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Jennifer Stertzer and Deborah McDowell - Digital Humanities and Documentary Editing

Center for Digital Editing and Department of English
Supervising Faculty Member: 
Jennifer Stertzer and Deborah McDowell
Research Focus: 

Jennifer Stertzer, Director of the Center for Digital Editing, and Deborah McDowell, Alice Griffin Professor of English, have partnered on the project to produce “The Essential Julian Bond” – a scholarly edition of Bond’s work. Julian Bond (14 January 1940 – 15 August 2015) was a Civil Rights Movement leader, social activist, politician, professor, and writer. We are currently at the beginning stages of this project to catalog, edit, and make accessible Bond’s papers. The collection, held by the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, is organized into eleven series consisting of roughly 47,000 items. During the 2018 – 2019 academic year, we will focus on the editing of Bond’s speeches, which need to be catalogued, transcribed, annotated, and indexed. This work will take place in Drupal – a content management and publication platform. Additionally, there are digital humanities (DH)-related possibilities for this content, such as creating maps and timelines.

Position Description: 

The students will be involved in all aspects of the digital editing and digital humanities work, from assisting with project conceptualization to user interface planning and development. Students will assist with the editorial process - cataloging, transcribing, annotating, and indexing - while learning editorial methodologies and best practices. Annotation and indexing will require some research work, which we will help direct. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about Drupal, both as a backend content management system and frontend publication platform, and provide input on how both can be improved. We will also work with students to develop DH projects based on the edition’s content, such as interactive timelines and maps. During the course of the year, the student will be responsible for cataloging and creating metadata for the Bond speeches housed in the Small Special Collections Library, as well as working with the project advisors to make a selection of speeches that will receive editorial treatment. The student will then assist with the planning and implementation of the editorial processes, outlined above, for this selection.

Required Skills: 

We will provide training in digital documentary editing and research.

What will you learn: 

1. Ability to think critically about historical documents.
2. Understand the process of digital documentary editing, from cataloging to publication.
3. Acquire DH skills, both project conceptualization and implementation using online tools.

Digital Humanities and Documentary Editing