Topics in Digital History & Humanities: NC Jukebox

Fall 2015

ISI 317S | HIST 317S | MUS 317S

Victoria Szabo and Trudi Abel

TH 10:05am-12:35pm | Rubenstein Library

Digital History and Digital Humanities in theory and practice. Students plan, research and develop new technology projects which present archival material and historical interpretations to scholars and the general public through research papers, websites, and museum exhibits. The course meets weekly to discuss readings in American history, southern history, and digital history/humanities. Students explore archival material in the Rubinstein Library, learn how to use digital tools for humanities projects, develop principles of effective digital project management, create cross-disciplinary collaborations and learn about the ethics for creating research projects in the humanities.

This project is focused on transforming an inaccessible audio archive of historic North Carolina folk music into a vital, publicly accessible digital archive and museum exhibition. Nearly 97 years ago and into the 1930s, Frank C. Brown, a Duke scholar, began recording North Carolina folk music and archiving it for posterity. Most of those recordings are still housed on glass disks in Rubenstein Library, but we already have about 400 songs for which we have digitized audio and handwritten metadata with which we can work on the initial version of what we are calling the proof-of-concept NC Jukebox project.

For our project we envision converting this music to playable audio forms and making it accessible to the public in a variety of value-added, contextualizing digital and installation media exhibitions. We also want to prototype a database system to begin organizing and sharing the larger set of materials when they have been digitized later.

This course is part of the Bass Connections pathway Information, Society & Culture.