Makers: Women Artists in the Early Modern Courts of Europe

Makers: Women Artists in the Early Modern Courts of Europe is a new online resource in development at the University of Alabama in collaboration with the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC). The goal of the Makers Project is to encourage sustained, interdisciplinary consideration of the role early modern women played in the hands-on production of visual and material culture in the courts of Europe. The Makers Project Team is in the process of designing a web-based platform that will serve as an interactive digital lab for scholars, encouraging study, collaborative research, innovative approaches, and dissemination of information dedicated to this field. The peer-reviewed digital space will allow scholars to upload visual and textual resources – biographical, archival, and printed. It will also include a dynamic mapping tool designed to highlight the connections between objects, artists, patrons, and materials. The pilot project, initiated in Fall, 2015, involves a significant pedagogical component, representing collaboration between faculty, graduate students, and staff of the ADHC.

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Hobo News Digital Archive

This project is a collaboration between the ADHC and the St. Louis Public Library which aims to digitize the extremely rare newspaper publication Hobo News from the early twentieth century, and ultimately to make this digital collection available to the public. The Hobo News was created by and for hobos, including a gregarious variety of materials from reports from workers’ societies and conventions to creative re-writings of hymns and popular tunes aiming to propagate socialist ideals, as well as adverts placed by families seeking lost or missing relatives who they hoped might be known among the travelling community. There is only one known complete run of the Hobo News extant to us today, housed in the Special Collections of the St. Louis Public Library, and they are graciously partnering with us to create a proof-of-concept site which we hope will later grow and be available publicly. Ultimately, we aim to incorporate not only scans of the publication on the site, and to make these fully searchable via OCR and detailed metadata, but also to create visualizations showing the geographic range and spread of the publication and its contributors which will highlight its very specific relationship with St. Louis and other key hubs in the early twentieth century.

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ARH 373: The Small Treasures Project

In conjunction with the exhibition Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and their Contemporaries, on view at the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) from January 31- April 26, 2015, students enrolled in ARH 373 (Dr. Tanja Jones, Northern Baroque Art) at the University of Alabama are conducting research dedicated to the paintings in the exhibition. This project represents an opportunity for students to gain exposure to original works of art produced in Flanders and the United Provinces in the seventeenth century. It is part of an effort to enhance experiential learning beyond the walls of the lecture hall and involves tours of the exhibition facilitated by BMA curators and staff, research in University libraries, and the sharing of research findings via this website, designed by faculty and staff in the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC).

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It is easier than ever to disseminate words and ideas expressed through the human voice. And of course, it is common practice in the literature classroom for teachers to read texts aloud and to ask students to do the same. However, there is little conversation in English departments about the skill it takes to read such literature aloud or about how the voice can influence our perspectives on literature. The UA Voxology seeks to address this gap, to begin to teach the voice in the literature classroom by compiling an audio anthology of local voices reading from classic American and British literature and by encouraging students and community members to contribute to that anthology. We envision an interactive hub for such content, similar to Pandora or Spotify, that situates new recordings within a larger whole and encourages listeners to browse and immerse themselves in the collection, creating their own recordings and adding their own voices. The UA Voxology will act both as a resource for the classroom and as another way the University can reach out to engage the larger community. The long-term goal of the project is to create a high quality audio database of English and American literature that students and teachers can use to experience and study how the human voice affects our experience of literaturedent.

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“To See Justice Done”: Letters from the Scottsboro Boys Trials

More than eighty years ago, on March 25, 1931, nine young African Americans hopped a train in a Chattanooga freight yard and headed west to seek work. Instead, they found themselves joined together at the center of a life and death courtroom drama, falsely accused of rape. The Scottsboro Boys’ cases focused an international spotlight on Jim Crow in America in the 1930s. In 2013, Alabama legislators passed two bills, acknowledging that the men were “victims of a gross injustice.” One, a resolution, exonerated the nine defendants; and the other created a law making it possible to grant posthumous pardons to the Scottsboro defendants. Part of the Scottsboro Boys Museum University-Community partnership, this digital project aims to create a curated online repository of letters about the Scottsboro Boys Trials sent to Alabama governors during the 1930s from a wide range of correspondents to shed new light on these pivotal historical events.

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Culture on the Edge

Culture on the Edge is comprised of a core collaborative research group and its invited guests. Together they interrogate the contradiction between the historicity of identity, which is always fluid over place and time, and common scholarly assertions of a static and ahistorical origin for an identity community (whether religious, national, ethnic, etc.) against which cultural change can be measured. The collaborative has a book series with Equinox Publishers.

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Carte de Visite Project

The Southern Cartes de Visite Collection is a recently-digitized group of 3,356 photographs from circa 1850 to 1900 from the A. S. Williams III Americana Collection. The ADHC was part of a larger collaboration within the University Libraries to create a digital map depicting the locations of photographers, studios, and galleries represented within the collection of cartes de visite, creating an interface in which users can browse the collection geographically, or filter it by photographer. Users can also access a link to the Acumen database to see and manipulate the cartes de visite photographs. The cartes-de-visite, or “visiting cards,” are part of the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection at The University of Alabama. The photographs represent an impressive range of southern studios during a time when the prints were the most popular and inexpensive form of portrait photography. Small (2 1/2 by 4 1/2) albumen images mounted on cardstock, cartes-de-visite allowed customers to quickly and easily share photographs with friends, family, and colleagues. Many prominent and lesser-known photographers are represented, and the collection serves as a valuable resource for historians of the South, genealogists, and the general public.

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George C. Rable Civil War Indexes

On this website is a set of indexes to published primary sources (books and periodicals) dealing with the American Civil War that I have created over the past fifteen years or so. This began when I was on the road a great deal and so would take along collections of letters or diaries to examine for various research projects.  I began noting items that might be of future use to my students or myself but soon expanded the scope to create rough subject indexes for each volume or article. Included is material from soldiers and civilians, Union and Confederate, items produced by a single individual as well some more general compilations.  At this point the collection includes over one thousand book indexes and a large number of indexed articles.  The collection is growing, and I plan on making continuous additions.

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Digitizing The Marginalia of John Stuart Mill

This project is being conducted in partnership with the Special Collections division of the Library of Somerville College, Oxford, which houses the library of John Stuart Mill and his father, James Mill. We are working together to create a multi-faceted open access digital resource showcasing the manuscript marginalia written in texts by both J. S. Mill and his father, enabling researchers and students to read these alongside scholarly writing about these materials. The website will also furnish researchers with a suite of supporting materials giving context to the marginalia, and more broadly the rest of Mill’s holdings.

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