Looking Forward to the Future

Two weeks into the second half of this course and it’s occurring to me that there is much to explore around the subject of ‘Digitizing Medieval Manuscripts’. While the previous semester provided some crucial information about medieval manuscripts, going forward our class will consider how to present digitally what we have learned to a wider audience. The following post contains some of my initial thoughts as we enter this new phase of the course.

In my research into what a ‘digital humanities project’ could encompass I came across a few different examples that presented history (a subject I have devoted a decent amount of time and energy towards) in a manner that would appeal to my friends and family who do not necessarily share my passion for the discipline. Additionally, I saw examples of projects that could assist scholars with their research. Perhaps one day a scholar will be able to use the information around medieval manuscripts that my classmates and I have collected.

When it comes to essays, exams and other assignments I have completed in university I will admit that these rarely cross my mind after I receive a mark. That being said, the Omeka entry (as well as our class’ upcoming project) will hopefully be pieces of work that I will think about years from now. The idea of long-lived assignments ties into one of the key aspects (longevity) my classmates and I will have to consider as we develop our digital humanities project. How can we ensure that our work does not disappear over time or become ‘out of date’ in terms of its usefulness and appeal? I do not have the answers to those question just yet but perhaps I will by the end of the term.

When the class brainstormed what we could do for our final project the possibilities seemed endless! Our ideas ranged from various websites to games and apps that we could use on our phones. Of course we recognized that while these ideas sounded great on paper we had to be realistic when it came to our skill level and the time that we have to complete this project. In a way our brainstorming session demonstrated the beauty of digital humanities projects. There were so many routes we could have pursued that I cannot wait to see what future undergraduate students create when they are tasked with their own projects of this nature. There may have been a little bit of a challenge staying focused at first but that was just because we each had our own ideas concerning how to approach this project. Though there are some plans to finalize, each step in the process gets us closer to the final result!

As anyone who tries something different for the first time knows, the experience includes a fair share of challenges that need to be overcome. Last term I did not think it would be possible to transcribe Medieval Latin but, take a look at my Omeka entry and you will see that I managed to do it. I cannot wait to see my classmates and I will create as we craft our own digital humanities project that will (hopefully) survive long after our days at Carleton.