At the beginning of this month I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) 2014 In Victoria British Columbia. For those of you who are as confused as I was when I first heard the name, it is a week long conference filled with an intense combination of coursework, seminars and lectures relating to the influence of computing technology on teaching, research, preservation of disciplines amongst others. This was my second year in attendance and I took a week long course titled “The History of the Pre-Digital Book”.
Given that the title possessed the word History in it appealed to me right away. I was a little apprehensive to register for it though as I did not know how much it would relate to my interest in the Digital Humanities. I must admit though that I was pleasantly surprised to learn that despite not revolving around my immediate idea of what “technology” is, the course related quite a bit to the seminar I focused on transcribing during my fellowship this past year.
The seminar I am referring to of course is that which discussed museums and libraries. The primary reason for my saying this is that one of the main topics of the course was the development of publishing books which was really the first step in making them more accessible to everyone. As much as my interest does lie in the digitization of the books of today to make historical (or any other subject for that matter) research more accessible to a physically disabled individual like myself, it is interesting to learn more about how we arrived at this stage.
Overall I believe I chose the perfect course to take at DHSI 2014 and hope that I have a chance to attend again in the coming years.