LIBR 220-03
LIBR 220-12
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Introduction to Digital Humanities
Fall 2012 Greensheet

Dr. Katherine D. Harris
Other contact information: @triproftri (Twitter)
Office location: Rm 220, Faculty Office Bldg
Office Hours: Upon Arrangement

Greensheet Links
D2L Login and Tutorials
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D2L Information: This course will be available beginning (August 22). You will be enrolled into the site automatically.

Course Description 

Digital Humanities has been living in libraries and academic departments for fifty years under the name of Humanities Computing. In the last five years, though, Digital Humanities has become a hotbed of debate on issues around open access, scholarly communication, digital literacy, educational technology, preservation, archives – all issues that libraries have dealt with for decades. By collaborating on these questions Digital Humanities and libraries are beginning to grapple with some of the major issues surrounding the future of libraries and the curation of our cultural heritage. This semester, we will listen in on some of those debates and further contribute to this collaboration between libraries and Digital Humanities.

The assignments will approximate a few real-world scenarios such as grant writing, collaborating in a group, managing a digital project, and learning basic mark-up languages. We will also investigate and interact with the public face of libraries, including the Twitter feed and blog posts from the Folger Library and the New York Public Library. Many of our readings will come from blog discussions about the profession (e.g., the hotly-debated blog posts and comments on Archives Next). In addition to using open access journals, we will rely on an anthology that is freely available online as well as available for purchase in print; please choose whichever format best suits your learning style.

A Preview of some of the governing ideas for our semester together:

"If it’s on the screen, I can’t take it into the tub!" This is the main cry of bibliophiles everywhere against literature’s digitization. Should we hoard all of our paperbacks, even those that fell into the tub? Will the Internet, Web, hypertexts and born-digital overtake and render obsolete our treasured and well-marked books? Will blogging, emailing, wiki-ing, even Facebooking destroy the English language with its abbreviated syntax and visual culture? And, what of all the world’s literary treasures? Will Google possess them in their archives and render the material object obsolete? Or, can projects such as the Hathi Trust and Internet Archive save our treasures from corporatization? Even now, we need to question what's missing from any of those archives, what perspective, what voice? The evolution of language, the dissemination of print materials, the creation of a larger community has always been part of the human condition. Now, we call it social networking, an atmosphere in which readers become users as well as authors and a time when we can respond to each other virtually but in real time. So, what does this mean for libraries and literacy?

Course Requirements


Assignment due dates are posted at the D2L course site. However, they are all "subject to change with fair notice."

  • Discussion Forum Posts (SLO 1,2): Over the semester, we will engage with "hot" topics in Digital Humanities. Because many of the readings are actually videos or blog posts, I expect that your discussion forum posts will poke holes in these current arguments. Feel free to take advantage of our medium to include visual elements. Each post is worth 8 points; 12 posts total. See further instructions in D2L.
  • Facilitate a Weekly Discussion (SLO 1): This assignment will allow you to explore a theme of the course in depth. It will provide you with the opportunity of leading an on-line discussion, gaining first hand experience in developing new rhetorical modes for on-line communication. See further instructions in D2L.
  • Twitter Analysis (SLO 2): Many of the Digital Humanities scholars are following each other on Twitter, a micro-blogging platform that allows users to type only 140 characters to convey an idea. Typically, they blast the community with ideas and receive real-time responses (as opposed to email, blogging, wikis or print scholarly apparatus). In other words, they are constructing narratives from conversations with other Digital Humanists in a constantly evolving atmosphere.For this assignment, we will follow various Digital Humanists and report back on their evolving ideas. See further instructions in D2L.
  • Review of 5 Digital Projects (SLO 4): In an effort to familiarize ourselves with the various types of digital projects, you will provide an assessment and analysis of 5 Digital Humanities projects. See further instructions in D2L.
  • Review of 5 Digital Tools (SLO 4): Similar to the above assignment, this analysis will help you become more familiar with the already-available tools. Both of these assignments will prepare us for the final project. See further instructions in D2L.
  • Final Project, Digital Humanities Grant Proposal (SLO 1-6): In a collaboration, groups will write an National Endowment for the Humanities grant proposal according to the existing guidelines. All of our readings work towards this final project and will facilitate your work with this grant proposal. Dream big! See further instructions in D2L.

Course Calendar

DateTopicsReading DueAssignment Due
Thur 8/23 Introductions Greensheet Discussion Board: Post your Intellectual Autobiography by Mon 5pm

Sign up for a Discussion Moderation
Week of 8/27 What is Digital Humanities? Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST (kdh)
Week of 9/3 Libraries in the Digital Age Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 9/1 Why the Fuss about Open Access? Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 9/17 Alternative forms of Publication, Dissemination, Broadcasting: Scholarly Communication Begin working on the Twitter assignment by signing up for an account and following a few Digital Humanists (see instructions)

Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 9/24 How Do Students Fit into Digital Humanities: Digital Literacy Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 10/1 Managing a Public Personae Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 10/8 Preservation & Sustainability Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 10/15 Preservation of Born Digital Materials Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 10/22 Corporate Preservation: Hathi Trust, Internet Archive & Google Books Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 10/29 Mark-up as Preservation
  • Read all of Part II from Blackwell's on Principles
Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 11/5 Archives” Debates Gets Heated Discussion Board Post due by Friday 5pm PST
Week of 11/12 Reviews of 5 Tools & 5 Projects Reviews of 5 Digital Tools & 5 Digital Humanities Projects

Review instructions for Final Project & Select your Collaborators
Week of 11/19 Final Project: Writing an NEH Grant for a DH Project Twitter Report due by Friday 5pm
Week of 11/26 Final Project: Writing an NEH Grant for a DH Project    
Week of 12/3 Final Project: Submitting an NEH Grant for a DH Project   Submit your grant proposal by Friday 5pm


  • 25% Discussion Forum Posts
  • 10% Facilitate Weekly Discussion
  • 10% Twitter Analysis
  • 10% Review of 5 Digital Projects 
  • 10% Review of 5 Digital Tools 
  • 35% Final Project

Grading policy on late or missed work: Any late discussion post will not be accepted. For all other assignments: If you cannot meet a deadline, you must contact me at least 72 hours prior to the due date to resolve the situation. If this is not done, for every day that an assignment is late, you will be penalized one grade step: A becomes A-, A- becomes a B+, etc. The weekend will count as one day.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 210

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify key print and online research resources useful for finding moving images and moving image-related information.
  2. Demonstrate effective use of film and media resources.
  3. Evaluate at least two institutions with collections that include moving images.
  4. Identify the broad issues involved in collecting, cataloging, preserving and providing access to film and media.
  5. Describe the federal and state governmental units that make primary law and the types of primary law they make.
  6. Identify the major types of primary law and secondary authority for both federal and state jurisdictions.
  7. Locate the nearest brick-and-mortar law library and find materials in it.
  8. Identify and describe the relative merits and shortcomings of the major print and online (both "free" and "pay-for-view") legal resources.
  9. Use print and online sources to find the major types of primary law and secondary authority for both federal and state law.
  10. Answer questions from patrons about basic legal resources, and direct patrons to the best sources for legal information.
  11. Develop strategies for defining search terms to use with "finding tools" in print, online, and pay-for-view legal resources.
  12. Create guides ("pathfinders") for patrons needing legal information.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. B Describe and compare the organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  3. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  4. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  5. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Gold, M. K. (Ed.). (2012). Debates in the digital humanities. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Available through Amazon: 0816677956arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Schreibman, S, Siemens, R, & Unsworth, J (2004). A Companion to Digital Humanities. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. Available through Amazon: 1405168064. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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