Category: DH Projects

Data-Mining Walden: Tools for Literary Analysis

Henry David Thoreau had a fraught relationship with technology. As we discussed in our presentation, it is difficult to tell whether he would be on board with our digital projects regarding his work. What we can say for sure is that the technology we have engaged with this semester have allowed us to read his book, Walden, as deliberatively and as reservedly as it was written. By apprehending his text in the digital dimension we achieved new and unique insights into the way Thoreau thought about place and how he crafted his thoughts into writing. 

Melissa, Sean, Cal, and Emma each took a chapter to mine in order to track the language of place and its developments throughout the text. This required the downloading and installation of some software with the help of Kirk Anne and Dr. Schacht. Brianne worked on answering the “so what?” question by analyzing the data collected by the other group members. We worked with the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) and spaCy,both of which allowed us to mine for certain words and types of words. However, eached proved to have their own limitations within each chapter. We found that spaCy was better equipped in Cal’s mining of “The Ponds” whereas NLTK was more helpful for Melissa, Sean, and Emma.

Zooming out, data mining a text such as Walden did not come without challenges. Whether it was the virtual machine or the local server, Python proved to be a very demanding language, one with a steep learning curve which kept us guessing a lot of the time. Similarly, NLTK and spaCy had to be downloaded directly to our devices in order to accomplish the task at hand. It became pretty clear that while digital tools can often make reading easier learning the tools necessary to do so is all but simple. Still, when grappling with the limitations of all of our tools we seemed to be simultaneously addressing larger questions about the utility of technology, just as Thoreau does in Walden.

Nevertheless, the technology proved indispensable for our project because it helped us to expedite the mining/reading process. Python, the language we used to learn more about Walden, allowed us to operate on the text, while spaCy and NLTK provided a bank of resources that we could apply to the chapters we all chose. Each tool informed us on a general sense of place which we followed up with closer readings. We were able to clearly discern between the broadly spatial chapters (“The Village” and “House Warming”) and the specifically geographic ones (“The Ponds” and “Conclusion”). Whether he was talking about physical places or metaphorical spaces, as in headspace, Thoreau constantly framed his thinking through place specific language. This sort of “mapping” truly makes Thoreau into the “Surveyor of the Soul” that Huey Coleman claims him to be. His attention to the local and the distant, from Concord to Siberia, demonstrates both the interconnectedness that technology in the 19th century was making possible and the expansive reach of an inner geography, a soul whose territory outran the map.

Just as some of Thoreau’s themes exceed the scope of a geographic specific reading, so too did our task at hand exceed the capabilities of some of our tools. One thing our group really wanted to stress in our presentation is the importance of validating failure in digital projects. All of the setbacks, miscues, and limitations faced by engaging with Jupyter Notebook, Atom, Python, Anaconda, spaCy, NLTK, and beyond were equally as useful to thinking about the digital humanities as our successes with each of these tools. When we encountered errors in our work we were forced to ask why. This moment of self-reflection was critical for doing digital work because of the knowledge that stood to be gained by asking questions about the tools. Coming to this class with a variety of digital backgrounds, it was very important that we moved as a unit. Fortunately, the tools we used leant themselves well to collaboration and, ultimately, this project became about creating our own community space around Walden. 

From his comparative measures of White and Walden Ponds, to his rambles through Concord, to his building of a house in the woods, and his reflections on place inward and outward, Thoreau was constantly attuned to the language of place. We too were attuned too language, constantly seeking the instances of geography in his text by moving through it digitally. Just as Thoreau spatializes his world in Walden, so too do we attend to space by tracking its relative importance throughout the book. By using digital tools we were able to read Walden collectively, collaboratively, effectively, and deliberately.

