Digital Humanities Spotlight: 7 Important Digitization Projects
By MARIA POPOVA - BRAIN PICKINGS
Added: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 15:37:01 UTC
From Darwin’s marginalia to Voltaire’s correspondence, or what Dalí’s controversial World’s Fair pavilion has to do with digital myopia.
Despite our remarkable technological progress in the past century and the growth of digital culture in the past decade, a large portion of humanity’s richest cultural heritage remains buried in analog archives. Bridging the disconnect is a fledgling discipline known as the Digital Humanities, bringing online historical materials and using technologies like infrared scans, geolocation mapping, and optical character recognition to enrich these resources with related information or make entirely new discoveries about them. As Europe’s digital libraries open up their APIs, techno-dystopian pundits lament that these efforts diminish “the mystery of history,” but such views are myopic and plagued by unnecessary nostalgia for a time when knowledge was confined to the privileged cultural elite. Instead, here are seven fantastic digitization projects that democratize access to and understanding of some of our civilization’s most valuable cultural assets.
- MAPPING THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS
Long before there was Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, there was the Republic of Letters — a vast and intricate network of intellectuals, linking the finest “philosophes” of the Enlightenment across national borders and language barriers. This self-defined community of writers, scholars, philosophers and other thinkers included greats like Voltaire, Leibniz, Rousseau, Linnaeus, Franklin, Newton, Diderot and many others we’ve come to see as linchpins of cultural history. Mapping the Republic of Letters, which we first looked at last year, is a fascinating project by a team of students and professors at Stanford, visualizing the famous intellectual correspondence of the Enlightenment, how they traveled, and how the network evolved over time, bridging humanitarian scholarship and computer science.
First Aid Kit - YouTube -... Comments
First Aid Kit - Hard Believer
Natalie Wolchover & Life's Little... Comments
A perfect storm engenders online rudeness, including virtual anonymity and thus a lack of accountability, physical distance and the medium of writing
Meagan Fitzpatrick - CBC News Comments
Scientists, concerned citizens hold mock funeral in Ottawa to protest federal cuts
Maia Szalavitz - TIME - Healthland 39 Comments
Do people with depression or other psychological problems have any moral obligation to forgo bearing children in order to avoid passing on their "bad" genes?
Laura Graff - Winston-Salem Journal 14 Comments
Protesters travel to speak against Pastor Charles Worley, who gave a sermon May 13 that suggested gay people should be rounded up, placed in a sort of concentration camp, and left to die.
Hemant Mehta - Washington Post 41 Comments
"The Internet is blind faith’s worst nightmare."
MORE BY MARIA POPOVA
Maria Popova - Brain Pickings 23 Comments
What Is Science? From Feynman to Sagan to Asimov to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions
Maria Popova - Brain Pickings 59 Comments
Insights on identity and the aberrations of authority from the most notorious psychology experiment of all time.