Experience & Insight

Since beginning my journey in the digital public humanities, I think its very interesting to compare what I thought back then to what I have accomplished this far in regards to the work I have done as a student in the field. When I first came across the possibility of pursuing the digital humanities field, I genuinely had no idea what “digital humanities” entailed. I had taken an introductory course in my undergrad, and we discussed projects and read about digital platforms, what metadata was, digital tools developed to do textual analysis, and other things I am sure I cannot remember. The point is, now I have an entire toolbox of skills developed throughout my DH course work that I did not receive in my traditional course work. Additionally, I think the fact that we are in the digital age adds so much more context as to what the outside workforce is looking for and why it is so important that I am a part of the historical community and digital public humanities. All the skills I have developed digitally have become incredibility helpful and have allowed me to not only bring something new to the table but help me to adapt to a digital landscape more easily. I have worked with numerous digital platforms like WordPress, Omeka, Scalar, ArcGIS StoryMaps etc. as well as digital tools like Voyant, OpenRefine (data cleaning tool), Tableau, Cytoscape, etc. In other words, all of these have allowed me to develop the skill to use them and create projects to display online for a public audience.

It soon became very clear once I started as an intern with the OAAI office, that there are numerous ways to use my digital humanities skills and the knowledge I have gained. I have found that working in the digital humanities can mean many different things. I think that it opens up a multitude of opportunities that don’t make a digital public humanity person limited to only traditional work, like being able to work with content management systems and digital platforms, have become increasingly helpful for my internship. Having gone through my online DH courses at a steady pace, required me to do a lot of self-teaching and learning, thus I got really good at navigating multitudes of platforms. I think the ability to self-teach and learn goes a long way in the work force and beyond. My entire experience in DH courses has taught me that working in the digital public humanities stretches beyond the classroom and I have developed valuable skills useful in many settings that pertain to my career path. Whether its data analysis, publishing blogs posts, creating an online exhibit, or learning about metadata, I have used these skills beyond my education and within my professional life frequently.

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