What Makes a Good DH Project?

Content: The content of the digital humanities project should be organized around a clear goal or centralizing theme that draws the archive/map/topic modeling together. This should not only be stated somewhere within the project, but be seen clearly throughout the project.

Clarity and organization: Just as important as content is the way in which organized within the project. A project should be easy to navigate and search within. It should be connect in ways that

Design: The project should be, again, easy to navigate, but should also be aesthetically pleasing. Design should not interfere with the users ability to read or navigate the site. If possible, design should be related to the topic at hand.

Scholarly approach: The DH project should use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. Citations should be accurate and consistent with one citation style. Overall, the content should be appealing to an intellectual or a scholar in a specific topic area.

Relevance: All sources within a project should be relevant to the central idea of the topic. The core content should be relevant to the times as well, interpreting and analyzing sources that make sense within the popular topics and media. A project on children’s artwork may be popular with children’s mothers’, but less so with the popular crowd like a project on Victorian literature would be.

 

Good digital humanities project are collaborative works by scholars to further an understanding about a topic. This central topic should inform the content of the project, whether it is articles in an archive or locations on a map. The project should be clear in this topic, but also easy for a user to navigate. The content is only usable if it can be found and understood. This brings in the design on the site, which should allow for ease of navigation without being too confusing for the user and without interfering with the central topic. A background picture of rockets has no place on a map on London, and etc. Relevancy of sources to the topic is crucial in creating a scholarly project. This involves accurate grammar and citations, formulating a project that can be used to further an understanding of a topic.

DH allows scholars to ask new questions by giving them access to information they may not have had before. In compiling these projects, scholars have instant access to tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of sources on a single topic at one time. This is not possible with print texts, which have to be found through libraries that these scholars may not have access too. To compile these sources into a single print source would be a thousand page book or series of volumes. Given access to new information insights a storm of valuable new sources to analyze, perhaps even question theories by pas scholars. Digital humanities is crucial to the future of understanding because it puts thousands of years worth of sources at your fingertips, from any computer worldwide.

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