Monthly Archives: June 2023

Digital Humanities Interns 2022/23 part 3

Each year we ask our interns to write a blog post at the end of their time working with us looking back on their time in the DH Lab. Here is the third of this year’s blogs from Isabel:

Hi, my name’s Isabel and I’m a third year History student and intern at the Digital Humanities Lab and this year I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy my second year at the lab.

Recently, I’ve been spending my time getting to grips with photogrammetry and 3D modelling. On top of photographing and processing lot of palaeolithic flints and ancient pottery from the archaeology department’s teaching packs, one of my main projects I worked on was fully processing a small ornament from a physical object, to a digital model, to a physical object again in the form of two differently printed 3D prints. I started with the original Egyptian pyramid ornament, photographing it in the photogrammetry set up in the lab space. Then, these photos had to be processed in computer software which aligned the images into one digital 3d model.

Once this was completed, I printed the first 3D model in our Ultimaker 3D printer in white and finally I printed a green resin model in the form lab printer and had a look to see how different the results were.

This year I also got to spend a lot of time with the RTI dome. On the one hand this meant creating RTI images of the archeology from the teaching packs so that people could better see the markings and lines on the side where the pottery had been cut and which showed more information about how the pottery was made. On the other hand, this also meant experiemtnsing with some of my own objects to see how they would look under RTI. I experimented with a necklace of mine with bronze age chain on it to see what the different RTI photos would show me.

And finally, I got to have a bit of fun at Halloween this year when I printed a glow in the dark pumpkin pot!

Digital Humanities Interns 2022/23 part 2

Each year we ask our interns to write a blog post at the end of their time working with us looking back on their time in the DH Lab. Here is the second of this year’s blogs from Dayna:

Being a DH Intern

Working at the Digital Humanities Lab over my final year has been an incredible and exciting end to my time studying History at Exeter. I first heard of the DH Lab in my second year through the Festival of the Past, and I was immediately impressed with its innovative and important work. Despite having very limited technological experience prior to my internship, the Lab has cultivated and encouraged me to learn and develop a multitude of skills.

I was introduced to the many operations of the lab through weekly training sessions including lessons on photography, photogrammetry, reflective transformation imaging (RTI), and more. Within these guided sessions, I not only developed a repertoire of skills through hands-on experience but also a sense of confidence to experiment with new things.

Alongside the training sessions I also began independent work on other projects in my shifts. In the lab, I began digitising some of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum’s film programmes which introduced me to Capture One software and handling archival material. Working with this helped prepare me for later work I would do with the Museum’s stereocards and glass slides, which I both digitised and morphed using Microsoft Powershell. Meanwhile, whilst helping on the advisory desk I created posters for an exhibit in the Arabic and Islamic Studies department. This demonstrated to me the interdisciplinary approach of the Lab’s work and the range of material being worked on.

One of my favourite parts of working in the Lab has been 3D printing. At the start of the internship, the team are so encouraging to engage in this method in fun, innovative, and experimental ways. As such, I was able to print a range of novelty items including an articulated lizard, a glow in the dark cat, and even create my own snowman on TinkerCad to then print out. With the lab’s addition of a Formlabs resin printer, as well as their Ultimaker 3 and Makerbot, I was able to understand the subtle differences between 3D printing techniques.

Towards the end of my internship, I became involved with the lab’s social media pages. I helped create Instagram stories to raise awareness of the lab’s facilities and availability to HASS staff and students. From this, I also created some short video content for the wider Archaeology and History Department. These videos further explained the lab’s work, especially drawing attention to opportunities offered to student interns. I really enjoyed making these videos as it consolidated my year’s long experience at the lab in an informative and useful way to encourage and educate other students. These can be viewed on the departments TikTok page @Uoearchhistdept!

In addition to these broader tasks, my time working has also involved projects like transmitting data from floppy disks and digitising objects from archaeology teaching packs. I’ve also helped represent the DH lab on undergraduate open days where I have gotten the chance to speak to prospective parents and students about the lab’s opportunities. In all, my internship has encompassed a myriad of projects and disciplines that has made it a continuously exciting and educational role. Looking back, I am amazed at how much I have accomplished when considering that I began with such limited knowledge in this field. The enthusiasm of the team, and their unwavering support and encouragement has made for a thriving learning environment. I have loved coming into work with each shift being totally different from the last. I would absolutely recommend this opportunity to anyone interested!

Digital Humanities Interns 2022/23 part 1

Each year we ask our interns to write a blog post at the end of their time working with us looking back on their time in the DH Lab. Here is the first of this year’s blogs from Jane-Marie:

I am Jane Marie a final year Art History, Visual Culture and Classical studies student. I remember visiting the digital humanities lab on my open day at the university. I was immediately impressed at their wide range of technologies and the opportunity to become an intern at the lab.

Before starting the university, I had completed and art foundation course in graphic communication this meant I had some computer skills before I started the internship. At the end of my first year, I completed a short internship with the University of Exeter’s special collections team cataloguing the university’s Leonard Baskin Prints. Both experiences provided me with the necessary skills and interest to start my internship at the Digital Humanities lab.

Some of the modules I have taken during my time at university have been directly related to Digital Humanities. In my second year I took the AHVC Field study module as part of which we created a walking tour of Florence. From this module I learned digital mapping and audio editing skills. In my final year I took the ‘Hacking the Humanities: how to run successful digital projects’ module which paired very nicely with my work at the Digital Humanities lab.

Over the year as Digital Humanities Intern, I have assisted on a range of projects from digitisation to podcast editing. The most interesting and different project I have worked on is filming the CRAB Lab bees on the top of the Washington Singer Building.

I had no idea that there were any beehives on the Exeter university campus so to get to see them up close and personal was an amazing opportunity. I assisted in the filming of the video and had to wear a bee suit in the process. I was the responsible for the editing of the video.  

The challenge when editing this video was knowing what of all the information Zoe, the beekeeper, had told us was the most important to include. We also had a lot of “Bee-role” footage to intersperse with the talking. Another challenge I found was controlling the audio levels across the different bits of footage. As we where filming in a working lab space there was some background noise that needed to be removed from the footage. While editing I learned how to edit the audio to remove the sound without distorting the audio. This example shows the problem-solving skills you develop when working with the digital humanities.

Along side the projects we have also completed training in all aspects of the lab from the 3D printers to Photogrammetry. This has helped me build confidence in using the technologies of the lab as well as introduce me to unfamiliar skills which I found challenging such as coding. Completing these challenges as a group made them less daunting.

Overall, my experience at the digital humanities lab has been an incredible opportunity to learn a range of different skills some of which I found quite challenging and others I immediately clicked with. It has been wonderful working with the other amazing interns, the DHL team and aiding academics in their research and outreach.