Hi folks. It has been a hectic couple of months since last I wrote. By a curious confluence of events, in the past week or two a number of lines of work have come to fruition, while others have just gotten started. (Almost all of this work is done in collaboration with my colleagues at RRCHNM. Credit where credit is due, but you’ll have to click through to see all the contributors to these projects.)
With only brief commentary, here is a gallery of work just released or just started.
Tomorrow we will release Collecting These Times: American Jewish Experiences of the Pandemic. This site points American Jews and Jewish communities to institutions that are collecting their memories of the pandemic: 72 such collecting efforts and counting.
At the same time, we are releasing a visual refresh of American Jewish Life, RRCHNM’s own collection project for the American Jewish community, part of our broader Pandemic Religion collecting project.
It’s already available on GitHub, but later this week we will announce a Web Monetization module for Omeka S. Web Monetization lets users support websites by streaming small payments. It is still very early days for this technology, but we hope it will let cultural heritage institutions be supported directly by their users.
Kellen Funk and I are doing some visualizations about the advent of legal modernity in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Anglo-American law. Here is a first cut of a visualization in support of a presentation Kellen gave last week.
Also, I’ve been sketching some visualizations for our American Religious Ecologies project. Sorry no direct link for this map; still too new.
We’ve been developing DataScribe for the transcription of structured data from historical sources. Now we’ve got it integrated with our collection of schedules from the 1926 Census of Religious Bodies and have transcribed nearly ten thousand schedules with more to go.
The visualizations are coming together nicely for the much expanded version of my interactive scholarly work, America’s Public Bible: A Commentary. (Worn out and now outdated prototype.)
Speaking of which, my essay “The Making of America’s Public Bible: Computational Text Analysis for Religious History” was published this month in Digital Humanities and Research Methods in Religious Studies. You can find a preprint at Humanities Commons.
We need to send the final version back to the journal this week, but Stephen Robertson and I will have an article on patterns of argument in digital history coming out in the Journal of Social History. It is the introduction to a special section in that journal that we edited, and it will be accompanied by a website that annotates about a dozen articles in digital history to show how they can be models for future work.
RRCHNM is hiring a full-stack web developer. Here is the job ad. We are doing exciting new things, especially with data and computational history, but building on our existing strengths in public history. We are a great place to work, and we hope that whoever we hire will be a developer-scholar and a real partner in our work. I’m chairing the search, and if this position at all interests you, feel free to reach out. I’d also be grateful if you could pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested.
Listening: Spotify playlists for country music by decade.
Working: See above.
Playing: Learning the chords for “The Man in Black.”
Reading: Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs. Do any of you have favorite examples of the biographer’s art that I should read? Feel free to reply and let me know.
Subscribing: My friend Jason Heppler is starting a newsletter on “digital humanities, cities, data, design, libraries, climate, data visualization, art, the environment.” You should subscribe too.