Paradise (to be) Posted: Uploading a Text to the Readers’ Thoreau

By Claire Corbeaux, Elizabeth Gellman, Anthony Lyon, Hannah Nicchi, and Avery Padula

The objective of our final group project was to add a text by Henry David Thoreau to The Readers’ Thoreau, a site with which we have been working all semester. Once this text was chosen and uploaded, we were to add informative and interpretive comments to the site. When we began researching Thoreau texts to work with, we knew we wanted to choose a text that related to some of the course themes that we had been discussing. We also knew we didn’t want to choose a text that was very long because we wanted to be able to thoroughly analyze the one we picked in the time we had. We stumbled upon Paradise (to be) Regained, a book review by Thoreau on J.A. Etzler’s The Paradise within the Reach of all Men, without Labor, by Powers of Nature and Machinery. An Address to all intelligent Men. In two parts. Upon reading it, we decided that it was a good text to pick because it corresponded to many of the discussions we had in class throughout the semester about technology and humankind’s relationship with it.

Thoreau finds Etzler’s book problematic because of Etzler’s ideas that technology can allow humans do develop a paradise wherein they do not need to labor in order to live in “all imaginable refinements of luxury” (Etzler 19). Thoreau’s skepticism of Etzler’s plans for technological improvement to revolutionize the world is evident throughout “Paradise (to be) Regained”. His distrust of certain elements of technology, as well as his distrust of its ability to improve human quality of life, is also reflected in Walden, wherein Thoreau criticizes civilization for focusing on improving technology at the expense of the spiritual, personal advancement of all of humankind. For example, he writes in his “Economy” chapter of Walden, “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate” (73). This represents the same brand of skepticism Thoreau harbored in his analysis of Etzler’s book, found in “Paradise (to be) Regained”.

After settling on this text, we searched for a plain text version of “Paradise (to be) Regained” to upload to The Readers’ Thoreau. We were able to find one on The Anarchist Library website. We then imported the text into Atom, an open-source text and source-code editor. Working in Atom allowed us to “clean up” the text, which involved removing “curly” quotation marks and replacing them with “straight” quotation marks and comma. This practice was made easier by using the find and replace function. We also removed all formatting and styling from the Anarchist Library version. Claire and Lizzie visited Dr. Schacht in his office hours to work on cleaning the text, and Claire wrote the Greek characters Thoreau includes in “Paradise (to be) Regained” in HTML. Another way we cleaned up the text with Atom was by formatting the block quotes in Thoreau’s review correctly, using the span tag and “blockquote-in-para” to format them.

The addition of the Greek characters and the use of the “blockquote-in-para” represented challenges that our group had to overcome. Claire had to crosscheck many different sources from the internet in order to uncover which codes could create which Greek letters. Additionally, the Anarchist Library digital text featured Greek characters with unusual accents added on certain Greek letters. However, research showed to Claire that these accents must have been a mistake, as there were no existing codes for several of the combinations of Greek letter and accent that the Anarchist Library featured. Another such challenge that occurred while we were trying to clean the text was that of the “blockquote-in-para.” Using this class within the span tag proved a challenge because it had to be formatted in a very particular way to ensure that a new paragraph was or was not created by the blockquote. As was explained to Claire by Dr. Schacht, if the blockquote was not to form a new paragraph, no space was added between the preceding text and the span tag.

There were a few other challenges our group faced while working on this project. For example, we were unable to upload the text to The Reader’s Thoreau at first because we were not allowed access. This  problem was solved when Dr. Schacht allowed Claire authorial access to upload the text to the site. Prior to this change, Claire had uploaded the text in the proper and agreed upon paragraph increments as blog posts such that we had a template to follow when it came time to actually upload our text as pages. Another problem we encountered was that once the text was uploaded, we experienced a brief moment where we were unable to post comments to the text. However, Claire was able to solve this by inspecting the sidebar menu latent within the WordPress page adding editor and realizing that there was an option under the “Discussion” tab that could be selected or deselected to allow or disallow commenting. Also, while uploading the text and turning it from blog posts into actual pages, the order of the pages became jumbled; however, this crisis was solved when Claire figured out that the order of the pages of text on a site could be altered simply by clicking and dragging.

