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Combining state of the art technology with traditional oral history to create a more robust and comprehensive resource has long been one of The HistoryMakers goals. Now, with the development of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, this goal has reached fruition in a unique platform. However, The HistoryMakers corpus is still largely unexplored, and is now ripe for exploration along interdisciplinary lines. As a burgeoning academic discipline, the Digital Humanities has already established itself as a collaborative space for scholars in varying areas to combine their expertise – elucidating new ideas and trends in data and the historical record that had never before been explored.

With over 9,000 hours of fully-transcribed time-aligned video content, robust search capabilities, and hundreds of thousands of fields of metadata, The HistoryMakers has amassed an impressive dataset for technologists and data scientists to experiment with, but through The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, this vast content is also accessible for those without background in analytics or quantitative fields. In order to encourage scholars from all areas to explore The HistoryMakers content more deeply, and to use it in the creation of innovative new projects, a Digital Humanities committee was formed within The HistoryMakers Higher Education Advisory Board, and a Digital Humanities Fellowship Award is now available in 2019.

Members of The HistoryMakers Digital Humanities Committee are made up of librarians, faculty, and researchers, focused solely on exploring methods to provide more context for The HistoryMakers collection, and to provide further entry points for students and researchers, using cutting edge digital techniques and data analytics. Led initially by work produced out of the Yale University Digital Humanities Lab, this committee works collaboratively across institutions to conceive and implement projects that offer new ways of understanding and engaging with The HistoryMakers content, and that will surface latent themes and characteristics of the Collection.

Examples of the Digital Humanities Committee’s work include a text-modeling experiment using transcripts from The HistoryMakers Collection ( generated by Yale University’s Digital Humanites Lab. The 25-topic model used machine algorithms to explore themes based on word frequency and co-occurrence. Further examples can be found under TEACHING & LEARNING.

Boston University  

  Vika Zafrin; Digital Scholarship Librarian

Carnegie Mellon University              

  Mike Christel; Teaching Professor; Entertainment Technology Center

Howard University

  Lopez Matthews; Digital Preservation Librarian

Michigan State University  

  Julian Carlos Chambliss; Professor; English, History

Rutgers University 

  Krista White; Digital Humanities Librarian and Head, Media Services

Stanford University               

  Hannah Frost; Manager, Digital Library Product & Service Management

  Glen Worthey; Digital Humanities Librarian Co-Lead of The Center For Interdisciplinary Digital Research

University of Iowa 

  Thomas Keegan; Head, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio

University of Richmond       

  Lauren Tilton; Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities

University of Virginia           

  John Unsworth; Dean of Libraries, University Librarian, Professor of English

Yale University        

  Catherine DeRose; Digital Humanities Lab Manager

  Peter Leonard; Director, Digital Humanities Lab