Providing resources and trai­ning in the practices and tools of the digital humanities

Digital Jumpstart Workshops 2014

​IDRH will host our annual Digital Jumpstart Workshops this year on Thursday and Friday, March 6th-7th. These free workshops are intended to provide faculty, staff, and graduate students with hands-on introductions to digital tools and practices in order to help you capture and digitize your data, discover and analyze patterns in your data, and present and disseminate your results. All skill levels, from beginner to seasoned digital humanist, are welcome.

Thursday, March 6

Manipulating Your Videos for Research & Teaching (Carolina Pardo & Wade Garrison)

10:00 AM - noon
Clark Instruction Center, Watson Library

Using video and audio can enhance an argument or give voice to those unseen. This workshop will introduce tools and relevant issues for helping scholars new to video production and management. Participants will gain experience using multiple methods of editing and providing access to video, as well as exposure to issues of copyright and secure storage. The workshop is intended for beginners, and no prior video experience is necessary. Stay tuned for details on specific software and technical requirements.

Creating online collections and exhibits (Melissa Fisher Isaacs & Wade Garrison)

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Watson 455


Creating an online collection can greatly increase the accessibility and impact of your library, museum, archives, or scholarly resources. This workshop will help you get started! We’ll use Omeka, a free, open-source web publishing platform, to give you hands-on experience building a searchable collection database. Omeka is easy to use and includes many advanced features to allow you to share, tag, map, and collaborate with your data and collections. Feel free to bring a small sample of digital materials (such as a few digital photos or PDFs) along with your laptop. No prior technical skills are required. Prior to the workshop, please sign up for a free account at

Participants can try out Omeka with these sample digital objects: NARA_Earhart.jpg, NARA_Lincoln.jpg, NARA_sleepover.jpg, NARA_Sleepover.csv

Friday, March 7

Creating a Digital Scholarly Edition (Andrew Jewell, University of Nebraska)

Friday, 9:00 AM - noon
Watson 455

This workshop offers an introduction to the techniques, technologies, and value of building thoughtful editions of textual works from our cultural heritage. Though mass-digitization efforts are making more and more materials available online, there continues to be a need for digital editions enhanced by the expertise of humanists. The careful attention to selection, annotation, transcription, and metadata creates a distinctive scholarly and pedagogical resource. Furthermore, the digital medium allows scholars to overcome many hurdles to editions present in print: editions of difficult length (both long and short), of important works that have not yet found a broad readership, or of highly complex materials often find a more comfortable home in the digital medium. As our cultural heritage is transformed for digital consumption, it is important for humanists to guide interpretation of this heritage by offering explanation and making sure important documents and artifacts are not overlooked. This workshop will introduce participants to the fundamental ideas, technologies, and resources behind best practice digital edition-building, including eXtensible Markup Language (XML), OxygenXML editing software, and the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). As many have found, using these tools to build digital editions is within reach for those with no programming experience.

Some resources to consult prior to the workshop: the TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchangeand the editions at Scholarly Editing: The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing. Of the many other exemplary digital scholarly editions, participants may wish to examine The Walt Whitman Archive and the Letters of Vincent van Gogh. Participants may also be interested in exploring OxygenXML editing software, which offers an academic discount

Workshop leader Andrew Jewell has been working with XML-based digital scholarly editions since 2002, is the editor of the Willa Cather Archive, the co-editor of Scholarly Editing: The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing, and the co-editor of the recent print edition The Selected Letters of Willa Cather (Knopf, 2013). He is currently beginning preparations for a major digital edition of the Complete Letters of Willa Cather.

Intro to Text Analysis with the Natural Language Toolkit (Matt Menzenski)

Friday, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Watson 503A

This three-hour introductory workshop will cover installation of NLTK software as well as fundamental text processing tasks such as tokenizing a text, counting word frequencies, finding collocations, finding specific words, and constructing simple plots. Designed for the beginner, this workshop requires no previous text analysis experience.

We will be using the Python programming language and the Natural Langauge Toolkit (NLTK). NLTK is a powerful add-on for Python which provides access to more than fifty linguistic corpora and lexical resources. Python is a famously 'human-readable' programming language and is well-suited to text analysis tasks.

(1) Please bring a laptop with a Python distribution installed (must be Python 2.xx, not Python 3.xx). Instructions for installation can be be found on the NLTK website. (Note: We will soon be posting more detailed, step-by-step instructions here on our website. Alternatively, you can schedule a time with IDRH ahead of the workshop and we will assist you in installing the software.)

(2) Feel free to also bring a plain-text file (.txt format) that you'd like to analyze (for example, many literary texts are available in .txt format from Project Gutenberg.) (Note: Analyzing English texts will be very straightforward, and most Western European languages should not present a problem, provided that they are written in the Latin alphabet. Analyzing non-Latin alphabets will be much less intuitive. If you are planning to use non-Latin alphabets please let us know in advance.)

Working with Scalar (Liam Lair, Trevor Grizzell, Ray Mizumura-Pence, Ashley Mog, and Kay Walker)

Friday, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Clark Instruction Center, Watson Library

  • Are you interested in writing and publishing scholarly work online?
  • If you already write and publish online, do you want new options that will expand your repertoire?
  • Do you want to learn about making multiple media sources part of your online work?
  • Do you do online work in the form of essays? In the form of books?
  • Are you curious about new ways of structuring your online work?
  • Does the opportunity to have hands-on experience with a free, open-source platform for online scholarly work interest you?
  • Are you enthusiastic about online collaboration with other writers and commentary from readers?


If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, then this SCALAR workshop session is for you.

Scalar, a digital humanities tool and technological platform developed through The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture is a work in progress for academic works in progress. Join us to learn about how you can use Scalar to digitize your research, generate collaboration opportunities, make your research available to wider audiences.

Your session facilitators, Trevor Grizzell, Ray Mizumura-Pence, Ashley Mog, and Kay Walker are experienced at working with Scalar. They have used Scalar for collaborative multimedia and multidisciplinary research in the Fall 2013 seminar at KU, Theories of Embodiment, as well as for their own research projects.

Scalar helps humanities and social science scholars to present research outside traditional linear progressions. Scalar allows users to create various pathways through their research so readers can interact with materials in diverse ways. Scalar also generates possibilities for pictures, videos, and sound clips to function alongside texts to encourage more responsive experiences among audiences.

Join us for an interactive introduction to Scalar that will give you the opportunity to place your own project on this innovative platform.

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