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Presenting the Digital Humanities Collection – Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations

Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations: Tennesseans’ Search for Citizenship, Community, and Opportunity

Tennessee’s history between the end of the American Civil War (1865) and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act often gets ignored. This historic period offers insights into the transformations that took place, including challenges and achievements, as Tennesseans searched for citizenship, community and opportunity. Citizenship—what that has meant and how that has changed—is at the heart of this digital exploration into Tennessee history and culture. This digital collection’s objects, songs, photographs, paintings, and documents often reveal the challenges faced by Tennesseans as they pursued the rights and benefits of citizenship.

Collection available at dsi.mtsu.edu/trials

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Unique Content
A curated collection of rare, hidden, and unique items uncovered from collaborative partnerships including universities, public libraries, state and local archives, museums, and historical societies across the state. The collection includes interpretive layers such as scholarly essays, lesson plans, interactive visualizations and metadata records.

Produced by the James E. Walker Library, in partnership with the Center for Historic Preservation and funded, in part, by the Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Academic Affairs and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, a unit of the National Park Service.

Project Update: This scholarly digital research collection was awarded Honorable Mention for the Garfinkel Prize in Digital Humanities at the American Studies Association Conference in November 2018.

A visual copy (PDF) of the collection introduction is available for download here.

Fall 2018 Digital Workshops

The Fall 2018 Digital Workshops Series schedule is now available. Mark your calendar for the following topics.

*All workshops are in LIB 264A. Register to get a reminder email before the workshop and to help with program planning*

Workshop Schedules below:

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Those who attend any of the fall 2018 workshops (above) can win a grab bag of prizes (above image)!!

(must be present at the workshop to win)

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How do you win the prize bag? Play LibGO:

  • Take the library tour challenge!
  • Designed for students, faculty, staff and community
  • Pick your character, make decisions
  • Earn or loose point based on those decisions
  • Discover how the library can help you succeed
  • Try to get a high score!
  • Take the short survey, help us improve the game

       (show staff the completed survey at the workshop to win prize bag)


Still not sure you want to play?

You decide what paths to take and earn or lose points along the way. There are characters for all: undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and community members. Staff can benefit too by playing faculty or community characters! You can even play characters you don’t identify with and learn even more about how the library can help you succeed. Will you get a high score? Try it out by playing LibGO.

Not interested in prizes?  Play anytime at http://library.mtsu.edu/libgo.

NVivo 12 Workshop

Getting started in NVivo 12 • Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 11:30am-12:30pm

Have you begun conducting qualitative research, but are finding it difficult to keep your data organized? Would you like a better way to manage data analysis? If so, come learn the basics of NVivo 11, a software tool designed for the collection and analysis of qualitative data sources.

This NVivo overview will include a demonstration of the presenter's research to present real-life examples of qualitative research in the social sciences. Participants will receive a free copy of the NVivo 11 Getting Started Guide.

Session topics:

  • Navigating the NVivo Workspace
  • Uploading and linking different data sources
  • Structuring of data to facilitate coding
  • Basic coding and analysis of text sources

Prerequisites: Familiarity with qualitative research methodology.

Presenter:  Walker Library’s Education Librarian, Dr. Karen Reed

Location: Walker Library, LIB 264A (Instruction Classroom)


Open Call for Proposals: Digital Projects Showcase 2018

Call for Proposals Now Open: October 1 thru October 26

Digital Projects Showcase applications due Friday, October 26, 2018

Walker Library Digital Scholarship Initiatives invites proposals for speakers to present a digital project with emphasis in digital methods or technologies in research, teaching, or outreach from any discipline or area at MTSU. Projects may be individual or collaborative and from MTSU faculty, staff or students. Great opportunity to highlight research, ideas, works-in-progress, project milestones/challenges/summaries, and to get conference presentation experience, and learn about other projects being done at MTSU.

Examples of digital projects include (but are not limited to):

  • spatial research (with StoryMaps, ArcGIS, QGIS, Zeemaps, CartoDB, Batchgeo);
  • text analysis (with Oxygen, OpenRefine, TEI, Viewshare, or Voyant);
  • crowdsourcing or annotation research (Hypothes.is, Scripto);
  • digital publishing (Scalar, Git, PressForward, Twine, Adobe, Drupal);
  • digitization projects (with Omeka or CONTENTdm) or web applications;
  • applying data visualizations or machine learning for discovery (with Tableau, R, D3, Python);
  • network analysis (with Palladio or Gephi);
  • temporal analysis (with TimelineJS, SIMILE);
  • qualitative research (NVivo) or statistical analysis (SPSS);
  • immersive media; computational methodologies; and others                                                                                                                                        

Selected projects will present in a lightning round style Showcase on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Presenters will have 2, 4, or 7 minutes to present the use of technologies and overview of their digital projects. Computer, internet access, whiteboard and a microphone will be available for use. For examples projects, see the lineup from last year's Showcase 2017 here.

