Academic Hardcores and Academic Farbs

In the book Confederates in the Attic, Tony Horwitz encounters Civil War re-enactors of varying levels of seriousness about their craft. They divide into two main categories: hardcores and farbs. The hardcores get into their roles as accurately as possible, even starving themselves so they look like haggard Confederate soldiers. They eat, drink, and breathe the Civil War. (One hardcore says, “I don’t do drugs; I do the Civil War.”)[1.  Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic:…

Continue reading

DigiWriMo Halftime Report

Today is November 15, the halfway mark in DigiWriMo/AcWriMo. It’s time to check in and see how my DigiWriMo goals are progressing. Here are the goals: 1. Write one officer bio every day for the first 17 days, taking off Sundays. I’m happy to report that I’m right on target. Today, I completed the last of my officer bios: Stephen Decatur.  2. Write one or two ship bios for the remaining days. (Take Thanksgiving Day…

Continue reading

The Lessons of a Bad Network Graph

Spurred by our DH reading group at Northeastern, as well as my general tendency to jump into things before really knowing what I’m doing, I decided a few weeks ago to download Gephi and see what sort of rudimentary networks I could create. I’d been cataloging the service record of each of my Preble’s Boys officers, setting up the chart so that I could see concurrent service. I started out just looking to see whether…

Continue reading

WriMos

I remember the first time I heard the word(?) NaNoWriMo. First I thought: What in the world does that word(?) mean? It sounds a bit like an alien planet. Once I found out what it was, I thought: You people are insane. Write a novel in a month? That’s crazy. I still think NaNoWriMo is crazy. But it has spurred several other WriMos that seem a little more useful to my current life: DigiWriMo and…

Continue reading

THATCamp New England Roundup

On Saturday, I went to THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) New England at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. I’ve known of THATCamps for several years, but this was my first chance to actually attend one. I went to four sessions: Libraries, Archives, and Museums; Customizing Omeka; Doing Digital History with Non-Digital Sources (link to notes); and Network Analysis. This post isn’t a comprehensive record of everything that went on, but rather just a few…

Continue reading

Omeka Development Plan

In their book Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web, Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig advocate that digital historians should have a well-defined plan for their websites before they start. So I thought I’d share my ideas about Preble’s Boys here, and perhaps get some feedback from others about the plan.   First off, the inspiration. I was inspired to do this project by thinking about how naval officers of the nineteenth…

Continue reading