The three exercises I chose to do were #06 My books, #17 my inbox, and #22 What I eat. I have completed the data gathering for all three exercises. What was unexpected as I tracked this data was how many books I have that are not very well organized. I try and organize my bookshelves by author and series or for example, all of my textbooks are on one shelf. This exercise showed me that I have sometimes the entire series all in a row, from first book to last book, but as I was doing it, I realized that for other series I would have book 2 and book 3 were right next to each other but book 1 was on a different bookshelf. One of the other unexpected things I realized was for some digital books that I had not read in a long time, I had to go and check what the completion percentage was because I could not remember if I had finished them or not.
One thing I am curious about is the possible use of photos. I have thoughts even now about the Digital Essay project. If I decide to stick with the Civil War, I am afraid of copyright infringement. A combination of earlier black-and-white pictures might be presented with others in color. My second Lab Project (Against All Odds) is convincing me more and more it was the right choice. I am still amazed about what I saw concerning the black legislators in Mississippi during Reconstruction. So much so: I have similar ideas to create actual and professional websites.
Pictures are worth more than a thousand words! Consider DeeDee Baldwin’s website. “Against All Odds (AAO)” is the project I chose. DeeDeee Baldwin’s website has pictures painstaking collected and presented on the Home page; they are verifiable primary sources. We learn above 150 African Americans served in the Mississippi State Legislature to say the least. Details are important. As the project director, Dr. Baldwin started the project in 2018 as a digital archive for the sake of reparations. The 1863 years of Reconstruction are covered to the 1890s. There are nicely located links: Home, The Legislators, Sources, Miscellaneous, Contact/Info. Although initially at the bottom of the page, click one link; then all appear neatly above near the task bar.
Against All Odds: The First Black Legislators in Mississippi brings to mind another momentous work. But in that case a book. I speak of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’ well documented The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade. This is what Dr. Baldwin said about the African Americans he wrote about. “They were farmers, teachers, ministers, and blacksmiths. Some were born free in the North, while others were born enslaved in Mississippi. Some were highly educated, and others had been forbidden by law to be taught to read.” Viewers can see some of everything. Portraits (many retrieved). Newspaper clippings. Biographical information. Census records. Maps. Citizenship verification. DeeDee Baldwin portrays elegance.
So far I have started working on the one-sitting data diary out of my three. I’m working on “my favorite painter!”. This work was a little bit challenging at first glance. When I saw what the outcome of my drawing was supposed to look like, its seemingly just a bunch of different colors and lines. When I read through the directions, I realized that the dots, lines, sizes, strokes, etc. are indicative elements of the information being described. As a visual learner, I enjoyed seeing the breakdown of what all of these different elements mean separately and how they correlate as a whole. There’s a lot of information that is being put into basically different colored/designed boxes (which is interesting!).
The three exercises that I chose to complete for the Data Diaries project are Exercise 2 (Birthdays), Exercise 15 (My Swearing), and Exercise 18 (Distractions). I have collected my data for all three exercises. After a brief review of each exercise, I found the Birthdays Exercise to be the easiest for collecting the data. I was surprised at how many birthdays I remembered and gathering information for those I forgot was simple. I was most surprised by the My Swearing exercise. I swear at lot more than I would have thought while watching college football (or any sporting events). I’m generally not one to swear on a regular basis. The Distractions exercise was challenging because I was distracted by having to record my distractions while completing a task. It will be interesting to see what distracts me the most after I analyze the data from that exercise.
So far I have completed two out of the three required data journals. Like I mentioned last post, I decided to do the “My Books” journal which is under the one sitting section and the “My Time Alone” journal which is under the one day section. I enjoyed both of them, but I will first talk about the books journal. I only had to go off my book shelf I have here in Tuscaloosa, compared to the one I have back home. If one was to look at drawing I did, they would notice that I have read every book on my shelf except for one. I also found that I have exactly three genres on my bookshelf, which I expected, but this exercise just confirmed that. As for the time alone journal, that was very interesting. I am definitely an introvert, but I can be gregarious when needed (which is a lot). This exercise has shown me that I spend a lot more time around people, but even more interesting than that, is that it is for longer durations. Over all, I have learned quite a bit about myself, and I look forward to learning more.
