Post links to session notes here

If there are notes from your session living in something like Google Docs, please post the link to it here in the comments. To ensure its preservation, you can also share it with , add it to the the THATCamp Zotero bibliography. Thanks!

Special thanks to Aram Zucker-Scharff for setting up the overarching THATCamp Google Docs folder. I definitely need to make sure that it gets used more.

UPDATE: If you have trouble finding the Google Docs, go to where you can download (but not edit online) all the session notes from THATCamp CHNM 2012.

Building a DH Culture from the Ground

So my proposal is late-breaking, but here ’tis: I’m currently moving to a new institution where I will help start a new DH center. I’d like to think collaboratively—well, about how that happens. I want to get at this question, however, not by talking about getting grants or picking a pithy acronym for the center’s name. Instead, I’d like to jump off Stephen Ramsay’s recent post, Centers are People, and think about how one begins building the kinds of communities where “a bunch of people…[are] committed to the bold and revolutionary project of talking to one another about their common interests.” I’d especially like to think about how to draw in those people on campus who are interested in DH but don’t yet know it: that history professor with a personal archive she’d love to make public, that librarian crafting the library’s ebook strategy, or that computer science undergrad with an odd side interest in Renaissance poetry. Topics might include:

1.) organizing and effectively promoting DH events to the wider college or university
2.) creating and fostering hacker-friendly spaces on campus
3.) building on-campus partnerships between departments, libraries, &c. &c.
4.) seeding DH incursions into the curriculum

This topic may well tie into hmprescott’s “More Disruptive Pedagogy: Thoughts on Teaching an Un-course” proposal or Kimon Keramidas’s “Of courses, curriculum, networks, and unconferences”.

Ironically this post is online

But I am nevertheless using it to give you wi-fi logon instructions:

Network: Mason (not MASON-SECURE)

Open a browser and click Guest Access on the page that loads. Enter the username and password on the back of your badge. Make sure to keep the page open.

Other notes: the stickers we gave you are for voting on Saturday morning, so keep them around. For those of you who know what Dork Shorts are (I haven’t gotten around to explaining them yet, but they’re 2-minute lightning talks), we’re going to do them in the scheduling session on Saturday morning while the schedule gets made.

Reminder: Rosenzweig Forum today 4pm

Just a reminder that if you’re getting in for THATCamp today, you can come to the Rosenzweig Forum at 4pm. Pamela Wright, Chief Digital Access Strategist at the National Archives and Records Administration, will be speaking with Dr. Sharon Leon at the 2012 Roy Rosenzweig Forum on Technology and the Humanities about the Citizen Archivist Dashboard, online projects created with the recently-released 1940 census data, and other exciting digital projects from “our nation’s attic.”

This event is Thursday, June 14 at 4:00pm in Johnson Center Meeting Room A. See Travel for a campus map.

THATCamp is nigh

Some brief final THATCamp CHNM reminders:

  • There’s lots of information on — most of your questions (we hope) will be answered there.
  • If you are new to THATCamp and don’t know what’s expected of you, here it is: 1) show up, 2) bring a laptop, and 3) propose a session by the end of the day on Friday 6/15. Read our page about proposing sessions for guidance with that.
  • Traffic will probably be very bad on Friday morning. Leave extra time if you’re driving to GMU, and plan on parking in the Shenandoah Parking Deck — see our Travel page for more travel information and advice.
  • If you haven’t already signed up separately for workshops on Friday, please do so at Note that there are new workshop descriptions for “Unlocking WordPress” and for “Interesting Things You Can Do with git.”
  • This year, we’re going to have Dork Shorts during the initial scheduling session on Saturday. I’ll write more about that on the blog, but just quickly, for those who don’t know, Dork Shorts are 2-minute “lightning talks” in which you show off your latest best project. There’ll be a signup whiteboard available Saturday morning.

More: dress is casual (as in t-shirts and shorts), there will *not* be fireworks (officially), there *will* be free breakfast all three days and free lunch on Friday and Saturday, and people of all levels of technology skill are utterly welcome. Any questions? Email me at .

Can’t wait!

