Join us for the 2020 Digital Humanities Fair — fully online! We are excited to share with you a rich line-up of lectures, workshops, and the DH Fair Poster Session during the week of April 13-16, including lectures by Tom White of the Victoria University of Wellington School of Design and Christiane Paul of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, The New School and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The DH Fair Poster Session will feature Professor James Smithies, Director of King’s Digital Lab in London, speaking on the topic of Applying AI to storytelling. Then, learn about recent and current Digital Humanities work at UC Berkeley and beyond through our virtual poster session. The Poster Session will take place on Tuesday, April 14th from 1:00-3:30pm and requires advance registration. If you have a project to share, whether fully polished or a work in progress, we invite you to propose it!
The DH Fair is open to all. Some events will be publicly streamed, and others require advanced registration. Visit the website for details. See you then!
Thank you to our sponsors:
Arts Research Center
Berkeley Center for New Media
DH Working Group (Townsend Center)
Starting today, current UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students will be able to take advantage of HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service, helping the Library continue to serve its mission even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service provides view-only access to digital versions of millions of the physical volumes held by libraries across the 10-campus UC system — plus NRLF and SRLF. With careful consideration of fair use guidelines, these materials are available only to the current campus community (with CalNet IDs). We will announce this publicly via multiple channels, including the Library’s news story: Need a book from the UC Berkeley Library while we are sheltering in place? Check here first. And we encourage you to share this news generously with patrons. “For Berkeley faculty, students, and staff, this opens up a trove of materials,” said Salwa Ismail, who worked with HathiTrust to bring the service to fruition for Berkeley. “Our shelves are closed, but as long as your screens are open, you’ll have access to most of our resources.” For more information, read HathiTrust’s guide and FAQ on the Emergency Temporary Access Service. (Source: Email from the University Librarian Professor/ Dr. Jeff Mackie-Mason, dated April 2, 2020)
As an example, please see- USSR in construction. 1930:no.2-8.
Shoah or more widely known as the Holocaust in the Western world was an event that one must never forget. It also caused a mass exodus of people of the Jewish faith to their historic homeland and also to Latin America and to the different parts of the world. The new online exhibition as posted by Yad Vashem allows us to explore the narratives from our venues of COVID-19 pandemic mandated social separation.
In the world, we experience these acts of kindness everywhere from people of all nationalities. These happen all around us all the time and I wanted to appreciate my colleagues and administrators who have been incredibly supportive in these difficult times of Pandemic. Thank you, and enjoy the exhibition!
…we can remain physically distant without social isolation.
There is no doubt we are living through unprecedented times. The threat of COVID-19 and the necessity of social distancing has changed how we work, educate our children, and move through the world. And yet, if there is a silver lining in this public health crisis, it is the opportunity to reconnect and recalibrate our relationships with those we love.
For many of us, social distancing has also meant literal separation from those we love. This can create a profound sense of loneliness for all of us, especially older generations. But remember: in this era of user-friendly technology, we can remain physically distant without social isolation. To combat this sense of loneliness, perhaps you are already ramping up the phone calls and video chats to grandparents and others.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has challenged all of us to “meet the moment.” For us at The Oral History Center, that means sharing our expertise as listeners and communicators with you. With our backgrounds in oral history life interviews, we want to offer tips and question prompts so you can have more engaging and meaningful conversations with the important people in your life – even at a distance.
What we’ve learned through our experience as interviewers is that sometimes the simple act of listening can bring a great deal of comfort. Even if your questions illicit the same stories with familiar cadences, we’ve seen how just sharing the story can bring joy to the teller. And there is a possibility that you will learn something new each time! Listen for new words or framing in every telling.
But how to get the conversation started? Here are some major storytelling themes we use to frame oral history life interviews, as well as some example questions to get you started:
Home and Place
What was it like growing up in ______ in the 19___s?
What did your neighborhood look like?
You trained hard to be a ballet dancer. Can you tell me what that was like?
Holidays and Traditions
What did Thanksgiving dinner look like at your house?
Elementary and Secondary
Vocational or College
You graduated from college in 19____. What did you do next?
What made you choose to become a _____?
How do you think your background as a ______ impacted your work as a _____?
What do you remember about your grandparents?
What kind of values did you acquire from your parents?
How did you meet Grandpa? What did you like about him?
Where did you go on dates?
Tell me about your wedding.
What do you remember about the moonwalk?
I know you were at Woodstock in 1969. What was that like?
Pro tip: If you hear a new or particularly interesting story, follow up with more questions! For example: I’m not familiar with that term/event. Could you tell me more about what that is?
Pro tip: Be an active listener! Even over the phone or a video call, listen to what your family member is saying and engage with it. You may even listen for what they are not saying. Is there something you think they don’t want to talk about, or a gap in the story you can help fill with another question?
Pro tip: Try parroting their words! For example: You said you had the time of your life. Why was that?
Pro tip: Try to ask open-ended questions! You don’t want to ask a question where the only possible answer is “yes” or “no.” That doesn’t make for very stimulating conversation. Try questions like: Can you tell me about x? Tell me more about y. Can you describe z?
Pro tip: Some of the most rewarding answers follow reflective questions that ask the storyteller to make meaning of their past, sometimes in conjunction with their present. These questions usually come at the end of a discussion around a particular topic or story. For example: What did that mean to you? Or: Wow, you’ve worked so many different places! What connections do you see between these jobs?