Once the text was cleaned up using Atom, we set about comparing it to the scholarly text. Lizzie found the Milne Library text of “Paradise (to be) Regained,” which was in The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, edited by Wendell Glick. We compared the physical text to the digital text we had found, seeing if there were any differences or discrepancies. Lizzie, Avery, and Hannah all read through both texts to look for differences. We found very few: on the first page of the physical text, there was a footnote that Glick added to the title “Paradise (to be) Regained,” which read “The Paradise within the Reach of all Men, without Labor, by Powers of Nature and Machinery. An Address to all intelligent Men. In two parts. By J.A. Etzler. Part First. Second English Edition. Pp. 55. London, 1842” (19). The other difference we found was that in the Milne library version, the word “alas” was followed by a comma, while in the Anarchist Library version, it was followed by an exclamation point.

Once this step was completed, Claire gained authorial access from Dr. Schacht to upload the text to The Reader’s Thoreau. We used the cleaned up version we completed in Atom, and added the footnote from the Milne Library version of the text, as it seemed important information to include. She was able to delete the blog post placeholders and add pages to the Paradise (to be) Regained site in the same paragraph distribution, except instead of individual posts, each page had the desired amount of paragraphs. We were then all able to add comments to the text on the Readers’ Thoreau website, which we each did at least two of. This was an interesting process because we were able to show how our previous knowledge of Thoreau’s beliefs and texts connected with our reading of “Paradise (to be) Regained.” Anthony, in particular, applied himself to the commenting process and sought to make explicit connections between “Paradise (to be) Regained and Walden in his commenting.

Overall, this project was a great learning experience that really summed up everything we have learned in Dr. Schacht’s class. We were able to learn, not only about the technology we interacted with, but about Thoreau, and ourselves, as well. We experienced firsthand the power and the limitations of the technological tools we worked with. For example, while Atom was extremely useful to us while we were cleaning our text, particularly, through the find and replace function, it is not without its limitations. Most notably, working in Atom meant we couldn’t work collaboratively, so one person had to do much of the cleaning. Additionally, that person had to also know what they were doing, since, while working in Atom, there is no way to tell what it will look like in the Readers’ Thoreau, despite the help that the Markdown preview toggle option provides. We also learned about the power of WordPress and experienced this power first hand when granted authorial access. Claire was able to add pages, change their order, and dictate whether or not comments were allowed. Of course, WordPress also has its limitations, as it is not always very clear or obvious with its layout or formatting. It is for this reason that it is easy to make mistakes and not realize or be confused as to where certain functions or operations, such as the comment option, reside.

Lastly, we learned about Thoreau and cemented our perceptions of him, perceptions that many of us first formed while reading Walden. Where Walden saw Thoreau express his deep awe and partial distrust of certain aspects of technology, “Paradise (To Be) Regained” truly demonstrates Thoreau’s understanding of technology, but also his promotion of nature and the human spirit over technology. Indeed, in his essay, Thoreau condemns Etzler for trying to usher in a paradise on Earth through technology when humankind is itself so imperfect. Rather than control nature, Thoreau encourages humanity to understand nature and themselves in a more holistic, spiritual manner. Additionally, Thoreau analyzing humankind’s relationship with technology made us consider our own relationship to the technology of our day, whether we control it or if it controls us, whether it makes our lives paradisiacal or hellish, conversations we have been having consistently throughout the semester. Finally, we realized that Thoreau, despite living almost 200 years ago, was not so unlike us. Indeed, Thoreau wrote critical essays reviewing the works of others, just as many of us have done this past semester in some of our classes. And, just like us, Thoreau lived in a changing world that presented its inhabitants with a great deal of uncertainty, yet, like Thoreau, we must remember to live deliberately.

 

Mapping Walden

Group Members: Clare Corbett, Jenna Doolan, Madyson Gillanders, Sophie Schapiro, and Tayler Thompson

The purpose of our project was to create a map to display the locations Thoreau mentions in Walden. We chose the places we felt were most essential to the text. Creating the map allowed us to put together images and names of the locations to visualize the places in Walden instead of just imagining them. The map also allows us to see where locations are in relation to each other. We are able to see where the locations he visited are in comparison to Walden Pond and compare this with the approximations of distance he gives in the text. Creating the map helped further our understanding of locations that were important to Thoreau and share this information with others.

