Class Notes (2): How do we bring the digital into Humanities?

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These are the class notes for the “Introduction to XML and editing ancient documents” seminar I am doing this summer semester at LMU, Munich.

This class will use the framework of the Digital Humanities list to look at how other projects/institutions within the Humanities have tackled the use of digital technology. I will present a wider range of projects and digital tools that are not related to ancient documents as such, but that are still relevant for the type of work that may be done on ancient documents.

I will demo different aspects of each website, which I particularly want to make the participants aware of.  Meanwhile the participants can have a go, while I try to engage them in a discussion of the value and merit of this project/tool.  The participants will also be asked to suggest projects that we can look at together. 

Again the above is what I wanted to cover in today’s class and again I feel that we did cover it pretty well. I got the strange idea that a way of exchanging links to cool projects in and outside class could be to use Twitter. Added benefit was that the participants practiced using Twitter for conferences and networking. We used the hashtag #IntroToXML and TweetChat. TweetChat was very slow for updating tweets and some never showed up. So we will look around for another option next week. If TweetChat had updated our conversation better it would have been a cool tool for sharing links and info. But I feel that it went OK. A couple of participants already had Twitter accounts (but hadn’t been using them recently), a couple signed up today, and a couple didn’t want to be on Twitter so they just followed the chat and grabbed the links.

Hmm, just thinking, maybe I should see if I can get some guest tweeters to come in and join our conversation next week when we are talking about digital tools in ancient documents. *thinking, thinking* -> Anyone up for this?

So the task for next week, dear participants, is to tweet or otherwise communicate to me with links to ancient document projects that you either are a part of or use in your work. Then we can discuss pros/cons and explore new things next week. 


  • Ensemble project, the public transcribing data about historical performances from The New York Public Library’s program collections
  • LAN-OPC, Online Parish Clerks for the county of Lancashire – transcribing parish records with a more low-tech approach
  • PAS, Portable Antiquities Scheme – god example of online dataset, cool search options (spatial search with bounding box) and export possibilities
  • Rijksmuseum, Online exhibition/catalogue browser – note particularly the colour browsing feature

Did I forget anything?