Digital Humanities Interns 2023/24 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 Sophie:

I have found my time working in the Digital Humanities Lab to be an incredible learning opportunity and it has taught me invaluable skills using technologies I had not had the opportunity to work with before. The DH team provided a variety of weekly training sessions such as in using RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging), 3D printing, photogrammetry and coding, amongst other things, allowing me to complete projects in fields which I had never encountered before!
The first project I took on was digitising reel to reel tapes for Penryn campus, the tapes contained interviews with Cornish farmers and so were a really interesting piece of oral history, especially as they referenced the surrounding areas in Devon and Cornwall! The project allowed me to learn how to use the tape-recording equipment as well as how to edit and enhance audio on Audacity, this helped me with my Art History assignments as we were tasked with creating an app trail for our field trip to Florence; the skills I learnt at my internship were really helpful in the recording and editing of this material. We also, as an intern team, transcribed these recordings of the Cornish farmers using AI software, which made the recordings more accessible as the AI was able to pick out sections of audio which were hard to hear normally which really brought the interviews to life!

Another fun project I was apart of was helping one of the researchers in the lab with remote archaeological sensing in Chile, this involved using Google Earth Pro to spot new archaeological sites in the Chilean mountains. Another intern and I, with guidance from researcher Adrián, were able to spot historic farming sites, small settlements and animal traps. This was an immensely rewarding project which I never would have had access to without the Lab!
As well as these I also took on smaller personal projects, after the 3D print training I used Sketchfab to create my own chess piece which I then went on to 3D print using the Ultimaker. It was amazing to be able to hold the final product knowing I had designed and printed it myself!

The highlight of the internship for me was the trip to Special Collections in the Old Library as it introduced me to resources on campus I had previously been unaware of. Their collection of South West authors was fascinating and it was a special moment to see the original manuscripts of two of my favourite books (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and Lord of the Flies by William Golding) in person as well as a first edition of Dracula!

My internship at the Lab has taught me so much and has given me skills I have been able to develop not only through my projects in DH but also in my degree. Thank you to the entire DH team for an amazing year and I hope the new interns have as much fun as I have!

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