Digital Public History, HIST 694, is my second course in George Mason University’s Digital Public Humanities Certificate.
I was a history major at The College of the Holy Cross, then I earned an MA in American Studies, with a home department of history, from Boston College. My Ph.D. in American Studies is from The College of William and Mary. Material Culture was my major field, with books as my object of competence, and I had other fields in The History of the Book and American Domestic Life. After I finished my Ph.D., I earned an MLIS from The University of Rhode Island. I’ve also taken a graduate course in Buyer Behavior at Anna Maria College and another in Digital Stewardship from Simmons College.
During the late 1990s, I was an historical indexer for HarpWeek. Since then, I have been very interested in digital projects. About five years ago, I began going to THATCamps to learn about digital humanities tools. I took a one-day course in R at Holy Cross and a MOOC in digital humanities through King’s College London. I learned a lot last semester in the GMU Introduction to Digital Humanities course, and I continue to work on my Omeka project, Moses Dresser Phillips and His World.
Museums and Historical Agencies was one of my fields in my MA, and, as noted above, Material Culture was my major field in my Ph.D. I have interned at and worked for a variety of museums, historical agencies, and libraries, and I’ve always been interested in public history. It has been exciting to watch the development of digital public history, and I feel very fortunate to be taking this course to learn more about combining public history and the digital world. As a professor, I’ve often used digital public history sites in my courses. My students are fascinated by digital public history sites, and I would love to be able to teach students how to create their own sites. In addition, I want to make several of my own research projects digital and to collaborate with others on digital public history projects.
My goals for the semester are to have a refresher course on the public history field, to learn more about audiences and how to create digital projects for them, and to gain more sophistication in my work with digital humanities tools and sites. I have a few ideas for my semester project and look forward to selecting one, to narrowing it down to a project that I can complete in a semester, and to making an informative and user-friendly site.
I look forward to this semester in Digital Public History!