We work on lots of exciting digitisation work in the Digital Humanities Lab, and our wonderful undergraduate interns have put together a video to give you a snapshot of just some of the materials we have made digitally available.
But how do we make sure that the resources we create will be usable in 5, 10 or even 100 years time? Digital content can be extremely ephemeral, and is vulnerable to being irreplaceably lost if we’re not careful – just think of how many floppy disks and CDs most of us have that are no longer supported by our current computer. So while we’re creating new content through digitisation in the lab, we’re also working hard with colleagues around the University to plan for the longer-term future of the materials we create, as well as supporting the preservation of digital resources in the University collections.
A lot of digital preservation goes on behind the scenes, and isn’t always as obvious as some of the other work we do, so World Digitisation Day, run by the Digital Preservation Coalition is a great opportunity to stop and celebrate what we do as well as see how much else is going on around the world!
The new online platform for the Exeter book is now live, making one of the oldest surviving volumes of English literature in the world fully accessible to the public for the first time.
The new platform has already been generating lots of interest, especially through Exeter’s role as a UNESCO city of literature, and since this kind of digitisation might be new to many of those interested, we thought we’d share a behind the scenes tour of what goes into creating the high definition images that make it possible to explore the tiny details of a 1,000-year-old manuscript on your phone.
Hi, I’m Courtney and I’ve just completed my BA English degree. In my final year I have worked as an advisory intern in the DH Lab and loved every minute. In this very unusual year, I have been lucky enough to gain experience in the lab and have got to work on some very exciting projects remotely.
I first became interested in digital humanities, when taking the Rethinking Shakespeare module in my first year. On this module we had the option to create a digital edition of the ending of King Lear in TEI/XML for one of our assessments and from then on I was hooked. Over the course of this year, I have learnt more about 2D and 3D digitisation even creating my own RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) set-up from home when the second lockdown hit – a testament to what can be achieved with a torch, a marble and some string. Later in the year I was finally able to get back into the lab and learn how to use our RTI dome and complete some digitisation of Northcott Theatre materials using the A0 copystand in Lab 1 too. Although the AV Lab has still evaded me.
Hi, I’m Laura, a third year History and Archaeology student and this will be my second year at the Digital Humanities Lab as an intern. My interests span 2D digitisation to 3D digitisation techniques such as RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) and photogrammetry. I love how these techniques are applied to cultural heritage and wider research questions within the subjects I study. For this blog post, I am going to combine my love for 3D techniques and GIS (Geographic Information Systems). In my first year at Exeter, I attended an archaeology lecture given by Prof. Leif Isaksen (Director of the DH Lab) about the dig he directed at Cluny Hill, Scotland. He passed around a printed 3D model that showcased the topography of the land. It was the first time I had seen anything like it- the fact that you could almost picture the landscape and see the contours of it despite not being physically on location excited me. In fact, it started an obsession with landscape data and my love for its link to material culture within archaeology! And another with Digital Humanities!Continue reading →
In the blog-post below, Ollie Anthony, Technical Assistant at the Digital Humanities Lab and former BDCM museum volunteer, explains the significance of the panorama and the digitisation process involved in creating the interactive map.
The initial Panorama of London produced in 1845 by James Frederick Smyth and printed by William Little of 198 Strand, London, was commissioned by the Illustrated London News, the world’s first illustrated weekly news magazine. This blogpost discusses the history of the London panorama, as well as the processes used to digitise a colourised copy, held as part of the Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell Collection at The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum (BDCM).
Despite its name, much of the contents of the popular Illustrated London News magazine series pertained to events happening around the world, particularly the far-reaching parts of the British Empire. Their magazines, often jeering and comical in style, were well known for their eclectic and extravagant displays of London life, politics, and royalty. On January 11th, 1845, upon the beginning of its third year of publication, readers were able to pay One Penny to purchase a copy of the Panorama of London or receive a free copy if they subscribed to the weekly Illustrated London News. Continue reading →
The new academic year has arrived and a lot has been going on behind the scenes to enhance the learning experience of on-campus and remote learners in 2020/21 and for years to come. With the majority of staff and students working from home, much of university life – from seminars, working groups and research conferences to team meetings, cake breaks and crafternoons – has essentially become virtual. Could this be an opportunity to explore new ways and new tools to teach that can bring real value to the future student experience and enables students around the world to continue to study and engage in a learning community? The answer is yes.
Creative and tech-savvy Digital Learning Developers have collaborated with lecturers to prepare engaging teaching resources and module pages on the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) across all colleges and subject areas. Module conveners took the opportunity to design clear, informative and streamlined content and revamp course material through personal videos, image galleries, cloud documents for collective editing and virtual activities such as weekly Q&A chats, quizzes and virtual gratitude walls to foster class spirit.
Hi, I’m Jordan and I am currently working towards my BA History degree. This year, I have worked as an intern with the Digital Humanities Lab and I will be reflecting on the experience and skills that I developed in this blog post.
One of the best things about working in the labs is the extensive range of possibilities available, which gave me the opportunity to work with 2D, 3D, and Audio-Visual digitisation. My favourite area of work was 3D digitisation in the Makerspace, which houses our 3D printers and 3D workstation. This was an area which I became particularly interested in and one that would be of particular use to any future intern interested in cultural heritage. I loved 3D Digitisation because it required me to create things. 3D has so much potential for education as it creates a hands-on learning experience and makes digital education more accessible and is an area that I would definitely recommend getting into! In addition to my 3D work, I learnt how to code, played with Arduino boards, and also completed highly precise Photoshop stitching on our Saxton’s ‘Atlas of England and Wales’ project. Continue reading →
Our intern cohort of 2019/ 2020 created individual presentations to share their experiences of working in the DH Lab and talk about their digital projects. Find out more about the benefits of the internship to their learning as Humanities undergraduates and the positive impact on their progression and aspirations.
My name is Eve and I’ve just completed my last assignments as a final year History and French student at the university. Working as an intern in the DH Lab this year has been an incredible experience, allowing me to truly make the most of my final year at Exeter.
This internship has enabled me to develop so many skills throughout the year, related to both DH and the more general world of work. With regard to my DH skills, I have had the opportunity to be trained in 2D and 3D Digitisation, 3D printing and Audio-Visual techniques. I am particularly interested in 2D digitisation techniques because they allow us to study more closely and preserve historical documents and manuscripts, as well as the use of digital archives, to make them accessible to the wider public. Throughout the year I have been able to get involved in numerous projects of this kind, which has really enabled me to hone my skills. Continue reading →
Hi, my name is Francis Elsender and I am a final year Theology and religions student. I originally wanted to be a Digital Humanities Lab intern because I am a big fan of technological innovations as well as the humanities but felt there really wasn’t a discipline that successfully blended the two together until I found out about the Lab. My favourite thing about working for the lab has to be the sheer variety of things we get up to on a day to day basis, many of which I would never have had the chance to encounter by just doing my degree. Thanks to working at the lab, I am now proficient in video and audio editing, digitisation of 2D and 3D objects, handling artefacts and texts and I could probably give photography and 3D printing a good shot too! All my co-workers will tell you that my favourite part of the lab is the AV suite as it allows us to make the humanities accessible to all through the resources we create. Continue reading →
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