Reflective Post 4

Reflecting on My DH Experience

Sitting down to write this post is bringing on a lot of emotions; eight weeks of this program don’t feel like enough, now that we’ve reached the end. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for DSSF and this opportunity, and to explain how much fun this learning experience has been.

At the beginning of this project, we all wrote a blog post explaining our definition of DH and what it meant to us. I think each member of the cohort would agree that we didn’t know what we were in for, and would also agree that our concept of DH was minimal or average at best.

Specifically, I remember writing about how the Digital Humanities are different than writing a paper: “DH gives me the power beyond merely writing a paper because of how accessible and versatile it can be. The average person finds reading a paper or essay tedious or dull – but DH changes all that. Digital Humanities can reach a larger audience, appeal to a greater group of people, and provide a more interesting and interactive method for learning and teaching.”

While I agree with eight-week-ago Carlee, I also think she didn’t have any experience in what she was talking about. Working with such a variety of people to create my final project (although “final” is just a temporary state of being) gave me an entirely new understanding of just how flexible and interactive DH can be. Additionally, the ability to give a final presentation to such a responsive and inquisitive audience on Zoom was the perfect indicator of what makes the Digital Humanities so great – the goal of my project could never have been portrayed to an audience if not for the digital tools and virtual format of the site overall.

My definition of the Digital Humanities has also shifted from one that is impersonal and passive – “The general definition of digital humanities is taking work and research already done in the humanities field, and then presenting it to your audience in digital ways. These digital resources can vary from websites and software to virtual maps, timelines, audio and video, and graphs/charts.” – to one that is vibrant, active, exciting, and personal.

Now, I know that DH means people and their passions, the exploration of interests, and the convergence of knowledge and digital tools. In a more personal way, I’ll never be able to engage with online exhibits or other examples of DH without thinking of this incredible summer and how much I managed to learn and grow.

To the Digital Scholarship Summer Fellowship committee and fellow students in our cohort, I’d like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Each member of our little band of DSSFers gave 110% of their time, hard work, and passion in order to make this summer a complete success – and an awful lot of fun. #DSSF21 has been an experience I will never forget!

Without further ado I’ll be signing off one final time! Thank you for reading and following along with our incredible journey this summer.


Reflective Post 3

Authorship of Knowledge

As I take the time to stop and reflect after these six weeks, I’m impressed by how well Chapter 3 of Digital_Humanities by Burdick, Drucker, Lunenfeld, Presnet, and Schnapp deftly discusses the transformation of how we view knowledge, authorship, and how the two affect the Digital Humanities. It is also cool to notice how their discussion can be applied to my own experiences with DH this summer.

I’d say one of my favorite aspects of DH is the dedication to open and accessible information, with the goals of making knowledge available to everyone – not just those with position, money, or power. On page 79 of Digital_Humanities, the authors write, “Peer-to-peer sharing and open-source models of production transform “property” into something created, edited, and monitored by the ever-expanding public but ultimately owned by no one,” emphasizing this goal of openness.

I am reminded of a Tweet that has circulated on several modes of social media for the past three years or so, written by Dr. Holly Witteman on the accessibility of scientific scholarly works:


Here, Dr. Witteman makes the case that people can get around paywalls to scholarly works by reaching out to the actual authors themselves. Although it does provide for the open transfer of knowledge, it cannot be denied that it also opens up questions on creatorship and ownership.

As I was pondering the question of this reflection post – “What happens when anyone can speak and publish? What happens when knowledge credentialing is no longer controlled solely by institutions of higher learning?” – I am inclined to be cautious in responding solely positively.

On one hand, the boundaries around knowledge have oftentimes been misused and abused. Examples like obscene textbook prices and prohibitive paywalls on academic journals only serve as gatekeeping devices. This does not promote or encourage widespread knowledge.

However, I also feel that it’s important to give credit where credit is due. In addition, I agree with the authors of Digital_Humanities when they write, “As much as we celebrate the global proliferation of networking, it is important to bear in mind that network technologies do not inherently promote democratic values and community-building. They also create the conditions of possibility for violent backlash, community surveillance, and possibly even genocide,” (81). So, as with many things in life, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.

There are certainly pros and cons to these issues. I think that the greater ability to speak and publish leads to some wonderful outcomes that encourage collaboration, connectivity, greater understanding, and greater knowledge. In addition, it adds to an open-ended setup of expansion in which a continuous chain of events is set off, from which new ideas are sprung, which inspire new ideas from those new ideas, and the chain continues.

I’ve even seen this with my own project, for which I’m taking ideas and scholarship from others and transforming them or utilizing them in new ways, or ways that more closely fit the narrative of my project. I could only hope that others might do the same with my work some day!




Hello again! Carlee here.

For this post, I want to share something slightly unique to my project that we have not really discussed in any of our workshops – a data visualization made with Canva.

In my meetings with my librarian buddy, Kevin, I mentioned that I was interested in finding an accessible and vibrant way to display the different technological advances that have cropped up as competition against movie theaters throughout the years.

Being a bit, ahem, fed up with TimelineJS after using it for our microproject and another part of my own project, I wanted something new, so Kevin and I decided on Canva. Here’s what came out of that!

Made with Canva

I’m excited to hear your feedback and comments!


Reflective Post 2

DH Values & Our Microproject

It is incredible to realize that we’ve finished 3 out of 8 weeks for DSSF21 already. On one hand, due to the sheer amount that we have learned – from programs and virtual tools to tips on data visualization and copyright laws – it feels like we’ve been working for much longer than three weeks! However, on the other hand, since every day has been chock-full of information, it’s gone by more quickly than I ever anticipated.

