Making the Lucy Hastings Letters Digital : Crowd-Sourcing, Indexing Texts, and Timeline-Building
Oberly, James Warren
Miller, Robin E.
Kocken, Gregory J.
La Favor, Connor
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The terms “digitize” and “digital” are ubiquitous in today’s tech world. History and the humanities are part of that world. The term “digitize” in the humanities means simply to reproduce in electronic form a document or set of documents. One of the most valuable manuscript collections in the Area Research Center is the Lucy Hastings Collection of letters. Lucy Hastings migrated to Eau Claire in the 1850s and wrote letters to her family in Massachusetts. The letters have been transcribed and scanned for easier access, but no other computer enhancement has been added. The term “digital,” when used in history scholarship, means to make use of computers and software to allow for a deeper understanding of a digitized text. This faculty/student research collaboration uses computers and software to allow scholars a deeper understanding of the Lucy Hastings Letters. Students in History 288 have constructed an index to the 23 transcribed and digitized letters for subjects discussed and for proper names mentioned. They have also built a digital timeline to identify change over time in the correspondents listed in the letters and some of the most important topics discussed.
Color poster with text, images, and bar graph.