Roots of Public History: Introductory Post

This post kicks off another semester in GMU’s digital public humanities certificate program. I’m not sure if I’m ready.

Some basic information about me as a student: I’ve been working as an academic librarian since 2007. I have an M.A. in American studies and an M.S.I. in library and information services. I started this certificate program in the fall of 2015 but otherwise haven’t been in school since April 2007. It’s rough having homework again, especially since I’m quite active in libraryland research and scholarship and have two articles and one conference presentation to write this semester.

My background in digital humanities: My background primarily consists of the course last semester, although a lot of DH concerns overlap with those of libraries (metadata, searching, digitization, etc.).

My interest in digital public history: A lot of this interest is tied to my background in American studies. I am interested in how we talk about and represent the past and being American, and this interest has grown as I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. The digital piece is interesting because it offers different forms of presenting, interpreting, and engaging with history for both institutions and individuals.

My learning goals for the semester: I want to become familiar with the theories, methods, and tools of digital public history. This is less clearly tied to my current position as an academic librarian than the class last semester, so I am a little uncertain about how the projects will inform my library work.


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