Wiki Relflection

The first time I heard about Fort Boise Military Cemetery, I was told it was haunted. Around the time I had two friends that were interested in the cemetery. One that had watched too many episodes of ghost hunters and one that didn’t believe in anything of the sorts. I suppose I fell in the middle somewhere. The first time we tried to visit the location we couldn’t find it and ended up just going on a hike through the foothills instead. When we did find it however we were shocked at how small the cemetery was. It makes sense that some of the readings I did on the assignment called it Boise’s forgotten cemetery. I found the site to be incredibly interesting to my research on the topic because it was essentially digital history. The site is hoping to gather enough information to create an online database for those buried there. As it is now there are numerous unmarked graves. One thing I couldn’t find concrete information on was whether the location is a military family cemetery or just a veterans cemetery. I almost feel that the story has been exaggerated so the haunted stories can be more dramatized.  The story about seeing ghost children wouldn’t be as popular if there wasn’t also stories of children being buried there as well. There was a lot of information that I never even knew about the location before this assignment so I really liked researching something that I had personally experienced. I had also never heard of a cemetery being moved from one location to another, that was very interesting to me as well. I will admit that finding information about the cemetery was a little difficult because most of the information online has to do with the cite being haunted. There is a picture someone took claiming they captured an apparition at this site if anyone is interested In the times that I visited the location I never saw anything spooky, besides the regular spooky that all cemeteries are.

Digital Humanist Interview

I interviewed Mies Martin for my digital humanist interview. Mies Martin is a Digital Resource Librarian at a small engineering university in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I definitely wish that I would have started earlier on this assignment and been able to dig deeper into some of Mies answers but unfortunately my phone is not working at the moment and e-mail does have its limitations. I was able to contact him over twitter and from there we e-mailed some questions and answers back and forth.


Do you consider yourself a digital humanist?

I do not consider myself a digital humanist.


Why or why not?

I do not consider myself a Digital Humanist in part because I’m still unclear what a digital humanist is.  Is a digital humanist simply someone who works in the humanities and principally uses digital tools (Databases, search engines, etc.)?  So that would mean humanists who do not use digital technology are not digital, can we really imagine someone who does not use these tool in some way?  Is a digital humanist someone who interacts with digital collections?  What are a digital collections?  eBooks, eJournals, anything on any database (ProQuest, Web of Science, Google Scholar, etc.,) is digital collection in some way?  Similar to the phrase “Knowledge Management”, “Digital Humanist” by definition is somewhat vague.  To me it illustrates a need to try to express something different, some sort of change by simply adding the word digital.  I would suggest that in fact we do not have the language to express this emerging world of scholarship.  We are  stuck with 19th century terminology trapped within a disciplinarity that belongs to another time.


What does a typical work day look like for you?

I’m on-line and connected between 8-10 hours a day.  Either doing research for my personal work or my work work in the library.  Developing teaching tools, help pages and providing general support for accessing electronic content.


What has been the biggest project you have worked on?

Prior to working at Michigan Technological University I worked as a contract worker working on a project for one of the big 3 in Detroit, where we work to develop a digital archive of their photographic collection.   I was able to work with and learn from a wonderful collection of professionals who gave me insights to how to apply the skills of librarianship to a very practical and real situation.  By the time I left the project we had scanned and indexed over 250,000 images.


Where do you see the digital humanities going in the near future?

A good question which I wish I knew the answer to.  If we were using tea leafs as a guide (which is probably as good as any other possible guide) I would suggest looking toward what is happening within the scholarly publishing world.  Like the music industry the publishing industry is on the verge of massive changes.  No one really knows how these changes will play out but it will be really interesting to watch.  In addition to changes in publishing, I think we will see developments of communities of practice.  As our notions of expertise, authorship, the text, etc. continue to change they will reshape the boundaries between the general public/user and the scholar.  These digital collections will become available to the many and as a result this will allow them to participate in ways not possible before.


Where would you like to see it go?

I’m hopeful that we continue to see the development of open access in terms of content and software.  This will require commitment from all corners.  The pressure to ties these emerging tools and collections within publishers will do nothing more than recreate the cable tv for the web.  I’ve been fortunate enough to come across the work of Kathleen Fitzpatrick:,  Lisa Spiro:,  and Christorpher Long: and I would be better off to some extent to defer to their work.  I have to say that I look to them and others as guidance on the idea of what digital humanist is and where it is headed.


What do you think the biggest challenge is that the digital humanities face?

The biggest challenge is cultural, not technological.   We live in a world and time where possessing and managing what you know is more important than sharing what you know.  Our underlying values of knowledge as something to use to get ahead as apposed to participate.  As a culture knowledge is seen as something to own, to possess.  How will this cultural view play with a more open, communal sense of knowledge?  As I alluded to above, the language we have to express this new emerging world is old school and it needs to be reinvented for a new world, without all the Digital, E-, post, etc.


I can definitely understand more of where Mies is coming from with his answers after doing some of the readings for class. I think it is very interesting that he does not consider himself a digital humanist. Not to say he is wrong and that he is in fact a digital humanist but I remember reading about how hard it is at this time for digital humanist to exactly be defined. I am extremely happy I was able to interview someone that had knowledge about digital humanities but didn’t claim the title, I thought it was more interesting that way.