Library News and Events

7
May18

“Storytelling, Archives, and Resilience”: reflecting on the role of community archives in the Boston Marathon bombing

Posted by: Caroline Klibanoff

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On Monday, April 23 – five years and a week after tragedy struck Boston in the form of the Boston Marathon bombing – faculty, staff, students and members of the community gathered in Alumni Center to share reflections on remembering traumatic events and processing grief through collections and digital archives. The event commemorated five years of collecting objects and memories in “Our Marathon: the Boston Bombing Digital Archive,” a project that originated at Northeastern through efforts in the NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Northeastern University Libraries. This year, faculty, staff and graduate students worked to migrate the site’s contents and metadata onto a new digital space under library management, giving it a long-term home where the collection can be preserved. Megan Barney, Lauren Bergnes Sell and David Heilbrun will reflect on their experience completing this migration in future blog posts.

The event featured a panel of scholars whose work has been grounded in collecting and preserving so-called “grief archives,” including:

  • Dan Cohen, Vice Provost for Information Collaboration and Dean of University Libraries and co-director of the 9/11 Digital Archive
  • Ashley Maynor, award-winning filmmaker behind The Story of the Stuff and currently Digital Scholarship Librarian at New York University
  • Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Our Marathon Principal Investigator and currently Professor of English at Northeastern University
  • Kristi Girdharry, the Our Marathon Oral History Project Manager and currently Assistant Professor of English at Johnson and Wales University
  • Jim McGrath, Co-director of the Our Marathon project and currently post-doctoral Fellow in Digital Public Humanities at Brown University.

Amanda Rust introduces panelists

Amanda Rust, Assistant Director of the Digital Scholarship Group, introduced the panelists to a packed crowd including university professors, graduate students, library staff, community members and project partners from outside Northeastern.

As moderator, Cohen discussed findings and recollections from his experience as co-director of the 9/11 Digital Archive. He noted the emotional intelligence required to do this kind of work, especially in regards to community engagement.

Maynor, the filmmaker behind The Story of the Stuff, set the stage by discussing the therapeutic effect of saving and organizing objects across various circumstances like family archives and spontaneous shrines. She noted that the value of such archives can be that they protect objects, put away for safekeeping; we know they are there, but we don’t have to look at them anymore.

Ashley Maynor

Girdharry and McGrath joined Maddock Dillon in a discussion of the process and outcome of the Our Marathon digital archive. Girdharry spoke to her work as Oral History Project Manager, where she discovered the clusters of stories that emerged from a wide range of personal experiences. She pointed out the different angles of narrative involved to tell a more complete story of the events of that day. Maddock Dillon, the project’s principal investigator, also highlighted the collective nature of the archive, drawn from crowdsourced objects and memories, and the collective labor that went into producing and maintaining it. These aspects, she said, along with the desire to enable the community to reclaim the narrative, drove the project’s name, “Our Marathon.”

From left: Jim McGrath; Kristi Girdharry; Elizabeth Maddock Dillon; Dan Cohen

As co-director of the project, McGrath has been highly involved in the archive from conception to its move to a new home in the library. McGrath initiated the collection’s move to a more permanent web space, and it is thanks to his persistence and care that the Our Marathon digital archive will continue to be accessible. During the panel, he pointed out the critical importance of community engagement in doing this kind of work, and how listening to the needs and values of multiple communities can correct our assumptions. He has written more about his long-term experience on the project at the National Council on Public History blog History@Work.

After listening to the panel presentation, the audience asked questions about the labor and process of managing such collections and the role of the digital in future work.

The Our Marathon: Boston Bombing Digital Archive is viewable at https://marathon.library.northeastern.edu/about/.

Posted in: Digital Humanities, Library News and Events

30
Apr18

Northeastern’s Archives Featured in City of Boston’s Racial Equity History Project

Posted by: Jon Reed

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For the past two years, Northeastern University Library’s Archives and Special Collections have been working with the Race Equity Working Group of the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Race Equity. The MORRE Office’s primary mission is to help build resilience for all Bostonians by addressing and challenging social and racial inequities.  The Racial Equity working group (an advisory group for the office) consisted of incredible warriors– smart, experienced, passionate people who do battle every day but still are able to laugh, breathe, and do it all over again the next day. 

The Chief Resilience Officer leading the charge to create Boston’s Resiliency Plan, Atyia Martin, and her staff allowed The Archives to assist the effort by convening a group of historians and archivists  (‘history holders’) and Race Equity Working Group members to strategize how lesser known/understood aspects of Boston’s history across race and ethnicity, including immigrants, could be showcased from a personal and policy perspective. As Donna Bivens and co. write in the Boston Busing/Desegregation Project’s 7 Lessons “Access to a more complete picture of this history is access to knowledge about how power works to enable and limit us. That access allows us to focus our individual and collective efforts to make real social change.”

One of the results of this convening was POLICY, PLACE, and POWER in an evolving city: BOSTON’S RACIAL EQUITY HISTORY PROJECT, a map and timeline that describes flashpoints, battlegrounds, and structures of inequity in the City of Boston. You can view that timeline at http://socialjustice.library.northeastern.edu/

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Library News and Events

27
Mar18

2018 Call for CERES Classroom Proposals

Posted by: Sarah Sweeney

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Call for ProposalsIt’s that time of year again – time for the CERES Call for Proposals! This year the Digital Scholarship Group is looking for faculty to submit project proposals for classroom use of the CERES Exhibit Toolkit in Fall 2018 or Spring 2019. The deadline for proposals is April 30, 2018. 

