Category Archives: History

Discovery and Justification are Different: Notes on Science-ing the Humanities

Computer Scientist: “You can’t do that with Topic Modeling.” Humanist: “No, I can because I’m not a scientist. We have this thing called Hermeneutics.” Computer Scientist: “…” Humanist: “No really, we get to do what we want, we read texts … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Tools, History | 22 Comments

Do Less More Often: An Approach to Digital Strategy for Cultural Heritage Orgs

Everybody is trying to do too much at once. Find the low hanging fruit and pick it. Get the boxes off the floor. Release early and release often. Put things out there and find out how you should be doing things. I … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Tools, History | 1 Comment

Are Online Communities Places or Artifacts?

I’m sympathetic to two ways of thinking about online communities that are somewhat inconsistent with each other. The web is a stack of communication technologies (both software and hardware) and should be studied in the same way that one would … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Tools, History, research methods | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Software as Scaffolding and Motivation and Meaning: The How and Why of Crowdsourcing

Libraries, archives and museums have a long history of participation and engagement with members of the public. I have previously suggested that it is best to think about crowdsourcing in cultural heritage as a form of public volunteerism, and that … Continue reading

Posted in Education, History | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Archives as Discovery Zones

I loved Discovery Zone when I was a kid. If you’re unfamiliar, it was this amazingly massive pile of kid sized tubes and ball pits. Like someone took that part of Chuck E. Cheese by the ball pit and multiplied it by a magnitude … Continue reading

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The Crowd and The Library

Libraries, archives and museums have a long history of participation and engagement with members of the public. In a series of blog posts I am going to work to connects these traditions with current discussions of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Tools, Education, History | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage: The Objectives Are Upside Down

Some fantastic work is going on in crowdsourcing the transcription of cultural heritage collections. After some recent thinking and conversation on these projects I want to more strongly and forcefully push a point about this work. This is the same … Continue reading

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Explore and Share Cultural Heritage Collections with Viewshare.org: Notes for WebWise Talk

This is just a quick post to share the slides and links from the talk I am giving at WebWise today. Explore and Share Cultural Heritage Collections with Viewshare.org View more PowerPoint from tjowens The talk starts by explaining the … Continue reading

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Debating the Digital Humanities Gets Real

My author copies of Debating the Digital Humanities came in today. It’s humbling to have some of my words included in such a hefty tome. I’ve been reading and enjoying it, great stuff. Beyond being a useful volume, it’s also … Continue reading

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Tripadvisor Rates Einstein: Traces of Public Memory and Science on the Web

Arguing with Einstein is one of my favorite photos of the Albert Einstein memorial. It encapsulates how some of the sculptor’s intentions, his argument about Einstein and science, manifest themselves in an invitation to argue with a statue. The seated statue … Continue reading

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