Of course, we had to breakdown the creation of this map into different steps. To begin, we had to read both Walden and Selections from the Journal in their entirety to curate a list of places from both texts. We found that Thoreau mentioned quite a wide array of locations, which is somewhat surprising since most believed he lived in complete solitude. We divided up both texts to ensure each group member was doing equal amounts of work. Once assigned our sections, we each created a list of places that were included in the texts. After making individual lists, we combined our hand-picked places into one list. Afterwards, Dr. Schacht provided us with a list that was generated by the text-mining package, Spacy. This list included every place (and some just capitalized words) that was mentioned in Walden. This contained around 300 words; some of which we had missed, but we knew we had to narrow down the list. Our next step was to review the lists and delete every place that was not near Walden Pond and Thoreau’s cabin. Our next task was to put these places on a map. For places not already documented on Google Maps, we read their quotations in Walden and consulted sites like The Walden Woods Project to come up with a general location of each location with respect to Walden Pond. Next, we wrote descriptions on each place point on the map in regards to their significance in Walden, Thoreau’s life, and the world. Once we completed this step, we made sure to include a photo of each location to make our additions more detailed. Finally, we created comments in the margins of Walden where the places were found with a link to each point on the map and added a permalink for these comments to each description on the map. This was done so that while looking at the map, the direct quote in Walden could be accessed, and while reading through Walden the map could be accessed to give readers an image of where this place would be within Thoreau’s Walden. Although we worked as individuals for a majority of the time, we also worked as a group to check for consistency and detail.

As we progressed through the creation of our map, we did run into some challenges along the way. As mentioned, our group received a list of every place that was mentioned in Walden. This list was very useful when picking out the majority of places that Thoreau did frequent and visit. However, the list generated over 300 places, the majority of which did not have much significance in the text, such as India, China, and the Finger Islands. It did take time as a group to comb through the list and eliminate places like these. After this was completed, we needed to eliminate a variety of locations that Thoreau may have went to, but described in little detail. The goal of our project was to take the viewer on a ‘Virtual Tour’ of Walden, and to provide photographs and descriptions for significant places throughout the text. If we were barely able to describe the places on the list, we decided that it would be best to not include them on our map. Additionally, with certain places that we did choose to include, there was no geographic location for them in Google’s database. An example of this is Walden Woods. Walden Woods does exist, as it surrounds Walden Pond, however, there was no marker predetermined for it on Google Maps. We had to draw a line around the outskirts of the woods, and this took time to figure out how to effectively do this. While there were aspects of this project that were relatively simple, we still faced roadblocks that we had to resolve as a team in order to move forward.

Since none of us have ever used Google Maps before, we were determined to figure out how it operates and what features it has. In the process of doing this project, we learned that we can make the map either public or private. We also learned how to embed visuals and descriptions, which was helpful when sharing important places that Thoreau discussed throughout Walden. Google Maps is a great learning tool to utilize and it makes it so that people who view our map can visualize how close in proximity some of the places Thoreau mentioned are. Another great feature of Google Maps is that it can easily be facilitated to make other maps, whether it be for educational or personal purposes. While connecting our map with the text, we also discovered that we could make the link shareable so that other people reading the text have access to the map.

After researching the places mentioned in Walden and Selections from the Journal, our group gained a deeper understanding of Henry David Thoreau. During his younger years, he was educated at Cambridge College, representing the fact that he was very intelligent. Before officially settling at Walden, Thoreau spent a significant amount of time exploring the area surrounding the pond. This led to his decision to find solitude in the woods. While most people might think that he stayed at Walden during the entire time he was secluded, he actually left his cabin and the area of Walden on multiple occasions. Thoreau mentioned places on land and bodies of water throughout the world that he visited and researched. His detailed descriptions of these places shows that he knew a great deal about the United States and other nations. Thoreau’s love for nature and travel translated into his extensive journals about his time at Walden. This information allows readers to gain a better understanding of Henry David Thoreau’s life.

