The Next THATCamp NOLA: seeking volunteers & support

The central Gulf Coast’s first THATCamp was held on May 17, 2013, in New Orleans. THATCamp NOLA was a successful “unconference” held at the Louisiana Humanities Center Building. Digital Humanities folk in New Orleans based at the University of New Orleans and several from the University of Southern Mississippi collaborated on introducing THATCamp to the area. Volunteers from Loyola and Xavier Universities also contributed to the successful unconference, which featured 63 registrants and drew participants from as far as Kentucky.

Any one interested in helping with planning for the next THATCamp NOLA should contact Michael Mizell-Nelson:

If you would like to learn a bit more about who participated and what some of the sessions were like, please visit some of the pages from our 2013 event.


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Digital Dork Shorts, Session Notes, and Evening/Weekend Plans

Just a reminder to add a link to your dork shorts sites in the comments to this post (whether you showed us your work in person or if the comments are the first time we see it).

Also, if you took notes in a session that you’d like to share, please post them in the Google drive folder we set up for THATCamp New Orleans. Even though WiFi was spotty, I will type handwritten notes from sessions I attended and post them. Hoping someone (or several someones) who attended the other sessions can do the same.

If you are in town for the evening or weekend and looking for fellow campers to join you in dinner, Boogaloo’ing, or anything not against the law, don’t forget the hashtag #tcno13.

Keep an eye here and on @tcampnola2013 for further news, and stay in touch!


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Digitization of Film and Video: Problems and Practices

Some of the first old media to be transformed by digital technology does not occupy much discussion at THATCamps. (Neither film nor video have earned their own categories for our THATCamp posts.) The first THATCamp New Orleans features an intriguing number of distinguished filmmakers, documentary producers, and media scholars. One filmmaker was awarded a Guggenheim. Another serves as editor of Television and New Media. One worked as a producer for PBS’s Frontline. I hope we might have one session with such people and the archivists charged with the extremely difficult task of preserving film and video collections and making them available for present and future audiences. The WWII Museum is involved in a fascinating project funded by the IMLS using Annotator’s Workbench to encode their video oral histories. Another IMLS grant funded a planning project for the Louisiana State Archives and Louisiana Public Broadcasting to preserve and catalogue the state’s film and video resources. I know one person at UNO has been struggling with similar issues regarding digitized video storage. Anyone want to talk about some of these topics?

Categories: Archives, Collaboration, session-talk, Your Categories Are Inadequate | 1 Comment

Digital Work as Engaged Service Learning

In the spirit of the very well received session proposal Tech Learning Modules Travers posted, I would like to propose this as a “session module,” one that might either be discussed on its own or fitted into another session. I want to discuss how best to engage undergraduate students in meaningful work with digital humanists working in libraries, museums, and archives. This might be a good forum through which to address what possibilities digital projects as engaged service learning offer both for undergraduate students and participating institutions. Greg Lambousy (Louisiana State Museum) and I have piloted one such digital partnership in one of my US survey history courses. One of the best examples I know of is László Fülöp’s UNO film students who learn documentary video production at UNO while producing PSAs for community non-profits.

I understand that Tulane, LSU, and USM offer a “best practices” approach for these sorts of partnerships, but I am interested in how these partnerships might work in the real world of public institutions whose interests are never well-served or properly funded. My best partnership experiences are with other public institutions, such as New Orleans Public Library and the LSM. We are the Coalition of the Unwillingly Underfunded.

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Dork Shorts

We will have a 30-minute Dork Shorts session during the last part of our 90-minute lunch break.
12:00-1:30 Lunch and 1:00 -1:30 Dork Shorts

THATCAmp Central states:
“Dork shorts, known in some corners as ‘lightning talks,’ are brief (2-minute) presentations in which attendees discuss current or upcoming projects, demonstrate new tools, or call for collaborators. Like most of THATCamp, Dork Shorts are meant to be as informal as possible. Although the concept might be unfamiliar to new THATCampers, veterans think it’s one of the most fun and useful parts of each meeting: Dork Shorts let you learn a lot in a little bit of time.”

Since not everybody will be able to attend, we want to follow the approach taken by THATCamp New England, whose instructions we borrow.

