Thursday, July 17, 2008

Digital Humanities Summer Institute Excellent for Librarian’s Skill Building and Networking

This past Memorial Day, while most Hoosiers were enjoying a long, relaxing weekend full of family gatherings and barbeques, I was settling into a week of learning, discussion, and networking at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), a week-long workshop/conference hosted annually by the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The Institute, held May 26-30, 2008, was an intense combination of lecture, track-based coursework, and fellowship among information professionals who use computing technologies in their day-to-day work. Many of the attendees were librarians. Others were technologists, educators, and researchers working in humanities-based fields like art, history, and English. Several of the students attended the DHSI on a scholarship, including me.

During each day the attendees branched out into specific and separate classes, and each evening we gathered together for lectures of interest to the whole group. These seminars focused on topics like information authority, digitization projects, three-dimensional imaging, and digital scholarship. During these group lectures, we heard from experts working in the digital humanities and learned from their experiences. Videos of the lectures are available at the DHSI Web site,

My course track, “Multimedia: Design for Visual, Auditory, and Interactive Electronic Environments,” offered advanced skill development for interactive online environments. From basic Web best practices to specific tools like Blogger and Dreamweaver, this course immersed its students into the world of new media and allowed us to learn several new skills in a very short time.

The skills I learned at the Institute are easily applicable to my work with the University Libraries’ digital projects such as the Digital Media Repository. For example, by honing my existing Web development and digital photography abilities, I can better present our students and faculty with digital content for their research and classroom instruction needs.

I also gained experience with several tools that can be used to publicize the University Libraries’ digital assets, such as podcasts, digital movies, and blogs. These emerging technologies can help to promote the University Libraries’ vast digital resources.

For more information about the DHSI experience or multimedia tools, contact Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer,, 765-285-3349.


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