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Digital Scholarship at Chapman University By Jana Remy: Associate Director Of Digital Scholarship, Chapman University

Digital scholarship is the use of digital evidence, methods of inquiry, research, publication and preservation to achieve academic and research goals. Digital scholarship encompasses both scholarly communication using digital media and research on digital media.

From an Intro to Digital Humanities student:

This course...shaped my own understanding of preservation, both as it has existed in the past and in the ways it has progressed into the future. Activities such as transcribing some of Chapman’s collection of American war letters, seeing the internal components of technologies like a server, or working via blog posts through wordpress, each demonstrated the ways data is created, is conveyed, and lives or dies.

[I learned that] the way data, the written word, facts and figures are conceptualized, stored, and shared truly does matter....

The Computer & How it Works...

a hands-on look inside a server box with a staff member from IS&T

Google Maps

This map traces the summer holiday trip of two characters in Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro. "I was surprised to find out the longest leg of the journey (taken on foot) was much longer than I had imagined...In searching for images [from the regions on the journey] I also got to see...distinctions in the geography and socioeconomic differences in the cities."

Distant reading, through creating visualizations of word frequencies in a text

NGram Viewer

The Infinite Jest focuses on several complex themes, including addiction, recovery, and dependency. For the purposes of this class exercise I began by entering two variations of the same word into the Ngram viewer: addiction and addict.

As a result of these Ngram figures, I decided to expand my keywords to include other phrases that appear frequently with in Wallace’s text: substance abuse, NA, and AA. The frequency chart that followed demonstrated that the use of these words in published texts rose from the 1970s and even peaked during the period of substance and narcotic abuse prevention in the late 1980s and early 90s.

In my opinion at this stage of my familiarity with Ngram, I find it to be a...thought-provoking experience that does not necessarily produce facts and figures that should be assumed as truth, but rather as a tool that promotes further inquiry and highlights questions that a given user may have not even thought to ask previously."

A taste of Virtual Reality

Will you always remember the first time that you tried VR?

Working with War Letters

Silly as it sounds, it’s strange to think of the 40s as a period with its own people who had their own worries, their own happinesses, their own day-to-day lives. It’s always just been “that period of war” when my grandpa was a kid. To read Vivian’s letters was to see this period as more than that, as a period with a life and a zeitgeist all its own. It was to give life to something that had always just been a range of dates and World War II to me.

As I transcribed, "my right hand held a letter dated over 70 years ago, and my left hand typed the letter’s contents into a computer built less than three years ago. If that isn’t the intersection of digital and humanities, I don’t know what is."

"Holding the correspondences of soldiers abroad in my hands was an incredibly moving experience. I now have the desire to do research and see if these authors ever made it back to Pier 17 in San Francisco, where they swore to meet after the war. In this age of email and texts, which are often deleted after being read, we often forget the power that letters can have to preserve history...Even though it was time-consuming, I feel honored to have been entrusted with this small piece of World War II history..."

Applying their Expertise in Digital Humanities to the War Letters Crowdsourced Transcription Effort

Launching Voices from the Archive: Letters During War

Digital scholarship...is cost-effective, a smart return on investment. By radically extending the audience for a work of scholarship, by reaching students of many ages and backgrounds, by building the identity of the institutions by attracting and keeping excellent faculty and students, by creating bonds between faculty and the library, and by advancing knowledge across many otherwise disparate disciplines, innovative digital scholarship makes sense…Digital scholarship is the missing part of the cycle of productivity that we have long believed our investments in information technology would bring to institutions of higher education. (from Edward Ayers, The Future of Digital Scholarship)

Credits:

Created with images by blickpixel - "board electronics computer data processing printed circuit" • HammerandTusk - "virtual reality oculus technology reality virtual headset"

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