We at The Oral History Center value the time and conversations we share with folks in our professional work, and treasure these moments in our personal lives. With these tips and question prompts, we hope you can keep connection and conversation alive in your own lives. After all, storytelling is a great antidote to isolation.
HTML/CSS Toolkit for Digital Projects Wednesday, April 15, 11:10am-12:30pm Online
If you’ve tinkered in WordPress, Google Sites, or other web publishing tools, chances are you’ve wanted more control over the placement and appearance of your content. With a little HTML and CSS under your belt, you’ll know how to edit “under the hood” so you can place an image exactly where you want it, customize the formatting of text, or troubleshoot copy & paste issues. By the end of this workshop, interested learners will be well prepared for a deeper dive into the world of web design. Please bring a laptop if possible. Register at bit.ly/dp-berk
Upcoming Workshops in this Series 2020:
By Design: Graphics & Images Basics (Spring 2020)
Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks (Fall 2020)
The Thérèse Bonney photograph collection at The Bancroft Library consists chiefly of documentary photographs taken throughout Western Europe during World War II. Bonney (Berkeley class of 1916) photographed all aspects of the war, but focused on its effects on the civilian population.
An active humanitarian, Bonney frequently used universal symbols in her work, allowing her images to speak beyond language barriers and leading their viewers to see beyond cultural differences. Her photographs of children were exhibited and published widely, influencing audiences to contribute to relief efforts for innocent victims of war. But the images throughout her archive feature another prominent symbol — women. Old women, young women, mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors; always at work, usually together, forever the epitome of personal sacrifice for the greater good. In honor of Women’s History Month, the Bancroft Library’s Pictorial Unit presents this collection of newly digitized images from the Thérèse Bonney Photograph Collection. The Finding Aid to the Thérèse Bonney Photograph Collection circa 1850-circa 1955 is available through the Online Archive of California. The finding aid includes digital images for Series 6: France, Germany 1944-1946. Images for Series 3: Carnegie Corporation Trip: Portugal, Spain, France 1941-1942 are coming soon, with a preview offered here!
Smithsonian Institute in its magazine announced a launch of their open access platform that will allow its user to search for 2.8 million images that the institution has released into public domain. See the image of this new OA platform below. If you click on the image, you can actually conduct search in a new window. Stay safe and stay well! (Source of this information was my colleague and our librarian for History, Ms. Jennifer Dorner).
Looking for new podcast recommendations as you shelter in place? If you are like me, you are burning through your regular playlist at an alarming speed. To cut through the boredom, I’m sharing one of my favorite podcasts: Past Present.
Past Present is a weekly podcast hosted by a panel of historians who give historical context for a variety of contemporary topics. Fittingly, the show’s motto is “Hindsight is foresight.” Historians Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil J. Young cover topics that range from Greta Thunberg and youth climate activism to the appeal of Marie Kondo to the political power of women’s rage. Hosts bring their own academic specialties and personal interests to the discussions, which means I always walk away with different perspectives and new information.
As Past Present pulls inspiration from popular culture and the news of the day, lately the show has been covering topics such as face masks, quarantines, and just this week cabin fever. This is my third week working from home, and I’ve certainly been feeling restless in a way that even daily walks don’t solve. Past Present host Nicole Hemmer validated that indescribable feeling when she said that cabin fever may not be a disease, but it is “a measurable set of symptoms” with “restlessness, sleepiness, and irritation.” Check, check, and check.
The hosts also share that the term “cabin fever” may have started in the early twentieth century, but it was a recognizable concept in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Think ship-bound sailors or people stuck in unelectrified cabins during snowstorms. But Neil Young points out that “as isolated as we are,” the twenty-first century allows for digital connectivity that is unique from all previous eras in “human history.”
Now, I recognize that it is pretty meta that as I shelter in place at home and start to get a little stir crazy, I look to a discussion on the history of cabin fever as a cure. But I find this oddly comforting. Not only is cabin fever not a new phenomenon born in the time of COVID-19, compared to my ancestors, I am sitting pretty with Internet access and the ability to contact the outside world – even though I may not yet know when this physical isolation will end.
And then, of course, there is my favorite Past Present segment, “What’s Making History,” when hosts point to current events and popular culture as historical trends to keep an eye on. This week, come for the cabin fever conversation, stay for Neil Young’s discussion of what’s behind the new teenage trend of “Virginity Rocks” t-shirts. I had no idea, either.
I hope you love Past Present as much as I do. Treat yourself to a few minutes of listening that’s informative, entertaining, and distracting. Enjoy!
What are YOU listening to? Share with us on Twitter: @BerkeleyOHC
As we get used to the concepts of Social Distancing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must think of how we can leverage our abilities to provide reference services using the online tools that are accessible to our users. Despite the intensity of COVID-19, many publishers are making their content freely available to individual users, and the British Library is not an exception.
Below is an excerpt from the BL Blog announcement, “British History Online (BHO) is a digital collection of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a special focus on the period 1300 to 1800. From 30 March, all transcribed content on BHO is now freely available to individual users, and will remain so until 31 July 2020. The BHO collection includes over 1,280 volumes of primary content and secondary sources.Most of this content (over 1000 volumes or c.80% of the total) is always available free to use by anyone, anywhere with access to the BHO site.”
A simple keyword search for the term, “Mexico“, provides more than four hundred results. Enjoy!