Digital Scholarship at Brown has many applications and tools that you may install on your domain. Some require more knowledge to use, some have a broad user base, and each is best suited to a particular use. This page will provide an introduction to some of the most commonly used applications and also the ones that the Center for Digital Scholarship is able to support if you have questions.
Do You Want to Curate and Share a Collection of Digital Objects?
If your project consists of gathering, curating or cataloging, and sharing a collection of objects, you may want to use Omeka Classic or Omeka S. With one of these two related applications, you can enter images, texts, pdf files, audio files and more. You can then add simple cataloging information that will allow the objects to be searched and identified, store them as collections, and then present them with contextualizing information as exhibits. Omeka is a great teaching or exploration tool if you are interested in archiving, and is often used by public digital humanities projects for collaborative projects.
An example of an Omeka Classic site developed at Brown is an oral history project “The Social Life of Mass Incarceration.”
Omeka Classic is a good way to learn Omeka, as it is simpler and requires less customization for an immediate result. Omeka S is more powerful, but requires more work at the very start in order to organize and customize your site. Both versions of Omeka have a variety of themes and plugins that let you change the appearance of the site, and add functionality. Omeka is an open source project with excellent documentation.
- Omeka Classic | Documentation
- Omeka S | Documentation
- Using Omeka on Digital Scholarship at Brown (forthcoming)
Do You Want to Write Conventional or Experimental Texts?
If you would like to write a born digital research article or other scholarly publication, ANVC Scalar is easy to learn and is designed to allow you to focus on writing and presenting your argument. Scalar is especially appropriate if you work with media, as it privileges visual and streaming media, allowing you to link, display and annotate it. You can also choose to structure your narrative in linear fashion or experiment with hypertext. Scalar is a powerful instructional tool that allows students to think about how they present an argument in digital form. Like Omeka, it can be used to present and contextual archival information, but whereas Omeka tends to foreground the object, Scalar foregrounds the narrative.
An example of a Scalar project developed on Digital Scholarship at Brown is “Trans at the Table. Queer Oral Histories of Actual Play Podcast Fandoms.”
- Scalar | Documentation | Scalar Tutorial | Using Scalar on Digital Scholarship at Brown (forthcoming)
Do You Want a Research Blog or a Complex Web Site?
Your project may be as simple as a public research blog, or you may want to develop a full featured website which doesn’t match the capabilities of either Scalar or Omeka. You may also want to learn more about creating websites and web technologies. For both these cases, you may want to install and learn WordPress. It’s hard to characterize WordPress, as it’s one of the most widely used web platforms in the world and can be used to create any kind of web presentation. With very little customization other than selecting a theme to customize its appearance, it can serve as a blog or a simple research site. More complex uses require some knowledge of WordPress plugins and web customization. But as the use of WordPress is so widespread, you can find a variety of tutorials for all learning styles.
An example of a WordPress project developed on Digital Scholarship at Brown is “The Rabbinic Network. Digital Analysis of Rabbinic Texts.”