Check out the map:

You Learn Something New Everyday

Prior to entering the classroom for my first day in this course, I remember considering myself to be proficient in all things digital. For my generation, growing up with technology was incredibly normalized. Additionally, technology played the milestone role in the timeline of my life events. From receiving my first handheld gaming system, to my first mp3 player, to a digital camera, followed by an iPod, and then, of course, the status-symbol that was my first cell phone, and later my very own laptop that was separate from my family’s shared desktop– technology was the trusted partner that I grew closer to as I grew older. Due to the influential relationship I had built with technology throughout my journey to adulthood, I envisioned myself as a tech-savy individual who would be ready to handle anything this course would throw at me. However, I will humbly admit that the programs we have been working with mimic my experience studying a foreign language.  Read more

On Voyant

After having read Walden and used voyant tools I have developed a greater appreciation for Thoreau and his devotion to living life deliberately. There is no better way to visualize this than through the trends tool on voyant. If one looks closely at the trends tool one would see that the most popular word other than “like” is “man”, shortly followed by “life”. The word that peaked my interest was “pond”, because if “man” was everything that signified civilization, then pond was everything that signified life in the woods. There are a few interesting connections I would like to make between the words man, life and pond. The first observation being that in the beginning of the book man and life are closely connected while pond is hardly ever mentioned. This tells me that at the very beginning the idea of being a man, and being part of civilization defined what it meant to live, and the fact that pond was low mean that Thoreau had yet to learn how to live deliberately. As the book progresses three major things begin to happen. The first thing is that the ideal of manhood takes a giant plummet and loses importance. While man began to plummet, pond began to rise in importance. And finally, throughout the book life remained moderately low in importance. From this I was able to deduce the following: as Thoreau struggled to find his place between civilization and life in the woods, “man” and “pond”, the purpose of life became more and more ambiguous and thus lost importance. What is even more interesting was that a general trend in the book was that the importance of man and pond had an inverse relationship. When man was at its highest, pond was at its lowest, and vice versa. I interpreted this as Thoreau’s struggle to find a happy medium between living life in the woods and everything that he used to know. And lastly, the resolution to all of Thoreau’s struggles can be seen in the end of the trend chart, where one can see the union between life, man and pond. And I think that this is the best visual representation of living life deliberately and in the woods. By the end of the book there is only a 7 point difference between pond, life and man, where in the beginning there is a 44 point difference. In the end Thoreau was able to successfully live life in the woods and accomplish hat he set out to do. I believe voyant tools played a major role in better understanding the significance of Walden.


The Not So Missing Links

While I do not find “Walden” particularly interesting to read, I did find Voyant Tools both an intriguing and enlightening way to look at “Walden.” I found that it offered insight into Thoreau’s writing that would be both difficult and time-consuming for a reader to do by hand. While Voyant Tools displays many different components of “Walden’s” text, I found both the summary and links sections particularly helpful.

The summary section shows several things, but I found the average words per sentence and the most frequent words to be the most useful. The average words per sentence are 28.9, which shows that while Thoreau may have tried to live simply, nothing he wrote was said simply.  In my opinion, the most frequent words seem to point out the main subjects and views of Thoreau’s writing, especially the frequent use of the word “man.” Thoreau uses a lot of his word count to talk about mankind and the way men live.

The most frequent words section ties into the links section.  The most frequent words show up and link to other words that are commonly associated with the most frequent words.  For example, I can see that when Thoreau mentions “man,” he is doing so in reference to “life,” or “day,” or perhaps “old,” among other words.

I found that both of these resources helped to cue in on the main topics and their subparts that may not have been so obvious just by reading “Walden” through.

