Event Title

The Big Picture: Conceiving a Digital Edition of Jane Addams' Papers

Panel

4A: Editing Jane Addams in a Digital World

Abstract

Jane Addams (1860-1935), renowned during her lifetime, continues to be recognized as a central figure in 19th and 20th century American political and social history. Best known for co-founding Chicago’s Hull-House social settlement in 1889, by 1915 Addams’ eloquent arguments for social reform made her one of the most influential women in America and a leader of the Progressive movement. A prolific writer and intellectual, Jane Addams was a popular speaker, commentator, and author, publishing eleven books and hundreds of articles. The Jane Addams Papers was established in 1976; in 1985 produced a microfilm edition of 83 reels, and in 1995 they published the index to that microfilm. They then began work on a six volume book edition of selected papers, completing three before its editor retired. In 2015 the project was rebooted and Cathy Moran Hajo took over as the editor, with a commitment to not only complete the print edition, but to build a freely available digital edition. She will discuss the goals of the project and the decision to adopt Omeka as our digital publication platform, rather than using XML, and how that decision changed the way that we thought about creating the digital edition. The project had to customize Omeka in order to manage a digital humanities project that had a staff made up chiefly of student assistants. One of the essential customizations involved building a way to track the image and copyright permissions for each document and creating a system by which we can published portions of the document record (for example we can publish the metadata and the transcription of a letter written by Jane Addams, but not the image until we secure permission from the owner of the original letter). We also needed to be able to track the workflow for each document as it was described, transcribed, proofread, and published. Hajo will also discuss how we adapted scholarly editing practices to a digital publication. We had to develop a transcription policy that worked with the capabilities of Omeka, and develop a way of providing context for the texts without full annotation like we would do in a selected print edition. Finally, she will discuss the project's goals for increasing use of the Addams Papers and encouraging digitally-based scholarship. With digital projects, we can do much more than just present documents. We hope to explore new ways of analyzing and studying Addams' life using digital humanities tools. We are planning on creating a crowdsourcing portal where interested researchers can submit their own transcriptions. We would also like to experiment with inviting our readers to rate documents, so that a new sorting option is made available (ex. the ""best"" documents on Jane Addams' views on peace), which we hope will engage younger and more casual readers find the most relevant documents for their projects. We are also investigating building collaborative spaces within our digital edition where scholars, teachers, and students can save selections from the edition, add their own materials, and create presentations that will be published as part of the digital edition. And we would like to build data on Addams' network of people, events, and organizations that will allow scholars to investigate her social networks.

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Jul 7th, 1:30 PM Jul 7th, 3:00 PM

The Big Picture: Conceiving a Digital Edition of Jane Addams' Papers

Jane Addams (1860-1935), renowned during her lifetime, continues to be recognized as a central figure in 19th and 20th century American political and social history. Best known for co-founding Chicago’s Hull-House social settlement in 1889, by 1915 Addams’ eloquent arguments for social reform made her one of the most influential women in America and a leader of the Progressive movement. A prolific writer and intellectual, Jane Addams was a popular speaker, commentator, and author, publishing eleven books and hundreds of articles. The Jane Addams Papers was established in 1976; in 1985 produced a microfilm edition of 83 reels, and in 1995 they published the index to that microfilm. They then began work on a six volume book edition of selected papers, completing three before its editor retired. In 2015 the project was rebooted and Cathy Moran Hajo took over as the editor, with a commitment to not only complete the print edition, but to build a freely available digital edition. She will discuss the goals of the project and the decision to adopt Omeka as our digital publication platform, rather than using XML, and how that decision changed the way that we thought about creating the digital edition. The project had to customize Omeka in order to manage a digital humanities project that had a staff made up chiefly of student assistants. One of the essential customizations involved building a way to track the image and copyright permissions for each document and creating a system by which we can published portions of the document record (for example we can publish the metadata and the transcription of a letter written by Jane Addams, but not the image until we secure permission from the owner of the original letter). We also needed to be able to track the workflow for each document as it was described, transcribed, proofread, and published. Hajo will also discuss how we adapted scholarly editing practices to a digital publication. We had to develop a transcription policy that worked with the capabilities of Omeka, and develop a way of providing context for the texts without full annotation like we would do in a selected print edition. Finally, she will discuss the project's goals for increasing use of the Addams Papers and encouraging digitally-based scholarship. With digital projects, we can do much more than just present documents. We hope to explore new ways of analyzing and studying Addams' life using digital humanities tools. We are planning on creating a crowdsourcing portal where interested researchers can submit their own transcriptions. We would also like to experiment with inviting our readers to rate documents, so that a new sorting option is made available (ex. the ""best"" documents on Jane Addams' views on peace), which we hope will engage younger and more casual readers find the most relevant documents for their projects. We are also investigating building collaborative spaces within our digital edition where scholars, teachers, and students can save selections from the edition, add their own materials, and create presentations that will be published as part of the digital edition. And we would like to build data on Addams' network of people, events, and organizations that will allow scholars to investigate her social networks.