Libraries from UNT, Texas Woman's University team up to present digital humanities conference

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 15:26

What: Digital Frontiers 2014-- A two-day conference in which educators and librarians will explore innovation in digital resources for research, teaching and learning in the humanities. Sponsored by the University of North Texas Libraries in partnership with the Blagg-Huey Library at Texas Woman's University, the UNT Press, the UNT Libraries' Portal to Texas History and the Texas State Historical Association. Followed by a THATCamp, or The Humanities and Technology Camp.

When: Conference on Sept. 18-19 (Thursday-Friday). THATCamp on Sept. 20 (Saturday)

Where: Conference at Hubbard Hall on the TWU campus, 301 Administration Drive. THATCamp at TWU's Blagg-Huey Library, 304 Administration Drive.

Cost: Conference registration fees range from $40 to $125 and include more perks at the higher levels. Full-time undergraduate and graduate students will attend for free, but must register in advance.

Registration available on the conference website through Sept. 12 (Friday). The fee for THATCamp is $20 and includes breakfast and lunch. Registration is available on the conference website.

Contact: Spencer Keralis, research associate professor with the UNT Libraries, at 940-369- 6884.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- When students in some Texas schools study the Texas Revolution, they read actual letters written by those who experienced the battles, including William Travis' plea for reinforcements that he wrote as Mexican troops surrounded the Alamo and Sam Houston's official report of the victorious Battle of San Jacinto.

These items on the Resources4Educators section of the University of North Texas Libraries' Portal to Texas History are just one example of how faculty members are using digital archives, GIS and mapping, data visualization and blogging and social media to teach humanities. The third Digital Frontiers conference sponsored by the UNT Libraries Sept. 18-19 (Thursday-Friday) will bring together scholars and teachers, academic and public librarians and others to learn about the latest developments and use of digital resources.

Texas Woman's University's Blagg-Huey Library has joined with the UNT Libraries and the Portal to Texas History -- which provides online access to millions of pages of items from archives, historical societies, libraries, museums and collections in Texas -- as a partner for this year's conference.

The conference will be held at TWU's Hubbard Hall, 301 Administration Drive in Denton. Registration is available through Sept. 12 (Friday) at the conference website. Fees range from $40 to $125, with those who register at higher levels receiving perks such as travel mugs, locally roasted coffee and VIP tours of TWU's special collections and archives with a luncheon catered by Queenie's Steakhouse in Denton, owned by celebrity chef Tim Love. The conference is free to full-time undergraduate and graduate students, but they must register in advance.

Spencer Keralis, research associate professor with the UNT Libraries, said Digital Frontiers exists because librarians and scholars wanted "to reach across departmental and institutional boundaries to find collaborators and do the work that is the future of the humanities." The partnership with TWU, he said, reflects the theme of collaboration.

Kimberly Johnson, coordinator of special collections with the TWU Libraries, noted the partnership between UNT and TWU Libraries "highlights the strengths of two distinguished academic libraries in the North Texas area and provides the ideal opportunity for the Blagg-Huey Library on the TWU Denton campus to welcome the digital humanities community to the Woman's Collection, a preeminent research center for women's history."

Digital Frontiers 2014 will be followed by THATCamp Digital Frontiers, or The Humanities and Technology Camp Digital Frontiers, on Sept. 20 (Saturday). THATCamps, which have been held in conjunction with professional conferences since 2008, are open meetings in which humanities and technology professionals of all skill levels learn together in sessions they propose on the spot. The sessions can be led by any participant and may involve demonstrations of tools, or simply be based around discussion of a question. THATCamps follow the participatory "unconference" model developed by George Mason University's Center for History and New Media.

THATCamp will take place at TWU's Blagg-Huey Library, 304 Administration Drive.The fee is $20 and includes breakfast and lunch. Registration is available on the conference website through Sept. 12 (Friday). Conference registration is not required to attend THATCamp.

Miriam Posner, the coordinator and a core faculty member of the University of California-Los Angeles' Digital Humanities Program, is the keynote speaker for Digital Frontiers 2014. Dorothea Salo, a faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin's School of Library and Information Studies, will be the conference's plenary speaker.

For more information about Digital Frontiers 2014, contact Keralis at 940-369-6884.

About the UNT Libraries

With more than 7 million print and digital cataloged items in six separate facilities, the UNT Libraries are the heart of learning and research at UNT. During the 2013-14 academic year, the libraries' facilities had an estimated 1.5 million visitors. The UNT Libraries has been nationally and internationally recognized for its emphasis on digital preservation. The Portal to Texas History, created by the Libraries in 2002, received the 2013 Project of the Year award from the Texas Library Association and was also chosen as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Most recently, it was named a Service Hub by the Digital Public Library of America.

About TWU Libraries

The TWU Libraries serves students, staff, and faculty on three campus in Denton, Dallas, and Houston.  The TWU Libraries are committed to strengthen students' education by connecting them to services and resources that advance scholarly inquiry and support academic success.  The libraries provide quality, user-centered service, dedication to lifelong learning, respect for collaboration and individuality, and are the center of intellectual life on campus. TWU Libraries are recognized internationally and nationally for the TWU Woman's Collection, which is the largest depository in the southern United States housing research material about the history of women.  It is the official archive for the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, which attracts researchers, scholars, historians, filmmakers, documentarians and media support from around the world.

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