“Tell us about your project, the great tools or apps that make your life worth living or anything that you think is relevant and worth telling about. You have two minutes, one topic, and you get to use one URL. No PowerPoint, no time to load anything, no USB sticks.”

This comment thread will allow those people having a great lunch break the opportunity to learn a little bit about your project regardless of how late they may be in rejoining THATCamp. If you’d like to present, sign up by adding a comment and URL below. We will have time for about 15 presentations. If there’s space available, one can sign up on Friday. The order we follow in this session will be based upon when you post your comment.

Some Dork Shorts in action:

Categories: session-play, session-talk, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Imagine Me and You, I Do: Working Together on Curated Content

As internal access to collections increases through collection management systems and as online publishing formats multiply, how do we work together within organizations to effectively “curate” content? What does it mean to curate?  How can different departments within organizations work together to bring material to the public? This may be the “looking-in” version of Michael’s proposal!

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Google Drive space for THATCamp New Orleans 2013 – Add it early and be ready!

There is now a Google Drive space just for us, and everybody should be able to access it by clicking that link. You will need to sign in to Google and click the “Add to Drive” button. Then you’ll see the “THATCamp New Orleans 2013” folder among all your other Google Drive folders and documents.

In addition to the session schedule that we create Friday morning, this will be a space where we can post session notes, dinner and event sign-up sheets, “digital dork shorts,” or anything else you might imagine now or in the future.

We hope this is a good way for all of us to keep in touch during the day and long afterward.


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Session Proposal: Seeking a Digital Interface for a Project about Maps, Bees, and Old Houses

I think my particular proposal, related to a project I am currently working on, might be a sub-topic for any number of sessions already offered (specifically, Michael’s, Anne’s and/or Doreen’s). I am trying to sort out the best technology/interface to use for a project I’m developing with colleagues that will be submitted to the online journal “Liminalities” once completed. I have a colleague at Xavier willing to help me with some of my technological needs, but I need to figure out for myself and my co-author what those needs might be and how to best fulfill them.  To that end, I’m attaching a proposal I submitted  last academic year to a National Communication Association round table panel, the goals of which were “to identify themes and specific projects for communication scholars in the digital humanities and to help scholars develop projects to submit to digital humanities’ journals and/or ODH start-up grant proposals,” as an introduction to my topic, themes, and potential needs.


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The Feds are Coming! Discussion Proposal

Three Government Documents Librarians want to share a few things about the nexus of  government information, technology, and the humanities.  Yes, the feds have gone all-out-techie and have developed many online resources to help citizens find information on everything from basic e-government applications to sophisticated research portals.  While much of what those sophisticated portals contain is science and technology oriented, the humanities have not been ignored.  Each librarian will discuss a specific type of digital government resource:  web portals that provide links to humanities topics; individual web sites sponsored by government organizations like the National Endowment for the Humanities; and, finally, mobile apps that can link citizens to collections of art, tours of the National Mall in DC (museums, landmarks, cherry blossoms, what more could you want?) and, for the children, an interactive version of a 1919 illustrated edition of Aesop’s Fables from the Library of Congress! If time permits, we will discuss the newest fed gov initiative, federal eBooks, to be made available through Government Printing Office (GPO) partnerships with Apple, Google, Barnes & Noble, and other vendors.

Our discussion will involve asking provocative questions–including those that address just how much interest there exists in having the government provide multiple technologies for accessing its information.  Another question will seek answers to the following:  how does the government’s  move to digital affect the legal and ethical demands for preservation of all government information?





Categories: Session Proposal | 1 Comment

General THATCamp Schedule

Hello, THATCampers. Here is a general schedule for the day. The content of the sessions is up to you, so be sure to propose a session (or several) if you haven’t already. Keep an eye on this blog, too, since most news about the event will go here. Get ready, get excited, it’s almost Friday!

THATCamp Schedule of Events

8:30- 9:00  THATCamp Registration

9:00-9:15 Welcome to THATCamp

9:15-9:45 Last-Minute Proposals and Session Selection

9:45-10:00 Session Scheduling

10:00-10:55 First Session

11:00-11:55 Second Session

12:00-1:30 Lunch and Dork Shorts (1:00-1:30)

1:30-2:25 Third Session

2:30-3:25 Fourth Session

3:30-4:00 THATCamp Reflections and Closing Remarks

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