I’ve spent a lot of this term cleaning up the Carleton Guide to Medieval Rome from Reason site. While I have worked a decent amount with Omeka before, this project has given me a whole new level of appreciation for how much detailed, meticulous work goes into making these types of websites look their best. And while there have been a few times I got frustrated or confused (such as when a random coverage field box would not disappear), it has been really rewarding to see it slowly start to look better and more uniform and to become truly familiar with a collection. Because it turns out that I like spreadsheets. I like metadata. I enjoy the behind-the-scenes work needed to help make projects presentable to a public audience.
I’m graduating soon, so for me I think what I’ve appreciated the most this term, through all the projects I’ve worked on, is the opportunity to cement for myself that I do truly enjoy this type of work. While graduation is still scary, at least now I feel a lot more comfortable and confident going into my post-graduation plans. (Plus writing the Star-Bellied Sneetches Twine story example with Karah was such a fun break from my endless comps research!)
I learned a lot this term from concrete skills like website building and how to add plug ins on WordPress, to more abstract concepts such as how much information companies like Facebook have about me or how to effectively work and communicate all online. For the sake of this short reflection though, I’d like to focus on my personal growth and increasing interest in digital humanities.
One thing I have loved about learning new digital skills is how much it has demystified the digital world for me, particularly code. As someone with a lot of friends in CS, that world has always rather terrified me, and it has been hard to get past the view of people working in coding languages as wizards who go clickity clack on their computers and magically make things happen. I’ve always respected it, but firmly believed I could never do anything like that. While I have certainly not done any real coding for this job, learning more digital skills and having coding language pop up in small, manageable, understandable ways has really helped build my confidence as well as make computers seem a lot less scary. And the more I realize just how doable using digital tools for humanities projects is, the more I want to share with my peers in the humanities who have perhaps not yet drunk the Kool-Aid. I want to share the knowledge that we shouldn’t be scared of the digital world and should instead embrace it as a helpful resource and a good way to bring the subjects we love into the 21st century while potentially reaching a wider audience.
In addition, getting to work more with metadata this term has helped solidify my desire to continue my education in library sciences after I graduate. It’s been posted here before, but having worked a lot this past year with Omeka, this meme felt appropriate and made me laugh:
I had a great term, and I’m looking forward to winter!
Hello all! My name is Marcella (she/her/hers) and I’m a senior History major with minors in Creative Writing and MARS. This is my first year working as a DHA and I’m really excited to continue expanding on skills I’ve learned in classes and become familiar with new technologies as I try to integrate my love for the humanities into the modern, digital era. In my free time I am president of an a cappella group, I play D&D with my friends, and I like to go on adventures or just watch movies with the people who are important to me. I’m excited to work with you all this year!