I really enjoyed listening to Maggie Schockley talk about the love her mother had for her family, and how she made quilts for them every Christmas.  (Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Maggie Schockley, and Maggie Schockley. “My mother made thousands of quilts.”. Hillsville, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/qlt000152. (Accessed March 30, 2016.))  It reminded me of the passion for quilting in my family, with my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmothers.

The abilities of this software to add the metadata and transcript right to the audio allows anybody working with oral histories to quickly and seamlessly catalog their data.  I can see quite a positive result for projects like that.  I may even use OHMS when it comes to my own project and the few oral histories I have available.

Doing Digital Humanities

When I started with my digital humanities project of mapping the rowing programs of the United States, I knew it would be a large under-taking. I just had this desire to map the rowing programs of the U.S., and allow it to demonstrate the different types of programs, since that didn’t exist. Continue reading →

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