Thursday, July 25, 2013

Presenting our Digital Humanitarians!

Archivist's note: We have been privileged to be participating in a brand-new initiative at the Mount, a Weekend Format course in Digital Humanities. These master's degree candidates have been working with the Frank H. Spearman Collection in the College Archives under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Tran Smith. We're happy to present the first in a series of guest blogs by the team's social media manager, Breanna Bello.
Dr. Jennifer Tran Smith, right, and class break for lunch
on the Brady Hall patio during a day in the Archives.
 Presenting the Digital Humanitarians, led by Dr. Jennifer Smith, Mount St. Mary’s College Humanities program.  Graduate students in the class are designing a Digital Resource on the Internet for the 1906 western novel Whispering Smith.

One may ask, why a western novel?  Mount St. Mary’s College holds a collection which consists of published articles by or about Frank Hamilton Spearman published from 1899 – 1937. The documents are made accessible to Digital Humanities students by Victoria McCargar, Mount St. Mary’s College Archivist.

The course, HUM 249E, is called "Digital Humanities: Finding, Manipulating and Creating Electronic Texts." The creation of new a website will be the result of 100% collaboration of the students.  This class setting is a requirement for the subject matter, and it has never been undertaken before at the Mount. Throughout the the project, each student is accountable for several critical components.  In order to create an internet resource, students have engaged in responsibilities such as transcribing, editing, managing, annotating, describing and creating research resources for future scholars on Whispering Smith, Spearman's most successful novel. 

Unlike a typical 15-page term paper that is seen by few people, this grant-funded experiment is intended to show the Mount community the power of Digital Humanities scholarship.  At the end, we hope this endeavor will open the door to many opportunities concerning the subject of Digital Humanities at Mount St. Mary’s College and position the Mount at the forefront of the development of several Digital Humanities resources.
Guest Blogger Breanna Bello works with the
Spearman Collection photos in the Archives.

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