The Revised Version

 

Time and time again, I have learned the lesson that I really should revise everything I write, whether it be this blogpost, an intense research paper, an email, or even a simple text.  Obviously, I do not need to revise a text anywhere near the extensive revisions I use for a research paper.  I use different revision techniques depending on what I am writing.  With texts, I simply read them once over, edit the parts that sound unclear, check to make sure the recipient is correct, and send it on its way.  The horror of sending a text that comes across as distasteful is only second to sending a text meant for my friend, to my unsuspecting mother! Sadly, Apple hasn’t created an un-send button yet.  For emails and blogposts such as this one, I type them up in a Microsoft Word document first.  I then make grammatical corrections and reread it to make sure there are no mistakes in the content of my email.  A copy and paste later, and it’s good to go.  Unfortunately, I failed to revise an email once, and instead of addressing a college coach who was recruiting me with the title “Coach,” followed by his last name, I instead sent “Coach” followed up by the name of the college.  Needless to say, “Coach Vassar” did not reply to my email.  When it comes to longer pieces such as essays and research papers, my revision process is a lot more intense.  I always create a rough draft first, with a piece of paper and a pencil.  Once the entire rough draft is complete, I normally have a peer or my mother read it over to check for grammatical errors and phrasing that doesn’t flow.  After that, I type up my piece, editing and rephrasing sentences as I go.  I read this draft aloud to myself to make sure I like how my ideas come across.  It also helps me to notice if I used an incorrect homonym or left out a word.  If you hear me talking to myself in the library, I promise I’m not crazy!  Once I’m done reading it on my screen, I print it out, reread it one last time, and if it is to my satisfaction, I consider it my final copy.  While revision can be very time consuming for me, I have only ever regretted not revising my writing.

Write? Write.

Growing up, you could always find me with my nose in a book. Yet, it never occurred to me to write in those books; I never had a reason to use the margins to annotate and analyze anything I was reading, and quite frankly I didn’t want to.  As someone who constantly overanalyzes everything, I enjoyed the fact that books were the one thing I didn’t feel I had to analyze.  This began to change in middle school, when analyzing books so unfortunately became part of my grade.

From middle school onward, most of my English classes seemed to revolve around annotating different works of literature, whether it be a poem, a piece of fiction, a nonfiction article, or in one somewhat odd case, a nutrition facts label. When my teacher taught my class about annotating, we learned the GRAM method.  With the GRAM method, I also learned a strong dislike for marginalia.  For each new page of writing, I was taught to “Give a statement,” “Restate an idea,” “Ask a question,” and “Make a connection.” All this mundane annotating took place on photocopied pieces of each work, in pencil, and was always turned in for a grade.

Now that I am no longer “forced” to annotate what I read, I realize that all that practice writing marginalia was not for nothing.  While I do not annotate works of fiction any longer, I do dog ear pages throughout the books I read that contain information I may want to refer to later in the book.  In regard to readings for class, I do my fair share of marking up the text.  I’ll print myself a copy of the text and proceed to highlight key themes, draw arrows connecting ideas to supporting evidence, and ironically, I still use the GRAM method in the margins, although they now go much more in depth than the superficial GRAMS I use to do for a grade.  These annotations I keep solely for myself, mainly to keep up the façade that I still strongly dislike annotating (not really).  In reality, I think everyone should have their own annotations because each work can be interpreted differently by different people.

Mapping the Legacy of Cornelia Adair

My project aims to create a digital biography/storymap of Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair (1837-1921), a pioneer originally from Geneseo, New York who played a substantial role in land development in Donegal, Ireland, and Southwest Texas. After her marriage to notorious Irish landowner John George Adair, Cornelia managed their estate at Glenveagh and was the primary manager of the JA Ranch in Texas, which at its height consisted of 500,000 acres primarily used for cattle grazing. Following the 1916 Easter Rising, Cornelia fled Glenveagh and devoted her time to land expansion in Texas.

