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Archive for the ‘Staff’ Category

Soweto ‘76 Appears in Newsweek

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Angel David Nieves, Ph.D., School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park, is featured in the latest issue of Newsweek International (14 August 2007) in an article entitled, “African Art’s Long and Winding Road Home.” Nieves, a Resident Fellow at the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH), has been developing an interactive digital archive, “Soweto ’76,” with the Hector Pieterson Museum of Johannesburg, South Africa since the Fall of 2006.

MITH Receives NEH Grant

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

MITH LogoThe Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) received a Digital Humanities Start-Up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’s (NEH) Digital Humanities Initiative (see, www.mith2.umd.edu). The $30,000 award will support development of a tool called the Ajax XML Encoder (AXE) by Assistant Director Doug Reside and a team. Work will begin in September 2007.

In the fall and winter of 2006, Doug Reside developed “alpha” versions of the image tagging component for MITH Resident Fellow Dr. Angel David Nieves’ Soweto ‘76 project, and in the spring of 2007 completed an early version of the text tagging component for the online archive and proposed serious gaming interface.

“The Ajax XML encoder, with its intuitive Web-based interface, will come as a breath of fresh air to those who have previously been frustrated by text-centric tagging tools which require an expert knowledge of mark-up languages,” said Reside. Since the codification of the Text Encoding Initiative standards in the mid-1990s, the process of the creation of digital editions and archives is largely one of “marking up” existing artifacts in SGML or XML. Originally, this was often done “by hand,” with scholars adding XML tags to existing text documents using a text editor. Over the last decade several tools have been produced that make this process somewhat more efficient and accurate, though most still require more than a beginner’s familiarity with XML encoding, and few are open source.

Moreover, many digital humanities projects have, of late, become far more multi-medial–relying on image, video, and audio files as well as text. Existing markup tools have only begun to work with these non-textual artifacts. As digital archives continue to grow, the markup tools used to encode them must become more flexible and easier to use.

The Ajax XML Encoder (AXE) is intended to meet this need for a flexible, open source, multimedia tagging tool suitable for use by the non-specialist. MITH Director, Neil Fraistat, noted that “AXE will allow users with limited technical skills to tag text, images, video, and audio files deeply for inclusion in digital archives.” Like the mythological Ajax’s axe, MITH’s AXE is intended to provide users with enough power and flexibility to accomplish their tasks without a great deal of assistance from the technical “gods.”

HPMM Launches Website & Digital Archive Project

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

ithp9.gif Through a unique partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, College Park, U.S.A., the Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum is working to digitize the contents of its archival collections from the Student Uprisings of June 16, 1976. This partnership grew out of collaborative projects between Chief Curator Ali Khangela Hlongwane and Angel David Nieves, Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Hlongwane and Nieves have been working together since 2004. Both are looking to continue their unique collaboration through new exhibitions, publications, and archival projects that will help to expand the Museum’s collections and its unique mission.