Quick DHSI Wrap-up

I both hope and sincerely intend to write a longer post about my activities of this week. This week I’ve been at the the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. I took a weeklong seminar entitled “Digital Editions.” The quickest thing to say about it is that it was wonderful. I have had a project fomenting in my head ever since I went to THATCamp New England. It took me a while to name that project as a digital edition. But now I have named it. The amazing instructor, Meagan Timney helped us lay out all of the various things we should be thinking about moving into designing a digital edition.

We talked about project planning and design and the things one should be thinking about before ever starting. This part immediately made me feel at ease, since my chief concern coming in was that I wasn’t far enough along to make taking a course useful. She offered us a large range of questions which, she suggested, when answered, would usefully begin a grant application. (Tricky! And awesome!)

We then went into the various other elements–project planning and design, technical implementation, site design and usability, and other things like that. We were introduced to Islandora which is a tool being developed at the University of Prince Edward Island. This tool, in a sentence, makes a drupal front-end coordinate with a fedora commons repository back-end. For those of you reading this for whom that is unparseable, here’s my analog explanation: The fedora commons repository is a filing cabinet, which you can fill with many many sheets of paper. Drupal is a bulletin board on which you might like to display pieces of paper. Islandora will pull the correct sheets from the filing cabinet, and pin it to the bulletin board for you. Okay, it does more than that, but that’s my working analog explanation.

There will be more, but I’m trying to braindump just a little here. If you are interested in anything I’ve written here and would like to here more, ask questions!!