Eduardo Tofano Portrait of Cornelia Adair (Source: T.D. Hobart Papers, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum)

Considerable primary and secondary source material exists on Cornelia Adair because her life intersected with many developing narratives of the late 19th century–including Irish land wars, the Easter Rising, Native American land relations, early environmentalist practices and Republican philanthropy. However, I wanted to organize and compile these sources into one website that focuses a narrative on Cornelia Adair, with a particular focus on the way Adair transformed spaces with an eye towards community development. As such, I decided to organize available primary documents and existing research on the Adairs into a biographical story map, which provides a spatial lens for assessing Cornelia Adair’s extensive travels and proto-environmentalist land practices.

                                                                                         the homepage of my website

Before beginning the digital map, though, I had to develop a homepage and subsequent pages that would contextualize Adair and provide users with a fuller description of her biographical legacy. I used Omeka, an open-source digital archivist platform, to create “items” related to Adair, most of which contained a picture,  source/publishing rights information, and several sentences of description to explain how that particular item connects to Adair’s larger narrative story. I also added three simple pages to the navigator of my site:  a biography page, in which I provided a short (~750 word) biography of Adair; a bibliography to aggregate my sources and provide users with further reading material; and an “about the project page.” In this last page, I state the goals of my website, its origins in my research grant from the Geneseo Foundation, the digital platforms I used to make the site, and an acknowledgement to the folks who helped me in my research (including Dr. Schacht, Dr. Anne, Warren Stricker, and Sean O’Gaoithin). I also organized my items into collections, so users can quickly browse collections such as “pictures of Cornelia Adair” or “letters from Cornelia Adair” without combing through the map.

                   the navigation bar of my website

Finally, after adding the appropriate biographical and contextual information onto the site, I began developing my original aim for the project: a digital storymap. I used the Omeka plugin Geolocation to locate each of my items to a specific point on a map. From there, I was able to create a more holistic, spatial representation of the scope of Cornelia Adair’s travel and activities. Users can browse the map to find items, or zoom in to read about the legacy of Cornelia Adair at a particular place.

                                                                Map of Cornelia Adair’s Legacy

This is just one example of many forms of storymaps (I wrote about an earlier one that examines Yeats’s legacy created by the National Library of Ireland), but in general, I feel that my project helps build onto Cornelia Adair’s biography by showing how her activity connects to particular spaces. For visual and spatial learners, maps are often a critical way to transmit stories, which is what I sought out to accomplish in this project. However, the “about” section and “browse items/collections” feature of my website allows users who learn textually to explore the same content outside the confines of a map.

There are still many directions for me to expand upon my website on Cornelia Adair. For one thing, I’d like to incorporate photographs I’ve seen of Ireland’s land surveys of Glenveagh castle from before and after Cornelia’s time there, because these maps illuminate how Cornelia built and transformed a physical place, one that now operates as a national park in Donegal. I also want to add an audio recording of an interview I conducted with Sean O’Gaoithin, the head gardener of Glenveagh National Park (Sean has researched Cornelia’s influence extensively). For now, though, I’m happy with the outcome of my project, and satisfied with the ways Omeka and Geolocation enabled me to visually tell a story that compiles a wide range of resources from various locations. The tool (or really, set of tools) is an excellent platform to expand upon the traditional practice of archiving and categorizing historical information to convey broader narratives.

 

 

 

 

Fall 2017 Final Presentations Live Stream

Final presentations in ENGL/INTD 388 Digital Methods for Humanists will be streamed live via Google Hangouts on Air from approximately 3:30 pm till approximately 6:40 pm on Thursday, December 14.

Update: The live stream is no longer available, but you can watch a recording of the presentations right here or on YouTube. See below for a breakdown of start times by presenter.

  • Holly Gilbert (0:04)
  • Zack Veith (10:19)
  • Tyler Waldriff (18:39)
  • Michael Griffin (27:17)
  • Veronica Taglia (34:19)
  • Aaliyah Taylor (44:05)
  • Allison Maier (50:58)
  • Justin Anderson (59:22)
  • Isaac Sanabria (1:07:20)
  • Jack Snyder (1:17:38)
  • Phoebe Siegel (1:22:05)