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Archive for the Tag 'digital humanities'

Storymap: A New Free Mapping Tool from Knightlab

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StoryMapJS is a free tool created by Northwestern University’s Knightlab, which aimes to make technology that promotes quality storytelling on the Internet. Storymap allows you to highlight locations of a series of events, like this example of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Works of Art. It also uses features like Gigapixel to tag points on an existing images like this example of The Garden of Earthly Delights or SnapMap to instantly create a map through your Instagram feed.  Try this open source user friendly tool for plotting your next project!

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Digital Stories at the Wellcome Collection

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The Wellcome Collection in London explores connections between medicine, life and art through both physical and digital exhibitions. Mindcraft is a new Digital Story that explores a century of madness, murder and mental healing, from the arrival in Paris of Franz Anton Mesmer with his theories of ‘animal magnetism’ to the therapeutic power of hypnotism used by Freud.  Through an immersive scrolling interface including image galleries, video, and interactives, the Wellcome Collection asks who really is in control of their own mind, and where does the mind’s power to harm or heal end?

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Penn Museum’s Digital Resources for Archaeology and Anthropology

The Penn Museum in Philadelphia, the University of Pennslyvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, recently launched two new digital endeavors for researchers.

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The newly revamped Collections Database includes more than 690,000 objects and more than 95,000 images. The database records are robust, with links to related objects and bibliographic citations of where the image has been published.

The Penn Museum also allows users to download data files of its object records under a Creative Commons license. You can download datasets on all objects or by cultural group, including African, American, Asian, Egyptian, European, Historic, Mediterranean, Near Eastern, and Oceanian. The datasets include physical information, its provenance, and materialiaty but not images of the objects and the objects’ publication and exhibition histories.

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The Research Map and Timeline provides interactive documentation and information about the museum’s research expeditions and projects since the 1880s. Users can browse projects geographically or chronologically, and the website provides a record of the dates, researchers, and time period studied as well as a brief description of the work done and key discoveries.

Via ArtDaily

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Exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society 1870–1915

RPS Exhibitions

Exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society is a research database of more than 45,000 records culled from the exhibition catalogs of published by the Photographic Society in London from 1870 to 1915. The database contains detailed records of all exhibits, reproductions of the catalog pages, and information about “exhibitors, judges, hanging and selecting committee members, photographs, and companies.”

For more information or to explore the database, click here.

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A Van Gogh Research Round-Up

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With the conclusion of an eight-year long research project, Vincent van Gogh has been in the news quite a bit recently. In 2005, the van Gogh museum teamed up with Shell and the Netherland’s Cultural Heritage Agency to research the materials, tools, techniques, and working processes of the artist. The website for the research project, Van Gogh’s Studio Practice, describes contains blog posts about how the researchers approached their work and describes the aims of their research. The results of the project were not earth-shattering, but the small surprises they discovered do deepen our understanding of van Gogh’s works and his psyche. The most talked about new discovery is the fact that The Bedroom was originally painted with violet walls, but since the red pigment of the paint faded, we know the work as having blue walls.

The new exhibition at the van Gogh Museum benefits from results of this lengthy research project, and is called Van Gogh at Work (May 1, 2013–January 12, 2014). The show will contain 200 works by van Gogh as well as some contemporary artists, as well as archival materials such as letters, sketchbooks, and the artist’s palette and paint tubes. The show will also include a digital re-creation of The Bedroom to show how it would have looked with the original violet walls.

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The Van Gogh Museum also has a web portal for van Gogh’s letters (written and received) that contains facsimiles, transcriptions, and detailed object information of some 900 letters and 25 miscellaneous loose sheets or drafts. You can browse the collection by period, correspondent, place, or limit your results to letters that contain sketches. Simple and advanced search features are also available. The website also contains a wealth of contextual essays, biographical information, and research tools including the publication history of van Gogh’s letters, a chronology, and detailed bibliographies of the individual letters. A few years ago, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam released an app called Yours, Vincent: The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, which contains digitized versions of van Gogh’s letters, sketches, and paintings as well as audio and video contextual clips.

Via ArtNews and the New York Times. For more information about van Gogh’s archival presence, visit Vincent van Gogh, The Letters or the Yours, Vincent app. You can always stop by the VRC to check it out, too!

Image: Vincent van Gogh. Self-portrait with a Straw Hat (verso: The Potato Peeler), probably 1887. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 67.187.70a. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Open Access PDF Edition of Digital Humanities (2012)

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In November 2012 the MIT press published Digital_Humanities, and recently, an open access PDF of the publication was made freely available online as a PDF, which you can read on your computer or e-reader. If your research is taking you in the direction of digital humanities techniques or if you’re considering future projects, this book is a great resource on the state of the field:

Digital_Humanities is a compact, game-changing report on the state of contemporary knowledge production. Answering the question, “What is digital humanities?,” it provides an in-depth examination of an emerging field. This collaboratively authored and visually compelling volume explores methodologies and techniques unfamiliar to traditional modes of humanistic inquiry–including geospatial analysis, data mining, corpus linguistics, visualization, and simulation–to show their relevance for contemporary culture.