Some THATCamper stats

Just thought I’d share a few factoids about the people who are coming to THATCamp CHNM 2012. Executive summary: our THATCamp has a slightly higher proportion of women (41%) than THATCamps overall (35%), a much lower proportion of people who’ve never been to a THATCamp (49%) than THATCamps overall (80%), and a somewhat higher proportion of academics at all ranks (though I do think the numbers from the text string fields are iffy). See for yourself:


Gender (N=146)
Women: 60 (41%)
Men: 86 (59%)
(numbers taken from folks’ selection of a t-shirt size)

Newb vs. non-newb (N=142)
Has never been to a THATCamp: 70 (49%)
Has been to a THATCamp once before: 26 (18%)
Has been to more than one THATCamp: 46 (33%)

Title (N=158)
Some kind of professor (*Prof*): 28 (18%)
Some kind of grad student (*Grad*” or *Doctoral* or *PhD*): 32 (20%)
Some kind of librarian (*Libr*): 7 (5%)
Other: 91 (58%)
(text strings always a bit sketchy to count, of course)

Organization (N=158)
From a university or college (*Univ* or *College*): 79 (50%)
Other: 79 (50%)
From GMU and/or CHNM (*Mason* or *GMU* or *Center for History* or *CHNM*): 31 (20%)
(same caveat about counting text strings; there’s probably quite a few more people who’re affiliated with higher ed)

We’ve got the same data for some (between 20% and 60%, depending on the field) of the 3200+ users on, so we can put it in a larger context.


Gender (N=1847)
Women: 642 (35%)
Men: 1205 (65%)

Newb vs. non-newb (N=624)
Has never been to a THATCamp: 501 (80%)
Has been to a THATCamp once before: 64 (10%)
Has been to more than one THATCamp: 59 (10%)

Title (N=1469)
Some kind of professor (*Prof*): 317 (22%)
Some kind of grad student (*Grad*” or *Doctoral* or *PhD*: 368 (25%)
Some kind of librarian (*Libr*): 161 (11%)
Other: 623 (42%)

Organization (N=1321)
From a university or college (*Univ* or *College*): 517 (39%)
Other: 804 (61%)
(same caveat about the higher ed contingent likely being larger: some people probably put the name of their research institute or unit instead of the name of their university or college)

Shoulda asked “awesomeness quotient.” I bet we’d have scored pretty high relative to other THATCamps there. 🙂


So Patrick and I have been conspiring a bit to have a sort of hackathon at THATCamp, and you’ll see that there’s time and space reserved for it on the schedule — basically all weekend in CHNM itself on the fourth floor of Research Hall, in the same space the CHNM developers use every day — long tables and lots and lots of whiteboards — plus the lounge area — sofas, soft chairs, and coffee tables. Everyone’s also welcome to use this as a co-working space to code whatever they like, whether for the hackathon or no (and there’s a WII with MarioKart, which you’re also welcome to use).

On Friday at 9:30am, Patrick will introduce one or more datasets for the hackathon, but you can also just work on whatever you like. We’ll be having a lightning round demo (3 minutes apiece) on Sunday from 12:00-12:30, and everyone who participates in the demo will get a small prize for participating. There won’t be any official judging; any competition among the participants will be strictly subtextual. Even beginner folks who want to use this as a practice session to mess around with Omeka or ViewShare or Weka are welcome to participate.

You are all encouraged to build things either individually or in groups, for example by having a coder and a designer team up to put together an awesome new visualization on some data.

To recap the chief features of the Hackathon:


CHNM, 4th floor of Research Hall.

Intro at 9:30am by Patrick, coding all weekend, demos from 12:00-12:30 on Sunday.

We’ll suggest a couple of datasets for you to work with, but you can also build something all on your own.

Rosenzweig Forum, Workshops, Jam and Other Sessions

THATCamp is two weeks away! (Whoa, how did that happen.) What you need to know now:

1) We’ll be kicking off THATCamp with the Rosenzweig Forum on Technology and the Humanities on Thursday at 4pm. This year, Sharon Leon will be interviewing Pamela Wright, Chief Digital Strategist at the National Archives and Records Administration, about the Citizen Archivist Dashboard, online projects created with the recently-released 1940 census data, and other cool digital projects from “our nation’s attic.” Feel free to join us for that on Thursday 6/14 at 4pm in Johnson Center Meeting Room A.

2) We’ve scheduled a whole mess of workshops for Friday, June 15. Sign up for workshops you want to go to with the form at . Most workshops require a laptop, not a tablet.

3) Since so many THATCampers are also musicians (that DIY ethos), I’m biting the bullet and throwing an acoustic jam session on Friday evening out on the patio of the Mason Inn. Bring your guitar, mandolin, ukulele, or what you will for a musical interlude on Friday evening. If we enjoy it, we might even do it again on Saturday night. If you don’t want to haul your guitar you can borrow mine.

4) Bill Cowan has made us all look bad by posting a session idea already on annotating videos in the classroom. It’s never too early to post a session idea — if you don’t know how it works, read all about it.

Feel free to use the blog for coordinating travel with one another, or of course you can Twitter your needs with the hashtag #thatcamp. If you’ve got any questions about anything, write me at . Can’t wait to see you all.