The Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive

logo for the Rhode Island COVID-19 Digital Archive

The Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive, a collaboration between the Providence Public Library and the Rhode Island Historical Society, is a community collecting initiative interested in stories, reflections, and media documenting the regional impact of COVID-19. As a core member of the project team and its Public Humanities Lead, I helped with initial project development and continue to support approaches to crowdsourcing, collaboration, curation, outreach, and audience engagement, among other areas.

Mapping Violence

Dr. Monica Martinez (American Studies at Brown) created and directs Mapping Violence, a digital resource for information on acts of state-sanctioned racial violence that took place in Texas during the early twentieth century. I’ve worked on this project in various capacities since coming to Brown: the job title we arrived at to describe this work is “Director of Digital Initiatives.” Project duties have involved developing specifications for mapping and exhibit features, prototyping visualizations (particularly maps) and digital narrative contexts for this material, creating resources for student labor on the project, and assisting with grant proposal narratives (among other roles). In the summer of 2019 we began collaborating with the Brown University Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship, and I was involved in efforts related to data migration, the development of terms of collaboration, and project roadmapping.

In the Spring of 2020, Monica and I co-taught (with Edwin Rodriguez, our TA) an undergraduate course on Mapping Violence. You can find a (pre-COVID-19) copy of our syllabus here.

Mapping Violence: A Case Study on Project Development, Iterative Approaches to Data Collection and Visualization, and Collaborative Work with Undergraduates” (The Design for Diversity Learning Toolkit; 2019)

Public Work: A Public Humanities Podcast

Public Work is an interview-style public humanities podcast created, co-produced, and co-hosted by me and Amelia Golcheski (one of the awesome graduate students in the Public Humanities MA program at Brown). We launched the podcast in February 2018.  You can listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, or over at our project site. Episodes will eventually be archived in Brown’s Digital Repository to ensure long-term preservation. We’re also on Twitter @PublicWorkPod.

In September 2019, I wrote about podcasts and public history for NCPH’s History@Work blog.

Digital Tours of The Nightingale-Brown House

A web-based virtual tour documenting the history of the Brown family’s tenure in the Nightingale-Brown House, this project augments physical tours through this historic space and can be accessed online as well. I served as Digital Projects Consultant and Project Manager on this project, training a team of undergraduates in Omeka and Neatline and implementing the design of the project’s faculty supervisors.

You can read this blog post (named “Editor’s Choice” by the fine people at Digital Humanities Now) to learn more about my role on the project.

Rhode Tour

Rhode Tour logo

Rhode Tour is a mobile app (created with CurateScape) that provides users with digital tours of various parts of Rhode Island. Current project duties include consulting with project collaborators (the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Historical Society) on its use of CurateScape, its plans for future tours, and its public outreach initiatives.

Wikipedia Visiting Scholar

Wikipedia Logo

In the spring of 2017 I helped the JNBC secure its first Wikipedia Visiting Scholar via a collaboration with the Wiki Education Foundation. The scholar, Eryk Salvaggio, will focus on improving material related to Ethnic Studies. The JNBC will also support two Wikipedia-related activities per semester during the 2017-18 academic calendar in conjunction with this collaboration.

I wrote about why we’re committed to supporting Wikipedia at the JNBC blog.

In 2018-19 I joined the Advisory Committee for the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities’ Rhode Island Arts and Culture Research Fellowship, a position that is focused in its first year on creating and improving Wikipedia content about Rhode Island arts and culture.

Day of Public Humanities (#DayofPH)

Day of Public Humanities logo

Day of Public Humanities is an annual crowdsourced initiative that highlights and debates the labor of public humanities scholarship in digital and non-digital spaces. 2017 #DayofPH events included physical exhibits on Brown University campus, a moderated panel on the topic of “Advocating for the Arts and Humanities,” a project blog, and a Twitter outreach campaign. I am one of the Project Directors of #DayofPH, alongside Robyn Schroeder and Inge Zwart. You can learn more about our 2017 events here, check out the (amazing) postcards people sent us documenting their “To-Do Lists” here, and view #DayofPH on Twitter here.

Asian American Photography Digital Archive: Bob Lee (American Studies) and a team of undergraduates are creating a digital archive of Asian-American family photographs. Project work has involved consulting on digitization, database and interface development.

The Modernist Journals Project: The MJP is a long-running digital resource of modernist periodicals and pedagogical materials. Current project duties include collaborating with Brown’s Center for Digital Scholarship on completing an ingest of project materials into Brown’s Digital Repository Service and how to make those materials more discoverable and accessible within that context.

Other Work:  I have created content and design materials for JNBC conference events: the Hacking Heritage Unconference (Spring 2016 and Spring 2017). I also write and distribute “Occasional News for The Digital Human,” a biweekly email newsletter about digital news and events, to JNBC students, faculty, and affiliates.

Projects at Northeastern University

Our Marathon (2013-2018)

New Our Marathon Site (April 2018)
Original Our Marathon site (2013-2018)

Our Marathon is a crowdsourced digital archive of stories, photos, social media, and other content related to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath. Project Director duties included oversight of project content and contributions, management of staff and volunteers, collaborations with project partners (WBUR and The Boston City Archives, among others), facilitating “Share Your Story” events at local libraries and colleges, and organizing a physical exhibition at Northeastern in Spring 2014 (among other duties). Our Marathon was the recipient of the 2013 DH Award for “Best DH project for public audiences.” In 2015 I received Northeastern’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Community Service, thanks in large part to my work on Our Marathon.

In April 2018, the Northeastern University Library Digital Scholarship group debuted a new and improved digital home for Our Marathon and project materials. I was involved in the migration and redesign work at various levels of creation and consultation.

More on Our Marathon: 

Jim on PRI’s The World (2018)

“Digital History is More Than Just Sitting Behind Your Laptop” (Salem State College, 2018)

Our Marathon: The Role of Graduate Student and Library Labor in Making the Boston Bombing Digital Archive” (chapter in Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships, 2018)

“Our City: Images of Home in Our Marathon (ASA Annual Conference, 2016)

“For Comfort and Posterity, Digital Archives Gather Crowds” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2013)

Coordinator, Northeastern University Digital Scholarship Group

Coordinator duties included running a “Digital Humanities Open Office Hours” series open to Northeastern students, faculty, and staff, assisting with the Digital Scholarship Group’s Digital Repository Service Project Toolkit initiative (an initiative that helped faculty members both utilize the DRS and curate featured content on project web sites), planning workshops on Omeka and other digital tools, helped with NEH grant proposals, and creating and updating various documentation and workflow guidelines for the DSG.

Here’s a post the DSG co-wrote for “Day of DH” while I worked there.

Here’s a poster highlighting our work on The Digital Repository Service Project Toolkit (presented at DHSI in 2015).

Bibliographic Developer Work on Digital Humanities Quarterly

As Bibliographic Developer, I helped Digital Humanities Quarterly, one of the finest and longest-running academic journals in digital humanities, encode their bibliographic data. This work was designed to help make it easier for authors to add citations to articles, and it enabled the DHQ editorial team (and, eventually, its audience, when this data is made public) to learn more about the citation practices of its contributors.

I presented a poster on my work with DHQ at the 2014 TEI conference.

DH New England Working Group for Graduate Students and Postdocs

Towards the end of my time at Northeastern, I organized a working group for local grad students, postdocs, and junior scholars interested in digital humanities. We managed to have a few meetings and to make connections over email, and I still keep in touch with several people I met at these meetings. Meeting minutes and informal notes from our meetings can be found here.