Friday, January 15, 2010

A new year, a new re-purposed blog space

"Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive,
others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated
discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you
exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun
long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified
to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for
a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the
argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer
him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against
you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent,
depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the
discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart.
And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress."

Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form (1941)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

HST296a HST296e: Vermont Letters

I've created a new collection on our dSpace server in the "Collections for Testing" area titled "Vermont Letters. (
The collection contains images and may contain transcriptions of letters to and from Vermonters in the antebellum period (1849-1860). The letters are drawn from the Savage, Hubbard, and Vilas family archives at UVM Library's Special Collections. (More info about these collections available in the Finding Aids at:

I'm looking for reflections of print culture in rural women's writing as well as evidence of cultural themes and beliefs.

Friday, February 04, 2005

HST296e: women, voices, blogs, paper topic

In the article
Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs
Susan C. Herring, Inna Kouper, Lois Ann Scheidt, and Elijah L. Wright, Indiana
the authors suggest that:
"In keeping with the Androcentric Rule, male authors historically have been more highly valued than female authors (Spender, 1989). Moreover, personal journal-writing, traditionally associated with women, is generally not considered “serious” writing (Culley, 1985; McNeill, 2003)."

The question of gender ownership of serious writing was being hammered out in the 1850s. Can VT letters, journals, publications of that time provide any indications about the perceptions about women's writing in these venues. How did people value this writing, what assumptions were made about it, what were women saying in writing? An amorphous question but could be refined into something...

(A larger excerpt is available in the humanitiescomputing blog.

Monday, January 24, 2005

HST296A and HST296E

Set up class web pages for 296 A & E as follows:

HST 296A: Community in Early America

HST 296E: Rural Life in the United States

Thursday, January 20, 2005

2005: Plans

Plans for 2005 include:

1. "Support for UVM Digital Collection Projects"


  • UVMDC will continue to explore digital collection applications. This year the focus will also be on how to grow and support initiatives.
  • UVM has received an earmark funds commitment for digital collections. While this will focus on digitizing the Leahy papers, the UVMDC committee will be involved. The extent of that involvement will be discussed at a February meeting. This could be a major time commitment.

  • Planning new collections: Example: Center for Research on Vermont is interested in putting several hundred abstracts of their Vermont-related theses and dissertations online. Their timeframe is to start this later in the semester, so we are still in the organizational stages.


  • HST 11-12: The original project involved two activities, a) developing a web site for the multiple sections of the course, and b) developing an image database for use by the faculty. The first activity is being done by the TechCats. The second was begun under the auspices of a Instructional Incentive Grant which covered the scanning of several hundred images. Mounting those images and adding to them will continue as a joint project between AC (me), and the History faculty involved and will take the form, this semester, of an internship program. Two students have been identified and we are working out their schedules and assignments. I will be responsible for teaching them the technical aspects, as well as developing ideas and working with the faculty on how to integrate the image collection with their teaching.

  • Other digital collection projects include Geology (Wes is primary contact), and a revival/completion of the Eugenics Project.

  • Dynaweb! We (CIT and Special Collections, both) need a replacement. This involves both finding an appropriate application, installing and testing it (where?) and refitting the existing collections. The replacement will obviously be XML-based. Our documents are SGML. While XML is SGML, the reverse is not completely true, so the documents will need some work. A little programming help or some student help would work wonders here.

2. Support for Humanities Computing

  • UT&D/CTL small workshops. First up this semester is one on creating documents with Adobe Acrobat.
  • ICT literacy course for history students - Have begun discussions with History Dept. faculty for a 1-2 credit methods course with primary focus on related IT literacy. If it works it could be used as a model for other humanities disciplines. Proposed time would be Spr '06.
  • Humanities Computing Literacy Course - CS005: Introduction to Applied Humanities Computing, first taught Spr '04. Next session is scheduled for Fall '05. Based on experience gained last year, I will be rewriting a substantial portion of this 3 credit course this summer.

3. Infrastructure Support and Development

  • Digital Library Collections applications: dSpace, ContentDM, Fedora, dlxs, possibly Luminis and Documentum.

  • Text Encoding Intitative (TEI) upgrade: v. P5 has been extensively re-worked as an XML-based DTD and schema. The TEI is the primary mark-up used by our current (and probably future) digital text collections.

  • Developing "best practices" for humanities computing and digital library projects.

Friday, January 14, 2005

January break summary

HST1112 collection is under way at After an initial tussle with various groups and permissions it's ready to go. Two copies of each image will be loaded: an archival tiff and a smaller jpeg for use in PP, etc.

Met with Dona and Shirley to clarify plan for hst1112 student interns and a schedule for this semester.

I'll add a few more images to the hst1112 collection on ContentDM as a comparison tool.

Also on dSpace this month: Geology. Wes and I met with Char and Gabriella to discuss the future of the Geology slide collection. We decided to move away from the previous incarnation of the image_db Wes script and into dSpace.

Next up: this semester's projects: see next entry.