fragmentary notes from the “dork shorts”

In the Research Methods section of yesterday’s workshop, I jotted down brief notes from each attendee who shared their favorite tool or digital resource. These notes are fragmentary (I was, after all, also trying to lead the workshop and listen attentively to each person).  However, given how productive the sharing part of our session was, I wanted to post these rough notes in the hope that it will inspire those who shared their sources in the session to write about them at greater length on the blog.  And thank you to all who participated–the discussion in our workshop was vigorous and enthusiastic.

On a related note, I welcome your feedback on the format of our session.  Please feel free to drop a comment here or email me personally (janaremyATgmail).


googlebooks for early 19th century literature

U.S. Geological Surveys, (exhibit), MIT freeware for mapping, timelines, database-driven sorting   (free trial)

Early California Newspaper database and (has searchable pdfs)

Lexis-Nexis Congressional, and also

Chronicling America: interact for Worldcat records, ICON (Icon Digital Newspapers)

Digital Library projects, all are useful (like Territorial Kansas Online to Making of America),

Central Pacific Railroad Museum Site: photos, complete RR surveys w/illustrations, integration with book offers timely updates, expanding over the next few years

Wyoming State Historical Society with online exhibit of state history journal, Montana Historical Society also indexed online

GoogleDocs for groups projects with research assistants, ProQuest, British Library Collections

“Dork Shorts” at the WHA

This past weekend I attended THATCamp Bay Area, an “unconference” for digitally-minded humanists. Though I’ve attended two other THATCamps, this was the first one that did a “dork shorts” session, where each person that wants to present gets two minutes at the podium (similar to “lightning talks“). I liked the informality of this session and how it gave each presenter just enough to show what was important about their project, and to give a URL for those who wanted to learn more.

I was thinking about the dork shorts this morning as I was contemplating the challenge of teaching a workshop at the WHA conference–where there will be participants who are seasoned digital humanists and those who are just starting their first experiments with technology. Certainly the scope and variety of our projects will mean that we approach digital tools quite differently. So I’m setting aside some time in our workshop for some dork short-style talks to give attendees a brief opportunity to share their digital research successes, so we can all learn from each other.