MATRIX and DH in the library

After going to the MATRIX lab, watching the What is Matrix video prior to our visit, and listening to Ethan Watrall talk about projects like South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy and Slave Biographies, I now realize the amount of time and effort that is put towards building, archiving, and preserving.

In Abby Smith’s article Preservation she mentions objects that are “born-digital”. She says “the more normalized and standard a digital object is, the easier it is for a digital repository to take it in.” This reminds me of when we were taking about the Rosetti Archive and the difficulties in preserving physical artwork digitally vs. non-digitally. For example, if you’re adding a piece of physical artwork onto the web it’s not going to look the exact same on a screen as it would on the physical piece itself. Things that are “born-digital” or created online would be easier to transfer and preserve, because they’re made for digital purposes.

Both the trips to the MATRIX and the library really put DH in a better perspective for me. I think being able to see a lot of actual DH work and talk with people in the field is very beneficial. Both centers mentioned the amount of people, effort, and time it takes to preserve projects as well, which is something I never really thought about before.

I also thought it was interesting when Thomas mentioned the difference between “data is” and “data are.” I’ve always used the phrase “data is” because that is what my teachers, professors, and peers have said in the past, and because I think it sounds better. Now I realize I may want to consider using data are after thinking about data as multiple pieces of information that form a whole, rather than just one whole itself.

This week’s trips to MATRIX and the library really gave me a better idea about DH itself, and all of the work that typically gets put into one single project.


3 thoughts on “MATRIX and DH in the library

  1. I was also fascinated by how much manpower and time went into preservation. That wasn’t something I thought about at all before Tuesday. It makes me wonder how difficult our final project will be. However, it also makes me think about the possibilities available to us.


    • Both elaborated on the different types of preservation, how to preserve, and the importance of it. I feel like for some parts of DH they did add to my understanding and some they didn’t. For example, I’m still in the early stages of learning what DH is and things that are involved in it so some of the things that were presented in the library were a bit over my head (some diagrams they showed with different tools). Both visits added to my understanding of how broad and complex DH is, and how much time and effort is put into one single project, and how many people work on it. In the library I did learn about different things you can analyze rather than text, and in MATRIX I really learned about all the different types of projects that can be done through DH. It was great to learn about DH from people who actually work in the field, and to see visuals of the projects. Like I mentioned in this weeks blog, I wonder if some things are DH or not.


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