Sonia Jędrysiak

Exploring the possibilities of the Digital Humanities

Category: Digital Humanities (Page 1 of 3)

Adventures in Digitisation: Practicum

As part of my MA in Digital Humanities, I’m doing a Practicum with National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. The project has three deliverables: digitisation of at least 6 objects chosen by the Museum supervisor, desk research into current digitization practices in other European Museums and finally, writing a ‘step-by-step’ white paper that would help the Museum staff undertake the digitization themselves and possibly, include it in the future standard practices of objects acquisition. The objectives are clear and achievable in the 3,5 months time frame given for the project. What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to have a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes side of the museum and learning how to work on a project like this – celebrating little victories and tackling the obstacles as they come along. Structure from motion technique can be a very rewarding method when done right.

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Quality Control

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With only few days to go before finalizing our project, it became more than clear that the biggest mistakes were made at the very beginning of the project. That being said, we did the best as we thought we could during data capturing session at the National Science Museum in Maynooth.

Before capturing each object we took couple of trial photos, to make sure that the camera settings are right, focus is correct and that the object is placed correctly within the light box (it was also important to determine which background would look better: black or white). Our objects had many brass, glass and polished wood elements which made it very challenging to make sure that there is as little reflectiveness as possible (post factum, we concluded that it would be best to use polarizing filters). Some of the objects had movable parts that would be set in motion as the objects were rotated during capturing, which caused some additional issues with focus. Each taken image was being examined on the camera display, however it was impossible to spot all the flaws on such a small screen.

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Virtual Heritage Network Conference at UCC

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Source: dri.ie

2016 VHN conference at University College Cork was a fantastic occasion to listen to inspiring talks and being introduced to interesting research projects. By far, the variety of covered topics was the best feature of the conference since it presented a wide spectrum of existing opportunities for further work both in  the area of Virtual Heritage, as well as Digital Humanities. If one was skeptical before about the interdisciplinary character of DH and VH, this conference proved it to be true by bringing together many scholars from different backgrounds who use similar tools often for vast types of research.

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Here be Dragons: The Fear of Progress

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Source: http://www.livescience.com/

It seems like every time new research field or method is created, muffled wave of outrage ripples through the academia, triggered by skepticism, disbelief and fear of drastic change it could bring. Although very few scholars would admit it, it’s visible in heated arguments exchanged in reviews and articles. It’s only natural – when Bronislaw Malinowski introduced ethnography as a ‘must use’ tool, the anthropological scene in the UK (and in the world) was shocked and VERY uncomfortable with the idea. Yet, with years it did became a standard.

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