*Applications are due October 26, notifications to selected speakers are November 1. Send questions to digitalscholar[at]mtsu[dot]edu.


Social Explorer Workshop

Introduction to Social Explorer

Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 1:30am-12:30pm, LIB 264A

Social Explorer is a user-friendly tool for creating interactive maps using recent and historical demographic data (e.g., U.S. census and American Community Survey).

This workshop is suitable for students and faculty from many disciplines, including business, criminal justice, education, gender studies, history, sociology, etc.

This hands-on workshop will begin with an overview of the data sets in Social Explorer, followed by step-by-step instructions for completing the following tasks:

  • Create maps using specific variables (e.g., race)
  • Change visualization types
  • Create and compare side-by-side maps
  • Save and share your map
  • Use the “Tell a Story” tool to provide context for your maps.


Prerequisites: None

Presenter: Walker Library’s Digital Initiatives Librarian, Professor Ken Middleton

Location: Walker Library, LIB 264A (Instruction Classroom)


Scholarly Publishing Workshop

Getting Started in Scholarly Publishing

Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 11:30am-12:30pm

This session is primarily designed for graduate students – particularly doctoral students – who need to produce peer-reviewed journal articles as part of their degree programs, or as part of a balanced CV in preparation for employment post-graduation. Participants will receive instruction on the evolution of the scholarly publishing model as well as an overview of author publishing concerns. In addition to lecture time, the session will include hands-on activities in which participants will create an individualized, multistep action plan for turning one’s research into a submitted article.

Session topics:

  • Overview of scholarly communication
  • Introduction to the Open Access movement       
  • Using library resources to locate possible journals in one’s field
  • Understanding author publishing agreements
  • Production of an individual action plan


Prerequisites: Familiarity with one’s research interests/agenda

Presenter: Walker Library’s Education Librarian, Dr. Karen Reed

Location: Walker Library, LIB 264A (Instruction Classroom)


StoryMaps Workshop

Are you a faculty member interested in using a mapping application as a course project or optional platform for an assignment? Are you a student in need of more training on mapping applications to complete an assignment? Are you just interested in learning more about GIS or other mapping alternatives? Looking for a place to start? Come learn about StoryMaps, an interactive mapping application by ESRI.

Unknown Object

Introduction to StoryMaps, Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 11:30am-12:30pm

Prerequisites: Registration required for hands-on learning with the software

Presenter: Walker Library’s Digital Initiatives Librarian, Professor Ken Middleton

Location: Walker Library, LIB 264A (Instruction Classroom)


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Announcing the Final Projects for the Digital Seed Grants 2017-2018

The Digital Seed Grant (dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant) had an impressive amount of applications for its inaugural year, which launched in 2016 (award period of 2017-2018). Due to the quantity and quality of proposals, the Digital Seed Grant Review Committee and Dean of Libraries decided to award three grants for the 2017 academic year. The awardees were announced on the website at http://dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant17-18. Below are brief summaries of the winning projects (in no particular order) and a link to their individual outcomes. A PDF copy of this annoucement is perserved in the institutional repository. Access the PDF by clicking view/open here.


Tennessee Communication Association Journal Digitization Project

Primary Investigator:  Dr. Patrick Richey, Communication Studies & Organizational Communication Dept.

Description: This project digitized the Tennessee Communication Association's (TCA) Annual Journal (previously titled Tennessee Speech Communication Association Journal). The only known copies of the 1975-1988 series are hard copies in the Walker Library stacks. The digital copy now allows the scholarship and history of an important statewide organization to be accessible to a much wider range of researchers, scholars, and citizens. This project is of importance to both the academic and public good because it contains both historical and genealogical information about Tennessee. The 14 journal volumes are now accessible online thanks to the Digital Seed Grant funds that supported the work of an undergraduate student who scanned the materials, added metadata of the journal content, and through assistance of the library’s technical expertise, including its journal hosting platform. In addition to the completed journal, the student worker presented on the seed grant and journal digitization process at national conference in 2017. There are plans to continue the journal online under the new TCA title in the future.

Project Website: http://libjournals.mtsu.edu/index.php/tcaj/about


MTSU Digital Literacy Initiative

Primary Investigator:  Dr. Molly Taylor-Poleskey, History Department

Description: The Digital Seed Grant helped fund the two-event Fake News Series: one faculty workshop and one talk by an award-winning journalist. Through these events, the Fake New Series sought to provide tools for discerning credible sources of news and information by bridging classroom learning and digital media literacy.

Combined, these events drew in 73 attendees, which were open to campus and the public. Feedback suggests faculty on campus are already applying civic online reasoning exercises shared at these events and the interdisciplinary interest at these campus events shows the need for teaching media literacy in the classroom.

