Blog //Collaborative mentoring at UT & UVa: co-developing an updated TEIDisplay for Omeka

In partial answer to Bethany’s charge in her recent ProfHacker piece “it starts on day one,” I’m very excited to introduce a cross-institutional effort  between the Scholars’ Lab and the School of Information at UT-Austin to mentor two UT graduate students in the iSchool as they work to develop a DH tool for the DH community. The project will have two corresponding parts based on the background and interest of the students. Zane Schwarzlose, whose background includes extensive experience in developing with PhP and JavaScript will work to enhance TEIDisplay, an Omeka plugin originally written by Ethan Gruber at the Scholars’ Lab, that allows users to upload and display searchable TEI texts within the Omeka environment. Carin Yavorcik, an emerging archivist, will create TEI templates as well as user documentation so that the new tool will be useful not only to the many cultural institutions that Omeka serves but also to instructors who are looking for an environment within which they can teach the integral ways in which a TEI text can function as a cross-platform representation of text.

The collaboration makes sense on many levels, but here are two that surface readily:

  1. These are complex technologies that function in a complex social and cultural system. We can meet the development needs because we represent institutions with different institutional missions, different (though like-minded) communities, with different resources.

  2.  Our students, who will seek jobs in which they work collaboratively in different institutional missions, from the perspective of different (though like-minded) communities, with different resources, must be prepared to meet these challenges within a network of a the wider DH community.

If we believe in a basic DH tenet that making is a theoretically framed activity that helps deepen our understanding of our cultural artifacts and our modes of knowledge production, we must instill, as Bethany so aptly articulates, ”a can-do, maker’s ethos” in students who will feel “empowered to build and re-build the systems in which they and future students will operate.” To further this cause, we must also instill a second basic DH tenet in our community of scholars, makers, and teachers: we must pool our resources, both technical and academic, and develop our technologies (such as the TEI and Omeka) and mentor our students, together.

Both Carin and Zane will blog regularly in this space as the project develops. Onward ho, ya’ll.

Cite this post: Tanya Clement. “Collaborative mentoring at UT & UVa: co-developing an updated TEIDisplay for Omeka”. Published February 02, 2012. http://scholarslab.org//blog/collaborative-mentoring-at-ut-and-uva-co-developing-an-updated-teidisplay-for-omeka/. Accessed on .