March 13: Reimagining the Archive ++

This module turns a critical eye towards digital humanities’ romance with the archive, starting with the archive fever that accompanied the first wave of widespread digitization starting in the mid-1990s. How do brick-and-mortar institutions (like the Folger) co-exist with the resources of the online world? What is the nature of the digital surrogate? What does the future hold for participatory archives, for cultural heritage resources in the world of the semantic web—a world of archives everywhere?

Presentation: Julia




For this week’s exercise, you will make a contribution to the Transcribe Bentham project at University College London, which is crowd-sourcing the creation of machine-readable texts of the papers of Jeremy Bentham. To get started, visit the Transcription Desk, watch the two tutorials, and create an account. Your assignment is to transcribe and encode a single one- or two-page document of your choice. Then create a blog post on our class site (use the “Exercises” category) linking back to your document. Finally, you must complete the Transcribe Bentham Questionnaire, which you will email to me and Tim Causer at UCL, t DOT causer AT ucl DOT ac DOT uk.

This is a Pass/Fail assignment (but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to get a head).

Cheat Option: If you find the handwriting too difficult, you could take a look at some of the printed material which has been uploaded: folios 650 to 652 in Box 116 on the untranscribed manuscripts list are extracts from a parliamentary statute, with some annotation by Bentham. You may also find it easier to decipher manuscripts which were written by copyists (e.g. folios 286 to 303 in Box 116, folios 120 to 199 in Box 97, and folios 279 to 343 in Box 107).


Digital Dialogues

03/12/13 Anne Collins Goodyear, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Portrait Gallery | Smithsonian Institution MITH Conference Room
Curating in the Era of Time-Based and Digital Media Art
Time: 12:30pm. Admittance: Open to the Public. Address: 0301 Hornbake Library, University of Maryland.


Wednesday, March 13th the Digital Humanities + Difference discussion group will meet in the WMST Studio (Taliaferro 0135) from 12-2pm to check out some old viewmasters and think about potential analog/digital storytelling projects. This will be experimental and FUN so there’s no pressure to have a certain skill or area of expertise.

For some reading, check out this guide to Mimi Ito’s “Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out”:

Here’s also a great interview on media materiality and making/hacking:

Some materials to think about gathering and bringing in: old film negatives, slides, or photographs that could be fodder for creating our own viewmaster stories; some weird old media machines that are good for getting conversations started, for “messing around” on, or even for “hacking” and taking apart.

I’m checking out places to get slides. I’ll have an old typewriter to mess around with and potentially some other things, so feel free to bring a pet project to show and tell!

@WMSTStudio will be livetweeting as well (#dhdiff, #transformDH). Hope to see you there! Thanks,


Melissa Rogers
Doctoral Student, Department of Women’s Studies
Graduate Assistant, Women’s Studies Multimedia Studio
University of Maryland, College Park
Twitter: @melissarogers17