Today I step off of the sidelines and into the game. After observing last year’s #DayOfDH from afar and blogging about it on my own blog, I decided to join in in an official capacity this year.
I am a historian by training , and while I do work in an academic setting, my career path is very much alt-ac. Upon graduating with my Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2012, I was lucky enough to be brought onto a digital history project by William G. Thomas III looking into the history of and implications of petitions for freedom filed by an enslaved woman, Mima Queen, and various other members of her family. The project has since been funded by a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and has evolved into a larger project looking into the family networks and legal questions found in the records of the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia in the early- to mid-nineteenth century. About a year later, I was also brought in by Jeannette Jones as project manager for her work, Locating Lord Greystoke: U.S. Empire, Race, and the African Question, 1847-1919. The project explores the ways in which the United States understood and participated in the partition of Africa by European powers using mapping and textual analysis.
My day-to-day work for each project differs, but usually involves a bit of document transcription, TEI encoding, e-mail exchanges or brief meetings with project members, and if I’m lucky, a bit of web design. I do not have an office of my own, so I rotate between the computer lab in the History Department (where the faculty members I work for are) and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the library (where the projects’ tech staff is and where my paychecks come from).
Today I will be working in the History Department, where most of my time will be devoted to finishing up the organization of photographs of freedom petitions I took on research trip to the National Archives last week. I also need to finish preparing for the Mapping Lab I will be leading tomorrow at the DH Bootcamp @ UNL. Later this week, I also have the Nebraska Forum on Digital Humanities 2014 to attend. Quite a week ahead for DH.