This month’s topic of our CREATE Salon is Digital Search & Storytelling in History: user-technology relations and the affordances of digital (re)search tools. New digital search tools offer new ways to explore digital or digitized collections. However, how do researchers make use of these new tools? In this salon, the focus lies on interrogating two tools that offer search and narrative creation possibilities, keeping in mind the question how research practices of humanities researchers are configured or shaped by these technologies. These tools may trigger new research questions and practices, while their use at the same time provides insights into research practices.

With presentations by:

1. Dr. Sabrina Sauer (RUG, UvA), Minyi Cheng (UvA), Justin Verhulst (UvA) and Berber Hagedoorn (RUG)

Exploring linked open data with DIVE+: searching for audio-visual sources to discover new research questions and create narratives

How do searching for audiovisual sources and storytelling interrelate? That is one of the questions that drives the researchers of DIVE+. DIVE+ is an open linked exploratory search browser that facilitates the exploration of diverse archival and museum collections, and allows researchers to investigate how different media objects, events, people and concepts can be compared, connected, and contextualized.

But how do humanities researchers create narratives, and develop research questions when they use the possibilities offered by linked data? Based on previous research into the search and storytelling practices of media professionals who use digital audio-visual archives, this presentation’s starting point is the notion that searching for audio-visual material (the search technologies used) changes the stories one can tell.

In this presentation and subsequent discussion, we focus on exploring, together with the audience, how DIVE+ allows exploration and narrative creation, in order to not only better understand the research process of humanities researchers, but also provide recommendations to further develop DIVE+. We will take a hands-on approach, and use a number of tasks, to explore DIVE+.

Sabrina Sauer works as an assistant professor in Media Studies at the RUG, and as a postdoctoral researcher at the UvA. Her research focuses on the interrelatedness of exploratory search, audiovisual narrative creation, and serendipity.

Minyi Cheng is an MSc Human Centered Multimedia student at the UvA. Her research focuses on the User Interface/User Interaction Design of DIVE+.

Justin Verhulst is a Human Centered Multimedia student at the UvA. His research focuses on the exploratory search and narrative creation practices of media professionals with regard to DIVE+

Berber Hagedoorn is Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the RUG Research Centre for Media and Journalism Studies, specialized in Media and Cultural Studies, studying the representation of past events, participatory media, multi-platform storytelling, cultural memory and the re-use of archival footage, particularly in relation to television, film and digital media.
2. Dr. Mark L. Thompson (RUG) and dr. Joanne van der Woude (RUG)

Amerigo: Exploring Groningen’s Atlantic Connections through Digital Heritage

Amerigo is a planned website and software application (for iPhone, iPad, and Android) for scholars, students, and tourists that allows users to explore connections through space and time between Groningen and the early modern Atlantic World. The Atlantic connections coalesce around trans-oceanic themes such as piracy, sugar, and the African slave trade, and are brought to life by locations in the modern city that function as ‘portals’ to other places around the ocean. Personalized stories of heroes, martyrs, and West India Company officials are brought to life through audio tours, old illustrations and maps, and literary texts; while the application works with GPS coordinates and augmented to transport users who are walking around the modern city back in time.

Dr. Mark L. Thompson (Ph.D., History, Johns Hopkins University, 2004) teaches in American Studies at the RUG. He is an historian of early America and the Atlantic World with a special interest in seventeenth-century Dutch colonial history.

Dr. Joanne van der Woude (Ph.D., English, University of Virginia, 2007) teaches in English at Groningen, working on early American literatures in English, French, German, and Spanish.