In the past few days, some news sites have described uncertainty for the future of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). With NEH under discussion, we will take this opportunity to highlight good news from the NEH by celebrating winners of a 2016 NEH contest.
Last year’s contest was called the Chronicling America Data Challenge. Second Prize was awarded to two teams, one from our own university. The team from UCF was led by Dr. Amy Giroux, Computer Research Specialist for the Center for Humanities and Digital Research, and Dr. Marcy Galbreath from Writing & Rhetoric. Nathan Giroux (UCF 2011) was also part of the team.
Contestants needed to use digital humanities to explore Chronicling America, a database from the Library of Congress. “Digital humanities” (DH) is what it sounds like: using digital tools, such as computational visualizations and web-based strategies, for doing scholarship in humanities disciplines. The team from UCF used DH to create Historical Agricultural News.
Historical Agricultural News is a website that searches information about historical farming topics. Some topics include farming practices and development, organizations, and technology. The site is useful for individuals beyond farming and agriculture enthusiasts. The data can bolster research about historic business practices, immigration, language use, newspaper impact, and other various subjects. It could even spark an idea for your next scholarly endeavor.
Photo: Dr. Amy L. Giroux, Margaret “Peggy” Plympton (NEH Deputy Chairman), Dr. Marcy L. Galbreath, and Nathan Giroux. Photo taken by Lucy Cutrona at NEH.