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Building a Digital Portfolio with Art History Graduate Students

For two weeks in July, RRCHNM hosted an enthusiastic group of 20 art history graduate students for an intensive digital humanities training institute funded by the Getty Foundation. Students were selected for Building a Digital Portfolio from a competitive pool of international applicants. The cohort of participants represented many sub-fields and were each working at different stages of their academic careers in universities in the United States, Canada, Germany, and the UK.

Small groups work together on a day learning about models and modeling.

Small groups work together on a day learning about models and modeling.

Co-Directors, Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon, structured the institute to introduce participants to the digital humanities and digital art history communities and the most current digital scholarship, methodologies, and projects. Assigned readings informed each day’s discussions, and tutorials led to hands-on experience with different tools and techniques and opportunities for students to apply these to their own research. Topics covered included metadata basics, collection building, modeling, mapping, data visualization, network graphing, community-sourcing, and digital publishing.

Building a Digital Portfolio 2015 cohort

Participants in Building a Digital Portfolio, July 2015

The institute team included faculty, staff, and graduate student mentors from RRCHNM and Mason’s History and Art History Department.
Mentors Gretchen Burgess, Jannelle Legg, and Spencer Roberts shared the responsibility for preparing for the institute, and also each led tutorials as well as offering one-on-one assistance to participants. RRCHNM Digital History Associate Megan Brett taught students how to use Omeka. Faculty members Michele Greet, Lincoln Mullen, Lisa Rhody, and Stephanie Westcott each shared their areas of expertise throughout Building a Digital Portfolio.

Each participant left with their own web domain and a new suite of digital methods and platforms for experimenting with their own research. Participants blogged about their experiences, which we collected on the institute’s website using the PressForward plugin for WordPress.

This is the second Getty Foundation-supported institute on digital art history organized by RRCHNM, and was one of three Getty-funded summer institutes that tweeted with the #doingdah15 hashtag.