Connections in sound by Patrick Egan is what project I will do my 2nd lab on. This project investigates patterns of collecting and accessing traditional Irish music in North America. The project reviewed Irish music in 1850 to 2000. Irish music is popular in North America. Traditional Irish music had influenced country music in Nashville, Tennessee. Irish took their traditional music with them to America. Collections of Irish music are at Library of Congress in American Folklife Center. Library of Congress has 2500 recordings of Irish music. Old recordings were online. Irish singers played different instruments. Irish music is almost like Scottish music. One of instruments Irish singers play is flute. Archivists, librarians, and digital specialists worked on Irish music at Library of Congress.
For lab 2, I choose to take a look at “The Delek Achives”. This project is a research initiative by the Delek Education Foundation that intends to identity and shine light on religion-based discrimination in India’s schools. This project is different from most by the way it uses real first hand accounts of discrimination rather than data from surveys. Most stories from the project are written by people who are directly associated with the education system in India. The posts are usually concerned with deeply traumatic experiences that come from teachers, students, administration, and even parents. The hope of the Delek Archives is to reimagine the act of archiving as an open collaboration. The project aims to demonstrate that discrimination is just as much a personal narrative as it is a systemic pattern.
I like the approach this project takes. It uses a story to shine light on discrimination rather than relying on data to tell how horrible something like discrimination is. I think people respond much stronger to a personal anecdote than to data. To me, this project is successful and more projects dealing with emotional matter should consider a personal narrative approach.
For the exploration of the digital humanities project I looked at the Baltimore Traces project, this project looks at neighborhood changes in different historic Baltimore neighborhoods, and the project looks at how people interact with these changes. One of the initial pieces of data I looked at was an interview with a juror in the trial of the Catonsville 9, this was not a case I was familiar with but with some research, one can find that it was a case regarding the trial of 9 catholic protestors burning draft information. There is a series of interviews and a blog about this event and how people interact with this piece of history.
Since the data is predominantly interview based, I understand that it might be a little more involved than just quantitative data about the movement of people (even if I would have found that very interesting). There is a lot of data here but the map looks very sparse, however, the concession would be that I am not familiar with Baltimore. The real meat is found looking at the list of data that it presents in the project drop-down tab. Lots of interviews/blogs that are relevant to the various neighborhoods. If I was the director of this assignment then I would have a clear and concise mission statement on the about drop-down. Other than there is a wealth of interpersonal knowledge to be found here.
The DH project I looked at was The Connections in Sound Project by Patrick Egan. The project aimed to create connections within the thirty-seven collections of Irish Traditional Music in the American Folklore Center in the Library of Congress and the role of the internet and archives. Egan also examined the type of music, how it was collected, and how it can be accessed within the collections.
The website for the project only has two pages. The first page contains two quotes from John Miles Foley’s (2012) book Oral traditions and the Internet. Clicking on the link contained within the author’s name opens to the University of Illinois press’ page for the book. The first page also contains a brief introduction to the project. The first chart on the page shows a color-coded list of the types of music contained within nine of the collections. The second visualization creates connections between the type of music, ten collections, how the physical recordings were initially done, and how they can be accessed. The second page looks at mapping where and when each of the collections came from.
The visualization of the first chart can be filtered for the type of music. The second visualization is a little bit harder to make sense of because all the connections overlap and interweave so it is difficult to figure out what connects where. This problem was solved by making each of the parts movable which makes it easier to see the connections. The introduction to the third visualization on the second page says it uses US census data from 1900 to 1980 and the location of the collections on a map of the United States. I cannot see the map or the census data, so it looks like a bunch of somewhat randomly placed dots that each correspond to part of a larger collection. However, clicking on the dots is cool because it opens a google document that contains their data from the collections for the project. One of the things I was expecting with this project was accessible audio files for the music like the religious sounds project we looked at in class.