We had a great day!

4 people sitting on a couch in a foyer.

Participants listening intently at the introductory session of THATCamp #OzHA2013.

Everyone pitched in and helped us have a great day at THATCamp #OzHA2013.  At our introductory session we decided to start with a session on mapping stories and for our second session discuss our projects and digitisation.  We finished the day by discussing collaboration.

Penny Hyde and Stephani Riccardi recorded the discussion in the two main sessions:

We also shared what we learned on Twitter.  Check out our back channel on Storify.  There are some great digital humanities links to explore in both the Google docs and Storify records of the proceedings.

By the end of the day we ran out of steam to record our short ‘collaboration’ session, so I will share some links in this post.  We shared some of these links during the session and some I have added afterwards because I think they are useful.

We started with discussing what is the ‘digital humanities’.  The following articles on this question are useful:

You can also flick through short definitions contributed by participants in the Day of DH between 2009 and 2012.  Just keep refreshing the page to see the various comments.

Pondering in session.

Pondering in session.

As this THATCamp was affiliated to the annual conference of the Australian Historical Association it was appropriate to share an initiative that arose from a recent THATCamp in North America: Digital Historians: for people who do more than use The Google.

Despite extensive searching of the internet sometimes it is hard to find the answer to a particular digital humanities question.  It is at times like these we can turn to Digital Humanities Questions & Answers.

Want to catch up on digital humanities news from around the world?  The place to go is Digital Humanities Now.

During the collaboration session we wanted to know more about the digital humanities community in our part of the world so of course we mentioned the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities.  Next year’s digital humanities conference is in Perth.  In the mean time it is a good idea to join the aaDH: Digital Humanities Google Group.  This group is great for keeping in touch with digital humanities events in Australian and New Zealand, as well as other items of interest from around the world.  From this list I’ve found out that  THATCamp Wellington is scheduled for 28th November.

We had a fruitful day of discussion and sharing.  The conversation then turned to how to keep the exchange going once the day was over.  As most of those present were from Sydney we decided to organise regular Sydney meetups.  A couple of participants offered to find a venue at their organisations.  We want to make this meetup open to anyone interested in digital humanities in Sydney, not just the participants at this THATCamp.  We’ll share news of this soon.

building 6 university of wollongong

The venue for THATCamp #OzHA2013: The Smart Building, University of Wollongong.

THATCamp #OzHA2013 is the result of an idea and the work of a few people behind the scenes.  Thanks go to Tim Sherratt for proposing that a THATCamp be attached to the Australian Historical Association conference, finding other volunteers for the organising committee and donating the registration fees from his workshop at the conference to help us with the catering and other expenses.  Tim Wray was the only member of the organising committee who was based at University of Wollongong so he did a lot of the logistical work to help make this THATCamp happen.  Dave Earl (organiser of the t-shirts), Ben Mercer and I were also on the organising committee.

A big thank you to University of Wollongong for giving us free use of their new ‘Smart Building‘ and free WiFi access for all participants during the day.

And finally thank you to a bunch of great participants who came to THATCamp with ideas and an eagerness to contribute. You made our day!

Please share your thoughts on THATCamp #OzHA2013 in the comments below.  If you have written a blog post about the day  we would love to read about it – add a link in your comment.

Categories: Collaboration, General | Tags: , |

About perkinsy

I am a reformed accountant who moved into public relations then morphed into historical research. I am interested in the rise of the secular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the tension between the secular and religious during this period.

Currently I’m analysing WWI soldiers’ diaries using the transcriptions of the diaries held by the State Library of NSW for a history I am writing about the personal beliefs of soldiers while on the front. The engine of my research is a simple Python program I have written to search the diaries for certain keywords. You can read more about this project on my blog, Stumbling Through the Past.

In my digital humanities blog, Stumbling Through the Future I give simple step by step explanations of how to use some useful tools. Most recently I did a series of posts on getting started with the Trove API.

My first THATCamp was a great one – Canberra 2011 (see my post. In 2013 I helped to organise a THATCamp connected with the annual conference of the Australian Historical Association in Wollongong – THATCamp #OzHA2013 and I attended THATCamp in Sydney last year.