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The History of this History Harvest

In fall of 2018, Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences welcomed the inaugural Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience class. Our Fall 2019 HIST-H301: Digital History course took on a History Harvest, building upon the lessons learned from the previous events in Spring 2019 and the ASURE program. This type of community-history project, which had its first iteration in the History Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, gets the public involved in the digitization and preservation of sentimental artifacts that aren’t likely to make it into museums or archives.

To kick-start that process, each person in our class started the semester by writing the history of an object of importance to us. We then invited our fellow students to identify something significant in their everyday life and bring it to be digitized during the History Harvest of early October of 2019. Each contributor allowed us to digitize their object, do a really short interview about it, and add it to this digital exhibit so that the object could go home with its person, leaving its digital form to be preserved here with other objects that have made their way into IUB’s history.

In addition to the digital exhibit presented here, we also designed and installed an exhibit at the University Archives in IU’s Well’s Library.

Our Experiences and Methods

As digital history students we studied three domains of methods for analysis of historical data: Text Analaysis, Mapping, and Network Analysis.

Text Analysis gave us a larger overview of transcripts of oral history interviews and how they relate to one another.

Mapping connected us spatially with the larger world, helping us to see geographic connections between Bloomington and other parts of the world.

Network Analysis helped us visualize the History Harvest objects and their connections to one another, broadening our understanding of how relationships among these objects are situated in a social, political, and cultural context.

[Student input]

Special Thanks To

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