Digital Humanities
@ Pratt

Inquiries into culture, meaning, and human value meet emerging technologies and cutting-edge skills at Pratt Institute's School of Information

Skillshare Tutorials

Skillshare is an open-access knowledge resource of instructional posts and tutorials covering tools, skills, and templates for digital humanists.

How to Create a GitHub Repository

This tutorial is a beginner’s introduction to using GitHub for Mac. This video covers creating a GitHub repository in the Terminal application and pushing files to the GitHub website using their desktop application. You will need to create a GitHub account and download GitHub for Mac in order to follow along. Please not that the simple tutorial ends at 8:17. An additional tutorial follows that demonstrates the exact same process but using a different file type/format.

GitHub is a particularly useful tool for DHers because it allows for version control and collaboration. Multiple users can simultaneously work on the same code without over-writing one another’s work. Later, they can choose to merge the multiple versions of code into a single new file. Additionally GitHub maintains snapshots of the code at various points in time, and users will be able to restore their code to previous states.

CrozierScreenCast from DHSkillshare on Vimeo.

Google Forms: A Tutorial

Google Forms is a powerful survey tool offered by Google Docs. The tool is free and creates permalinks for the created forms that are easy to use and disseminate. This tutorial covers the creation of a form, how to distribute it and how to to view and understand the results. Google forms can be used in a variety of ways and are a great assistance in the creation of and research for digital projects. An example of applicable use includes gathering demographic information from participants prior to completing studies. The forms can also be used in a survey manner. An example of this in a DH context could include gathering citation information from fellow researchers or ascertaining potential interest in a new study.  Google Forms aggregates all of the responses and shows the results in both an easy to read spreadsheet format and info-graphics such as bar graphs and pie charts. Google Forms is a non invasive and simple to use resource for gathering all different kinds of information.

DHSkillShare GoogleForms from DHSkillshare on Vimeo.

Content Based Image Search

The amount of photos taken has increased exponentially since the popularization of digital photography. According to Facebook’s annual report “On average more than 350 million photos per day were uploaded to Facebook in the fourth quarter of 2012. Over 240 billion photos have been shared on Facebook.” That breaks down to 4000 photos uploaded per second. The sheer amount of images and the frequency with which photos are reposted can make it difficult to locate information about an image.

How does this relate to digital humanities? In DH projects there may be multiple people involved in creating metadata, often through students or crowdsourcing. Inconsistencies can occur and make it nearly impossible to locate information about an item through keyword searches. One approach to tracing instances of a photo is through a content based image searche. I will demonstrate three search engines that can be used for this process.

Adobe Photoshop for Cultural Institutions: A Skillshare for Beginners

This skillshare is for digital humanists who plan to work with digital images or contemporary objects as well as those who work in collaboration with imaging staff. Understanding the fundamental techniques of image manipulation and recording metadata can be extremely empowering for digital humanists. After watching this skillshare, you could easily add images you’ve gathered for your project to your online platform, archive the description, location, and rights information for easy retrieval, and much more.

This skillshare will cover editing black and white and color images with minimal pixel loss, embedding metadata, resizing images for the web, and creating batch actions. It was created by Jennifer A. Ferretti for LIS 657 Digital Humanities course, instructed by Dr. Chris Sula at Pratt Institute.

Adobe Photoshop for Cultural Institutions: A Skillshare for Beginners from DHSkillshare on Vimeo.

Editing Book Images with Photoshop

Photoshop skills are an important aspect of every DHer’s toolkit, and are even more crucial for those that rely on in-house photography. Almost all raw image files of artifacts must be edited in some way or another.  This SkillShare shows the novice Photoshop user a few skills to enhance his or her repertoire through editing fairly simple objects — books.

This skillshare is intended for those projects focused on displaying a collection of book images online or through print. It can be especially useful to small archives, museums, libraries, or collectors that are in the process of creating an online repository of their collection. Additionally, the skills learned in this video may also be used to edit and enhance other raw images of items and artifacts aside from books.