BC Libraries' DSG News & Announcements
Spring 2024, Issue 1 View online
News & Events
The Digital Scholarship Teaching & Learning Lab

We are delighted to announce the opening of our new Digital Scholarship Teaching and Learning Lab. Formerly the Tip O’Neill exhibit room, the Lab will be a place where the DSG teaches classes and workshops, offers consultations, provides shared workspace for group DS projects, and more.

The DSG teaching the DH Certificate capstone class in the new Digital Scholarship Teaching and Learning Lab

ILA Summer Internships for PhD Students

The DSG will again participate in the ILA PhD internship program this summer. We will offer students the opportunity to learn cutting-edge digital scholarship and digital humanities methods and skills. At its conclusion, participants will have gained a better understanding of DS/DH concepts, a greater mastery of relevant technical skills, and a wider range of project development and management strategies. During the internship, students can access hardware, software, shared workspace in the Digital Studio (O’Neill Library), and DSG collaborators. You can read more about our internship offerings and expect to see the 2024 application posted soon.

David Jones TEI Workshop & Archival Display

Boston College Libraries are excited to welcome David Jones Research Center members and Cambridge University Digital Humanities this April 3rd-5th. We will host a speaker event, archival display, and a three-day text encoding workshop in which attendees will learn the basics of text encoding using digitized materials from John J. Burns Library’s David Jones collection. The workshop has limited spaces, so there is an application process. Learn more and apply now.

Applications of GIS Course

During the Fall semester, Lester Carver and Antonio LoPiano were asked to step in and teach Applications of GIS (EESC4480). This course provides students with the fundamentals to employ GIS applications in their research and future careers successfully. Lester and Antonio brought their spatial analysis expertise to bear on various subjects, from determining site suitability to creating custom field surveys. While the course focuses on using the ArcGIS software suite, it also provides students with a theoretical foundation in spatial analysis that can be applied to any GIS application. The course culminated in a poster session where students presented their novel research projects, and the large attendance was greatly appreciated!

A group of students surround posters that are resting on easels. Some students are speaking to the others explaining what is on their posters.

Students presenting their GIS project posters

Catholic Almanacs Project

The DSG is about to begin building a digital collection of Catholic Almanacs that circulated throughout the United States in the nineteenth century. These almanacs are crucial primary source material for scholars and students of Catholic history, American history, and their overlap. Project leader Ashlyn Stewart will focus on making the almanacs' data—especially facts about parishes and their leaders—more accessible, including through a database and visualizations. We’re particularly excited to work with BC students, who will contribute to getting these windows into the daily lives of nineteenth-century Catholic Americans online!

What is Digital Humanities? Talks

Dave Thomas has been giving “What is DH?” talks to humanities courses across campus. His infectious enthusiasm makes him the perfect classroom guest if faculty want students to be introduced to DH, inspired to explore it and learn how it can apply to their research. In a recent talk to a graduate history class, he covered how historians have used methods such as mapping, 3D modeling, data visualization, and text and network analysis in work that spans from the ancient world to contemporary history. 


The DSG continues working with a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses to help BC students across disciplines learn more about digital tools and methods. So far this semester, we have visited courses in History, Classics, Core, African and African Diaspora Studies, Earth Sciences, and International Studies. We are especially excited to pilot a new midterm and final project for Professor Shannon Jacob’s Music & Social Justice class.

DH Certificate Capstone Course

This semester, we are co-teaching the DH Certificate Capstone course with Stephen Sturgeon, BC Libraries’ Head of Collections. To prepare students to start their projects, we are having discussions and conducting exercises on concepts such as creating and finding data, data structuring and manipulation, metadata, sustainability, usability, database creation, text encoding, and Github. We have a great group of students and cannot wait to see their projects take shape!

Data Support for Courses

We wish to call special attention to the data support we offer courses, including in-class instruction, one-on-one consultations with students, technical guidance, and the creation of learning modules. This past fall we had roughly thirty consults with undergraduate students from primarily Economics, Accounting, and Environmental Studies. We helped students identify the data they required for their research, connected them with data sources, discussed how to manipulate and clean data, and advised on approaches to data analysis. Working with a faculty member, we created a module on using Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data and accessing it using three different library databases (Wharton Research Data Services [WRDS], MSCI, and Refinitiv). We also created a module for the new Data Science minor that introduces students to critical data science social and cultural issues.

Visit our website for more information about DS instruction.  

Digital Projects

We are in the midst of building several digital projects in partnership with experts across BC. Some of the projects we’re most excited about include:

Assisting Dr. Christy Pottroff, professor of English, with scanning excavation units and recovered artifacts from the archaeological project at Anne Bradstreet’s (1612-72) former residence. The scans will provide detailed records of the excavation process and results while preserving artifacts in a digital form that can be shared with colleagues and the broader public to enhance the impact of their research. Learn more.

• Working with Dr. Jeff DaCosta, professor of biology, on producing 3D scans of bird specimens native to Massachusetts. The models will be used as study examples for students and ultimately form an online research database.

3D bird models

• Collaborating with The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies (IAJS) on a digital version of their triennale catalogs, which contain a global census the Jesuits conducted every three years since the 1600s. We are creating a secure online web portal through which researchers will enter the information in the records. Eventually, the portal will allow users to look up information on priests and visualize data about the interactions between individual priests and communities.

1801 Jesuit triennial catalog

• Collaborating with Dr. Maia McAleavey, professor of English, on building an online data entry portal to enter information about the narrative and plot content of novels, enabling Dr. McAleavey to perform a macroscopic literary analysis.

Visit our website for more information about our projects. To request help with designing or implementing a digital project, please complete our form.

Featured Resources
3D Modeling Apps: Fusion 360, Metashape, and Blender

As demand for 3D modeling tools and skills increases, we want to highlight the 3D modeling applications available in the Digital Studio (O’Neill Library, room 205): Metashape, Blender, and Fusion 360. Metashape is the most powerful photogrammetry software on the market. It allows users to produce incredibly detailed 3D models from a series of photographs using only a camera and a computer. Blender is the industry standard in visual effects (VFX) and 3D modeling to create and edit realistic models for animations, video games, and 3D applications. Finally, Fusion 360 allows students to go from 2D schematics to 3D models quickly and to produce working virtual mechanical prototypes ahead of 3D printing or fabrication.


To better serve students with GIS needs, we have added another instance of ArcGIS (there now are four) in the Digital Studio and rearranged the computers so that there is a “GIS corner” where students can focus, support each other, and participate in small instruction sessions. Students can access the computers whenever the O’Neill Library is open.

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