New Course in Digital Humanities!

Inspired by my fellowship at the Scholars’ Lab last year, I am teaching a course in the History Department this coming spring called, HIST 4501 “From Vellum to Very Large Databases: Historical Sources Past, Present, and Future.”   The course will examine how information about the past has been (and is being) preserved.

Historians rely on primary sources to inform and defend their arguments about the past, but digital technology is altering the form and the content of available records and, in the process, raising fundamental questions about the nature of historical analysis.   I have designed the course to be “hands on,” so students will have the chance to

  • examine illuminated manuscripts
  • operate an early printing press
  • geo-reference historical maps

as they explore familiar and unfamiliar ways of recording information and reflect on how these formats affect the study of history.

The course is for undergraduates and will meet on Wednesdays from 3:30-6:00pm.  For more information,  check out the course page at

“From Vellum to Very Large Databases” is a 4501 (Major Seminar), so students will sign up via a waitlist and then be added once they have received the instructor’s permission to enroll.

In brief: I am an Early American historian, a database designer, and a photographer. I'm also sleep-deprived, but that probably isn't related . . . Current Digital Humanities Librarian at Brown University, former Presidential Fellow in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a former Digital Humanities Fellow in the University of Virginia Library's Digital…

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