Included are chapters on the basics, on emerging methods and genres, and on the social life of the digital humanities, along with “case studies,” “provocations,” and “advisories.” These persuasively crafted interventions offer a descriptive toolkit for anyone involved in the design, production, oversight, and review of digital projects. The authors argue that the digital humanities offers a revitalization of the liberal arts tradition in the electronically inflected, design-driven, multimedia language of the twenty-first century.

Written by five leading practitioner-theorists whose varied backgrounds embody the intellectual and creative diversity of the field, Digital_Humanities is a vision statement for the future, an invitation to engage, and a critical tool for understanding the shape of new scholarship.

For more information, visit the MIT Press or click here to download the PDF—for free! You can also stop by the VRC—we have a copy of the PDF on our iPad.

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post—Notes on Modern & Contemporary Art Around the Globe

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post Notes on Modern & Contemporary Art Around the Globe is an interactive platform hosted by the Museum of Modern Art that encourages participation in a wide variety of discussions pertaining to the contemporary art and archives. This began as the public face for MoMA’s research program C-MAP (Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives in a Global Age Initiative):

post is a site for encounters between the established and experimental, the historical and emerging, the local and global, the scholarly and artistic. An online journal, archive, exhibition space, and open forum that takes advantage of the nonhierarchical nature of the Internet, post seeks to spark in-depth explorations of the ways in which modernism is being redefined. The site’s contents are intended to build nuanced understandings of the histories that shape the practices of artists and institutions today. As a networked platform, post aims to provide an alternative to the model of a unified art historical

For more information, visit post.

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The Getty’s Life of Art App

Life of Art

To accompany their recently opened exhibition The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display, the Getty released a mobile app of the same name. The exhibition, which opened in February, looks at only four objects in the museum’s collection, but it does so in extreme detail to encourage users to consider the entire “life” of the object, long before it entered the museum’s collection.

Their app of the same name allows iPad users to explore the same four objects in the installation, providing a 360-degree view of the objects as well as information about the technique used in the objects creation, the history and cultural context of the style, and any damage that came from the object’s use over time.

For more information, visit the Life of Art app or stop by the VRC to check out this app and many other art apps on our iPad 2.

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The Public Domain Review

Public Domain Review

The Public Domain Review (a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation) is a great resource that highlights a variety of digitized public domain resources and curated collections, including images, film, text, and audio. In addition, there are scholarly articles from various humanities disciplines that engage with the digital materials included on the site.

The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project dedicated to showcasing the most interesting and unusual out-of-copyright works available online.

All works eventually fall out of copyright – from classic works of art, music and literature, to abandoned drafts, tentative plans, and overlooked fragments. In doing so they enter the public domain, a vast commons of material that everyone is free to enjoy, share and build upon without restriction.

We believe the public domain is an invaluable and indispensable good, which – like our natural environment and our physical heritage – deserves to be explicitly recognised, protected and appreciated.

The Public Domain Review aims to help its readers to explore this rich terrain – like a small exhibition gallery at the entrance of an immense network of archives and storage rooms that lie beyond.

The PDR also has a thorough guide to finding interesting public domain works online. Collaborators include the Internet Archive, Europa, the Library of Congress, the Field Museum, the Boston Public Library, the California Digital Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty, and more.

For more information, visit the Public Domain Review.

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New Website for the Digital Scrolling Paintings Project

Nine Dragons, Digital Srolling Paintings Project

The Center for the Art of East Asia has recently announced the launch of a new and improved website for the digital handscroll paintings project:

One of the major types of traditional East Asian painting, the handscroll, or horizontal scroll, is meant to be appreciated by unrolling and viewing it section-by-section as a continuous composition. Unfortunately, the temporal and participatory aspects of viewing handscrolls cannot be readily experienced today, as the original paintings are far too valuable and fragile to be handled frequently. When shown in museums, they are always placed in glass cases and are seldom displayed in their entirety. For students and specialists seeking to view them, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain access to these important cultural materials. Beyond the rare opportunities to experience them in person, they are primarily known through static, fragmentary images in slides and as photographs in books. Fortunately, the digital medium has offered the potential for much greater exposure to these works of art, simulating the interactive viewing experience for which they were originally designed. The Center for the Art of East Asia (CAEA)at the University of Chicago has teamed with the Visual Resources Center (VRC) and Humanities Research Computing to develop this innovative digital presentation. Initially used as a course website, we are also developing it as a resource for teaching and research at other universities and for museum archiving and exhibition. The digital scrolling paintings website is a multi-functional tool that allows users to move through the scrolls and view elements of the painting in high resolution, with colophons, signatures, and seals of artists and collectors, and also to examine their media, materiality, and techniques of production. This is a means to fuller understanding of a work both in its details and as a composite of its many elements.

Digital technology presents these paintings as continuous scrolling images and offers various kinds of user interfaces such as auto-scrolling, zooming, and comparison. The newly designed website has more paintings accessible for public viewing and enhanced functions for searching, text annotations, and links to related material. We are continuing to add paintings to the public website and partnering with other institutions with a goal to create a more extensive public database of these invaluable works of art. We will include more rare works, Japanese painting, and calligraphy. The project has negotiated agreements to show paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Palace Museum, Beijing, St. Louis Art Museum, and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago.

To learn more, visit the Digital Scrolling Paintings Project.

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