Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's Up at THATCamp

A few weeks back (March 4-6, 2011 to be exact) I attended an interesting "un-conference" at Emory University. This is a short chronicle of that experience.

THATCamp brings together various individuals employed in the "digital humanities" to share ideas, present relevant work, and collaborate on future projects. True to its "un-conference" advertising, THATcamp provided a flexible structure -- a schedule of educational sessions based on session proposals sent in by attendees and voted on the first day on site. The sessions focused on group discussion but offered everyone opportunities to break apart and create their own presentations, too. All sessions focused on one of three tracks: digital humanities project, programming, or pedagogy. I focused on the digital humanities project track which included information quite relevant to my work here at the Russell Library -- that of building, providing access to, and assessing digital collections.

It was refreshing to attend a conference with a clear vision for how to build a closer knit community of librarians, archivists, teachers, and technology workers -- something that is sorely lacking at institutions across the country. The flexible format of THATCamp definitely built a sense of camaraderie among it's "campers". We all came together to learn from each others experiences in the various realms of digital humanities, serving as both teachers and students during the three day exchange. Although this was the first THATcamp in Georgia, the conference clearly filled part of a growing need. I look forward to seeing what this idea inspires next!

Post by Abby Adams, Access and Electronic Records Archivist, Russell Library

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