Web/Digital Projects are typically grant funded, and focus on digital scholarship, digital humanities (DH), and web applications that enhance the user experience.
Digital Collections and Digital Projects are largely built with CONTENTdm as a foundation. However, projects often use a combination of tools beyond CONTENTdm, including the institutional repository, OJS journal platform, and third-party applications such as StoryMaps, ArcGIS, Tableau, TimelineJS, etc. All of these are accessible on this website by clicking on Collections, Publishing, and Projects from the menu header row.
Digital Projects usually have strong foundations with the following:
- Metadata, descriptive records that aid in the indexing and discovery of digital collections
- Opportunities for presentation or development of research in collaborative and competitive grant funding proposals and conference presentations
- Development of digital exhibits and thematic research collections that are collaborative in nature and often grant funded such as Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations
- User Experience (UX) research and design methods that focus on human-centered values and design thinking methodologies
- Research that focuses on the contextual themses or qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating the library user experience; and often published as case studies or guides on the use of digital methods and tools, such as Digital Project Preservation Plan or Collaborative Publishing in Digital History.
Examples of Digital Scholarship/Humanties projects at MTSU
DS/DH projects are created with and for scholars. In addition to images and historical documents, projects include multimedia components, contextual themes, and lesson plans, essays or interactive features. These projects are a collaborative effort with content and technology experts who use a variety of digital methods (text analysis, spatial analysis, digitization, photogrammetry, usabilty, etc) and digital tools including CONTENTdm, ArcGIS, StoryMaps, TimelineJS, Drupal, Omeka and more.
Digital Projects began circa 2004, before DSI was formalized in 2014. The initial digitization efforts produced digital collections that became the heart of DSI beginnings. Examples of recent projects include:
- Shades of Gray and Blue (2011-2013)
In Tennessee, we have all heard stories of life and death on the state’s Civil War battlefields, but what happened to the men, women, and children who stayed at home? Their stories, seen through the lens of the objects that were a part of their daily lives, reflect the ways Tennesseans adapted, coped, and thrived during a war whose reverberations are still felt today.
- Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations (2013-2014; 2017-2018)
This collection explores African-American Tennesseeans' search for citizenship, community, and opportunity between the end of the American Civil War (1865) and the end of World War II (1945). The project was a collaboration between MTSU's Center for Historic Preservation and the James E. Walker Library, in cooperation with many partner institutions across Tennessee.
- Places, Perspectives (2018-2019)
This collection documents the histories of communities that are the focus of Places, Perspectives: African American Community-building in Tennessee, 1860-1920, a collaborative partnership initiative funded through a matching grant from the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area to Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Geosciences and James E. Walker Library in partnership with the Center for Historic Preservation.
- LibGO (2018)
This gamified orientation was designed to engage users as an alternative method to library orientation tours, targeting users (faculty, online students, graduate students, community members) who do not take the traditional library instruction courses (which are for undergraduates). The interactive challenge was built with Twine, an open source publishing tool, complete with a scoring system, character selection and used as a test pilot for future UX projects. LibGO was partially funded by the MT Engage grant and had over 60 particpants on day one and nearly 200 participants overall. Learn more from published peer-reviewed articles.
Funding: Digital Seed Grants
Walker Library Digital Scholarship Initiatives invites proposals for seed grants (up to $2000) to support individual or collaborative digital scholarship projects in research, teaching, or public outreach from any discipline or area at MTSU. to find more information about this opportunity, visit Digital Seed Grant webpage.
Occassionally the library partners with campus to host brown-bag sessions on digital humanities topics. To view the schedule or suggest a topic or speaker, visit the DH Seminars page.