User Research and Project Ideas

For my GMU Public Digital History course, I will create a project to commemorate University of the Pacific’s 100-Year Anniversary on the Stockton campus. University of the Pacific is California’s oldest university, founded in 1851 in Santa Clara, California. The campus then moved to San Jose and finally to Stockton in 1924. The goal of… Continue reading User Research and Project Ideas

Museum of the San Ramon Valley

To explore public history sites and their digital presence, I visited the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in Danville, California, and its website. The Museum’s mission is to connect the local community, its main audience, to the history of the Valley. It collects and preserves important artifacts and stories with an eye toward recognizing… Continue reading Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Doing Public History

When I completed my PhD in history in 2005, digital humanities classes were only beginning to appear in university catalogs, but much has changed since that time. Many of us who had minimal training in digital methods have adopted them for our own research and begun to teach our students to embrace them. I am… Continue reading Doing Public History

A Reflection on Using Esri ArcGIS StoryMaps to Tell about Japanese American Students

Why I Chose this Project The Covid emergency and the ongoing pandemic prompted conversations at the University of the Pacific (UOP) about students who are going through crisis. A UOP Library Summer Fellowship team in 2022 explored an historical example of students in crisis.[1] UOP’s Japanese American students faced, first, the threat of and then… Continue reading A Reflection on Using Esri ArcGIS StoryMaps to Tell about Japanese American Students

Immersive History Experiences

Education researchers have found that embodied learning, especially those experiences where choices are connected to movement and visual scenes help students learn.  This can be increased through follow up activities. In addition, the “novelty and interactive possibility of VR improves student motivation and increases student recall.”[1] Two of my favorite virtual reality environments that I… Continue reading Immersive History Experiences

Approaching Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Public Sphere

How should we handle crowdsourced knowledge that may be inaccurate or misrepresentative? What do we do when technology can fabricate sources that don’t actually exist? In 2006, historian Roy Rosenzweig wrote cautiously, but with some optimism, that history could be crowdsourced through sites like Wikipedia.  He notes that one of Wikipedia’s most exciting features is… Continue reading Approaching Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Public Sphere

Historical Mapping with lets researchers, as the website says, “render large datasets quickly and efficiently.”  Indeed, this open-source software lets the user drag and drop large datasets, apply filters, and apply layers to view the data through points (to mark specific locations) or arcs and lines to track movement.  The tool lets the user create geospatial visualizations… Continue reading Historical Mapping with

What Historians Can Do with Voyant Tools

Voyant Tools is a set of digital tools that enable researchers to explore and interpret texts in new ways.  Its opensource, web-based application has five main features: 1. Cirrus – The word cloud feature enlarges and centrally positions the words that occur most frequently in a corpus.  It includes a collocation visualization that shows how… Continue reading What Historians Can Do with Voyant Tools

Metadata Matters

This blog explores the importance of metadata and Topy’s capacity to collect metadata for sources photographed by the researcher. Metadata is descriptive information about a source that allows us to locate it in databases. It provides context for the resource and makes it discoverable. For more on metadata, watch Greer Martinand Anna Neatrour, “Using Metadata to… Continue reading Metadata Matters