This post is part of a series of reflections from 2017 Digital Scholarship Incubator participants.
Katherine Kim: When I applied to the Digital Scholarship Incubator over the summer, I knew that I was in the very early stages of my proposed project of developing and maintaining a website on a nineteenth-century author, an online source that I hope will eventually connect to other online sources. However, after hearing about the various interesting and exciting projects of the other Incubator participants during the first group meeting, my lack of skills and level of project development thus far seem even more evident. In fact, a number of seemingly basic terms that some participants used during their brief “icebreaker” introductions were foreign to me! Although there are obvious detriments to my situation, perhaps there are some benefits, as I can simultaneously develop the project and my abilities in a relatively streamlined manner. However, I am not quite sure . . .
I have been thinking about my proposed project for a few years without making much headway. A year or two ago, I started reading some documents that will be at least referred to in this project, but I have since forgotten what I read! This Digital Scholarship Incubator will hopefully provide me the incentive to at the very least get to a more refined stage of the project and acquire some of the skills that I will need for this and future projects. While the primary audience for my work will be scholars in fields such as nineteenth-century literature and culture, gothic, and supernatural studies, I hope that the work will be useful to anyone who is interested in learning more about any of these subjects. Consequently, I want to make sure that whatever I create is easy to browse and navigate. Thus, I hope that I will not need to rely on extremely complex applications and computer skills, as I will be starting from the most basic level of computer use (I still have problems getting Word to do what I want it to do)!
Although it would be incredibly amazing, I do not see this project as one that I will “complete” (successfully or not) during the period of the Digital Scholarship Incubator in part because I am starting from a very early stage in project conception and digital scholarship and computer knowledge. In addition, I will be teaching four classes spread across three different schools (the first time that I have ever taught that many classes at once), and so the semester will be quite busy! For me, this incubator will be successful if, as I mentioned above, I learn some of the skills necessary for creating a decent-looking, decent-working, and easily maintainable website that appropriately cites and links to existing information and sources (since many of the primary sources will be from the nineteenth century, the copyright issues will be more in regards to secondary sources and editions of the primary sources used). To be honest, I hope that I can keep up with and understand what happens during the Digital Scholarship Incubator sessions!