¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 I completed my volunteer duties at DHNow during the week of December 5th-11th. Since I’m a librarian, I initially planned to dedicate my volunteer week to dh+lib. However, I’ve tried not to restrict myself to library-related issues too much during this course, so I felt it would be more beneficial to volunteer for DHNow and therefore have the opportunity to explore content related to digital humanities at large.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 I will discuss my experience in terms of both technical and content issues. First, many thanks to those in the class who previously blogged on volunteering at DHNow or dh+lib. I did not attend the PressForward workshop, so your thoughts on using PressForward for content nomination were greatly helpful in allowing me to know what to expect with this tool. I did experience some minor technical problems in using the PressForward plugin. As others have mentioned, the nomination process is often extremely slow, and I’m not sure how much I would have been able to accomplish as a volunteer without the “Read Original” button. I also noticed that the “Mark as Read” and “Hide” buttons did not always work perfectly well, causing problems with content filtering.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 This is going to sound very basic, but while nominating content, I found myself dealing with one of the fundamental questions that we addressed first at the beginning of the course and then throughout the semester: what exactly does digital humanities encompass? As others in the class have touched on, some of the content originating from DHNow’s feeds was not at all related to digital humanities and was easily dismissed, but I came across some borderline cases that were certainly digital but not very humanities-focused. I ended up taking a broad view of the digital humanities tent and nominated a couple of these cases, which were more social sciences-oriented.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Additionally, I was surprised that there was not more content pushed to volunteers from DHNow’s feeds. We were instructed to dedicate one hour per day for nominating content, but I more than once found myself exhausting the content pushed through for that day and having to scour the web beyond DHNow’s feeds in order to nominate content using the Nominate This bookmarklet. I did find the bookmarklet to operate more smoothly than the main PressForward nomination tool.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 I wanted to highlight a couple of the resources that I nominated during the course of the week, neither of which I believe made it onto the site. The first of these is the New York Tenements project, which maps and discusses photographs taken by New York’s Tenement House Department in 1934 alongside discussion of photographs taken by Jacob Riis for his photojournalist work How the Other Half Lives. The other resource was a video of a talk on the digitization of cave art in the Magao Caves near Dunhuang, China in a race against deterioration. The initial video I came across is unfortunately no longer available, but the digital exhibit itself can be found here.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Overall, volunteering for DHNow was a good experience, as I was able to both contribute to a great resource and deepen my own knowledge of the digital humanities universe. I’m sure DHNow will continue to tweak their ingest and nomination processes, and I will keep an eye out for new developments with these practices. DHNow allows former editors to nominate content using the bookmarklet, so I may do this going forward as well as try volunteering for dh+lib.