Project News: The Lecture Series at http://mtsunews.com/fake-news-lectures-spr2018


Digitizing a Collection of Historic Clothing

Primary Investigator:  Dr. Teresa King, Human Sciences Department

Description: The Historic Clothing Collection (1790-1990) is a project of the Textiles, Merchandising, and Design (TXMD) program. The 750+ piece collection is a “working collection,” consisting of donations made by individuals from MTSU, Rutherford County and from across the country, including but not limited to a gown worn to J.F.K.’s inaugural ball and elite brands donated by prominent fashion institutes. A working collection differs from a museum collection, where items are used, studied, handled, and occasionally displayed and/or worn for educational purposes.  This collection was digitized and funded, in part, by the Department of Human Sciences and the Digital Seed Grant. Now 390 of those items have been photographed, along with detailed metadata for discoverability and research purposes, so they are available worldwide to students, professionals, museums, and consumers with an interest in historic apparel and accessories. The grant enabled TXMD student assistants to photograph the collection, and develop a digital inventory, along with the library’s enhanced technical infrastructure that aids in the discoverability and preservation of the collection since garments can now be previewed online before being removed from storage. The collection can be explored via suggested topics, or by circa date, title, type, or textile content, and images are available for download and side-by-side viewing. It is intended to educate and inspire diverse audiences interested in historic apparel.

Project Website: http://dsi.mtsu.edu/clothing

Read more about the collection via the MTSU News article published October 2, 2018 or the one-page collection summary (PDF) available here.

Funding and Support

The Digital Seed Grant is made possible by generous funding and support from the Dean of Libraries and the Digital Scholarship Initiatives project team. For many, this is a starter grant, which can lead to national grant opportunities in the future and Walker Library wants to encourage and support such creativity activity.

As a competitive grant, evaluation of applications and assessment of digital lifecycles of selected projects takes time. The Digital Seed Grant is indebted to the time of the Review Committee, comprised of digital project experts from Walker Library and the Digital Partners (a rotating member from the Department of History, Center for Historic Preservation, Center for Popular Music, Albert Gore Research Center and the University Archives). The Walker Library also thanks those that help promote the grant and encourage participation.

The 2018-2019 call for proposals closed; and those projects will commence on July 1, 2018 and continue until June 30, 2019. The 2018-2019 awardees have been announced, and as those projects are completed, the following website will be updated: http://dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant18-19.

Digital Seed Grants 2018-2019 Awarded

The Digital Seed Grant had an impressive amount of applications for its second year. The proposals received were of high quality and diverse in scope. This included submissions from chemistry, aerospace, biology, FIRE, criminal justice, psychology, health and human performance, global studies, English, history, recording industry, and media arts. The Digital Seed Grant Committee commends all the applicants on their proposed research or teaching projects.

Due to the quantity and quality of proposals, the Digital Seed Grant Review Committee and Dean of Libraries decided to award two grants for the 2018-2019 year. We are pleased to announce those winners in no particular order:


3D Biology: Making Claims in the Midst of Natural Variation

Project Lead:  Dr. Anna Grinath, Department of Biology

Project News:

‘Population Variation’.’ Listen to July 17 2018 ‘MTSU on the Record” with host Gina Logue and guest Dr. Anna Grinath at https://mtsunews.com/grinath-3d-biology-july2018/

Professor Uses New Grant To Explore Biology Under the Sea in 3D on ‘MTSU on the Record’. Host Gina Logue interviews Dr. Anna Grinath on the library Digital Seed Grant Award and resulting project. https://mtsunews.com/grinath-on-the-record-july2018/


A Geography of Suffering: Digital History, GIS, and the Stones River National Battlefield Cemetery

Project Lead: Dr. Derek Frisby, Department of Global Studies and Human Geography

Project News:

‘The Search at Stones River.’ Listen to July 5 2018 ‘MTSU on the Record” with host Gina Logue and guest Dr. Derek Frisby at https://mtsunews.com/frisby-stones-river-july2018/

‘MTSU On the Record’ Follows Military Expert’s Searches for Answers at Stones River National Cemetery. Host Gina Logue interviews Dr. Derek Frisby of the library Digital Seed Grant Award and resulting project. https://mtsunews.com/frisby-on-the-record-july2018/


Congratulations to professors Grinath and Frisby. Brief summaries of their Final Projects are available here.

To read about the next cycle for proposals or to see other Digital Seed Grants awarded, visit here.

New Issue: International Journal of the Whole Child

Volume 3, Issue 1 of the International Journal of the Whole Child is now online. The journal is edited by Dr. Kathleen G. Burriss (Middle Tennessee State University) and Dr. Sandra J. Stone (Northern Arizona University).

Walker Library offers free journal hosting services to members of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) community. All of the journals we service are digital and open access (free to read online). Walker Library established this journal hosting program to meet the needs and support the mission, values and vision of the university. See more journals published at MTSU here. Check out the journal hosting resources if you wish to learn more about this publishing option.

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