Beyond the Text: Teaching DH with visual sources

With one foot firmly in corpus linguistics, Digital History has often been about finding, collecting, collating, manipulating and linking textual information.  However, just as historians have learned to move beyond the text in traditional historical research, so too do we need to move beyond the text in our undergraduate DH instruction. What can we do with digitised images, with our students, beyond merely viewing them.  How can we manipulate or otherwise analyse them with basic software (cloud or downloadable) tools in a way that is both ‘play’ and assists in developing in core learning outcomes.

I propose a “make” session in which we collaborate to great a seminar-ready package of

  • Freely accessible historical images
  • A basic historical or humanities framework in which to understand the image collection (blurb text!)
  • An undergraduate-friendly activity that students can undertake with minimal software or hardware requirements but which encourages active use of the digital environment for understanding material, visual or audio-visual sources.

I would advocate putting it up on Github at the conclusion of the session to allow for re-use and further development via forking.

Categories: Archives, Collaboration, Copyright, Research Methods, Session: Make, Teaching, Workshops |
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About Melodee Beals

I am currently acting Group Leader for History in the Department of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University. The main focus of my research and publication has been Scottish emigration, including both settlement communities and those who remained in Scotland, and I am particularly interested in the role of newspapers in public perceptions of demography and migration. To promote a more collaborative research community, I am an ardent supporter of social media for academic purposes and am happy to discuss my research and teaching through the various networks with which I am affiliated.