My name is Justin Martin and I am currently doing an MA in Digital Humanities at Maynooth University for the academic year 2016/17. In the last few years I experienced a small amount of digitisation through the research I had done on my undergraduate thesis Augustan Coinage: Imagery & Symbolism. It was during this period that I frequented and researched many numismatic databases that specifically dealt with coins from antiquity. These databases or digital platforms were designed to showcase numismatic images along with their historical biographies and physical characteristics.
After finishing my (TSM) Bachelor’s Degree in Ancient History/Archaeology & Jewish/Islamic Civilisation in 2016, I had my heart set on doing a Master’s Degree in conservation/preservation in the cultural heritage sector. This is when I became aware of the MA in Digital Humanities that Maynooth University were advertising. I did not think twice about applying for this exciting and relevant course, as it ticked all my areas of interest.
This MA is both theoretical and practical in equal measures. The course has helped me in areas such as blog construction using WordPress, Java programming, XML, HTML, which are all transferable skills one can use in IT jobs at home or abroad. In addition to these computer skills, I also learned how to capture objects using different methods such as 3D scanning and photogrammetry using a high spec DSLR camera. Using software programmes, one can learn how to produce a high quality 3D model and upload them onto reputable platforms such as Sketchfab which allow one to publish, share & discover 3D projects online and in Visual Reality. I also discovered RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) this is a computational photographic method that captures a subject’s surface shape. This method works well with ancient coinage, and provides intricate details on the coin that would be otherwise invisible to the naked eye. The other technology that really interested me was the hyper-spectral imaging; this involves the scanning of an object using multiple wavelengths that are outside the parameters of the human eye. This method is used to detect art and antiquity fraud and is an area that I am passionate about.
The MA in Digital Humanities is a degree that can provide one with the skills and theoretical knowledge to avail of multiple job opportunities across many disciplines which I have outlined. Digital Humanities is a very exciting subject that traverses the boundaries of other deep rooted disciplines such as archaeology and computer science.
I recently attended the VHN (Visual Heritage Network) conference, which was held in Cork in November 2016. I came away from this conference in Cork feeling really excited for the future of Digital Humanities and even more so, for my own future in this new and exciting field. You can find out more information about some of the new exciting presentations given by experts at the VHN conference in Cork by clicking on my (blog-post).