Deadline: April 30, 2018

Apply here 

The CERES Exhibit Toolkit is a WordPress plugin and theme developed by DSG staff. CERES is used to create websites that dynamically integrate images, text, video, and other digital materials into complex scholarly narratives and exhibits, while keeping those base digital materials preserved in a long-lasting archive. Visit our projects page for a full list of sites and exhibits that have been built using CERES.

Classroom use of CERES might take many forms, including:

  • Having students contribute exhibits (singly or in groups) to a long-term cumulative project that might persist from year to year: for example, focusing on a particular set of archival materials
  • Having students work on curating a set of archival materials relating to an existing CERES project: for instance, adding georeferencing information to enable the creation of dynamic maps
  • Having students contribute exhibits to one of the existing CERES projects that invites contributions, such as the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac

To support classroom use of CERES, DSG offers training for faculty and teaching assistants in using CERES, and can visit the class and provide instruction or lead discussion about the exhibit-building process and tools. We have an extensive set of supporting materials including step-by-step instructions, how-to guides, and sample assignments. We are also happy to work with faculty on planning out syllabi and lesson plans that make imaginative use of these digital tools, at whatever scale works best for the learning objectives of the course.

We are happy to meet with anyone interested in submitting a proposal to talk about possibilities. For more information, please contact us at dsg@neu.edu.

Apply here. We look forward to working with you!

Posted in: Library News and Events

5
Mar18

Boston DH Week at the DSG and NULab

Posted by: Caroline Klibanoff

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During the week of March 12-16, Northeastern University will join with other local universities to participate in Boston Digital Humanities Week, bringing an array of programming about and for the digital humanities to the greater Boston area.

Check out our upcoming on-campus events hosted by the Digital Scholarship Group and the NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks.

 

Scott Weingart: “Geometries of Thought: What the history of network visualizations reveals about how we think”

Monday, March 12 | 1–2:30 pm | 346 Curry Student Center
More information

Join us for a talk by visiting speaker Scott Weingart of Carnegie Mellon University:
“Everything is connected”, a generation of magazine covers shouted, proclaiming the dawn of an age of cybernetics, of information, of big data. The history of that connectivity reflects deep-seated philosophical positions which influence what and how we think. Trees and networks offer particularly compelling models through which to organize the world, and looking at their illustrations over the last thousand years provides a unique purchase into Western Europe’s changing philosophical landscape. Through these illustrations, we can trace everything from the changing role of God, to the underpinning of early gravitational theories, to the values implicit in force-directed network layouts.

This talk is free and open to the public, but guests external to Northeastern University should RSVP to Sarah Connell in advance at sa.connell@northeastern.edu.

 

Intro to GIS Workshop

Wednesday, March 14 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm | Snell Library 422
RSVP required as space is limited

Learn the basics of GIS in this workshop led by Bahare Sanaie-Movahed, Geographic Information Systems Specialist. Attendees will gain an understanding of GIS tools and how to use them, and by the end of the session will have familiarity and basic fluency with ArcGIS.

 

Introduction to D3.js, with LEGOs

Wednesday, March 14 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm | Snell Library Colab D
RSVP required as space is limited

This small workshop will give participants a hands-on introduction to creating basic charts using D3.js, a popular JavaScript library for creating static and interactive data visualizations on the web. Participants are required to bring their own laptop, but no special software is needed. A basic understanding of JavaScript syntax as well as HTML and CSS is extremely helpful, but participants need not be experts. RSVP required as space is extremely limited.

 

DH Open Office Hours: Digital Pedagogy Research, Work-In-Progress

Wednesday, March 14 | 12–1 pm | Snell Library Digital Scholarship Commons
RSVP

DH Open Office Hours are an informal weekly gathering of faculty, students, staff and others interested in coming together to discuss methods, practices and projects in the digital humanities. At this session, Cara Messina, English Department doctoral student and First Year Writing instructor, will present a work-in-progress. Messina is currently collecting data for a digital pedagogy research project in her First Year Writing course on the use of XML to foster transformative reading practices. This presentation will look at some of the preliminary data collected.

 

NULab Spring Conference: “Fake News/Real Knowledge: Histories, Structures, Futures” with keynote by Yochai Benkler

Friday, March 16 | 9:30am–5 pm | Raytheon Amphitheater
More information

On March 16, 2018, the NULab will be hosting its second annual conference, showcasing the work of faculty, fellows, alumni, and research collaborators. Yochai Benkler, Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, will deliver a keynote speech, “The Architecture of Disinformation in the American Public Sphere.”

This event is free and lunch will be provided but registration is required. Please RSVP!

Posted in: Library News and Events

28
Feb18

Hub Book Displays

Posted by: Sarah Towne

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If you’ve passed by The Hub in the recent weeks, you might have noticed something a little different has come to Snell: book displays! Twice a month, Snell will have a small book display that highlights our Hub materials. The Hub is home to our magazines, newspapers, Writing Center materials, and so much more. The Hub is where a lot of our new releases or popular works are, including many newly released movie titles. If you’re looking for a fun read or a new movie to watch, The Hub is the place to look.

We began in January by picking fun or interesting topics to highlight our wide range of materials. In February we displayed works by or about black authors to celebrate Black History Month. In March, we’re showcasing women of color. Such works will include The Veil by Rafia Zakaria, Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth, and Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. We will have books, e-books, and movies so there’s a something for everyone’s taste. So please come on by and check out these amazing works by women of color!

 

Posted in: Library News and Events, Serendipity