Admittedly, a good chunk of the time has been spent working as a cohort on our microproject. Working on the Albert Chance Collection in Musselman Library’s Special Collections has honestly been a privilege, as well as a fun experience overall.

Before I dig deeper into this experience, I’m going to list the Digital Humanities values (as outlined in a book chapter by Lisa Spiro, called “This is Why We Fight: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities“):

-Collegiality and connectedness

I have found that much of the experience has fallen under various combinations of multiple of the aforementioned values; as an example, our first steps into the DH world have taken a huge mixture of both experimentation and openness, especially because this microproject is our first attempt to use many of the tools we’ve been taught.

I am immediately struck by a couple overall takeaways in regards to the experience working together on the microproject; first and foremost, I would point out the flexibility that this collaboration has required. From the very first week, when we were still standing on baby-legs and hadn’t even determined the overall narrative structure for the project – the story we wanted to tell – we had to work out the best ways for open and consistent communication.

With half the cohort off-campus (3 students), and the other half on-campus (3 students), plus members in completely different time-zones, it took a lot of flexibility on everyone’s part in determining how this project would be developed and shaped. I was – and am – proud of the work we accomplished since then, and the responsibility that each member has adopted for their tasks.

In addition, I am also encouraged by the encouragement and support – collegiality and connectedness – that we have consistently received from the wonderful library team. Every step of the way we had a support system to help, from digitizing some extra Albert Chance content that we discovered in Special Collections to fixing HTML bugs in the sometimes-wacky WordPress.

These experiences working on the microproject have given me valuable insight and practice for my own personal project. I have been able to engage with programs and practice with them, which will make it easier when I use them later. I’ve also gleaned experience in receiving feedback and responding to constructive criticism in positive ways.

Overall, I feel confident and ready to tackle my own project, thanks to the library team, my cohort, and how we’ve embraced the DH values in all our work together.




For my project (working title “Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater: Big Role in a Small Town”), I intend to use Scalar to host my website.

Because Scalar is organized like a book, with “chapters” that move in a certain direction, I have created an overview wireframe with arrows pointing in the direction that viewers will be experiencing the website:

As you can see, my current plan is to have six overall pages (a number which could very easily change as certain sections change) that all build off of the previous page.

First and foremost will be my title page. It is very simple, featuring a large image of the Majestic Theater, a title, and a “continue” button.

The next page will be an introduction to small-town theaters and a brief history of the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, PA. It will also feature a VoyantTools wordcloud to help introduce the “vibes” around small-town theaters.

Next will come a page explaining the major competitors that movie theaters have faced throughout the decades, as well as some graphs/charts to visualize data surrounding movie-going and theater locations. If I can locate the data, I’d like to include a StoryMapJS mapping out small-town/historical movie theaters that have closed.

The fourth page will be a positive page noting the success behind the Majestic Theater and small-town theaters overall, with a special focus on the renovation done to the Majestic, followed by the embodiments of the four themes that are all in common with the roles of small-town theaters.

The fifth page will visualize the present and future of the Majestic Theater in an attempt to keep the website/project relevant as time passes by. It will feature a collage of patrons’ reflections, photos, comments, and notes. I would also like to include an RSSfeed of the Majestic Theater location on social media (Instagram? Facebook?) for an element that will always remain fresh and new.

The final page will be a generic “About the Project” page, featuring some final conclusions/thank-yous, the sources I used, and a small bio about myself.

And…that’s all she wrote, folks! Those are the current wireframes for my project. I’m sure things will need to be adjusted as new data surfaces, some plans become irrelevant, and expectations shift and mold. At this point, though, I’m able to use these as visualizations in the skeleton phase of building my project. Thanks for checking out my wireframes!


Project Charter

Project Charter

  • Project Name
    • “Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater: A Big Role in a Small Town”

  • Project Owner
    • Carlee Mayo

  • Project Summary
    • This project intends to illustrate the role of small-town movie theaters in communities across America, display the factors that can contribute to their failure, and use Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater as a case study to examine the examples in which these theaters survive and thrive.
    • Research question: What is the role of small-town and independent movie theaters in the U.S., and what place do they have in our societies and communities? Why have some examples, especially Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater, continued to thrive while others have been forced to close?
    • Project scope: Throughout the eight-week time-frame, I hope to outline the themes commonly found in scholarly articles denoting the role of small-town theaters; research the instances of theaters that have not been able to survive; understand the forces behind the Majestic Theater’s continued success; and work with Scalar, TimelineJS, and StoryMapJS to present these findings in an informative and accessible way.
    • Project audience: The project audience for my project includes Gettysburg College students in various departments (including but not limited to Cinema/Media Studies; English; Business/OMS; Theater); Adams County community members who have been affected by the Majestic Theater in any way; and other people across the country and the world with any interest in small-town movie theaters, film history, media industries, and film exhibition in general.

  • Deliverables
    • WordPress OR Scalar as my platform
    • TimelineJS
    • StoryMapJS
    • Special Collections sources – need to digitize
    • Newspaper articles (Gettysburg Times, The Gettysburgian)
    • Videos/media/photographs
    • Graphs and charts

  • Timeline
    • Week 2:
      • Visit Special Collections to overview Majestic Theater material
      • Practice using either TimelineJS or StoryMapJS
      • Finish Project Charter by Friday at 9am
      • Research/compile small-town theaters that have shut down
    • Week 3:
      • Work on digitizing/selecting Majestic Theater sources in Special Collections
      • Wireframes due by Friday at 9am
      • Work on TimelineJS of the Majestic Theater history
      • Write Reflective Post #2
    • Week 4:
      • Nail down “Intro to Small-Town Theaters” page
      • Nail down “About” page (sources/creator info)
    • Week 5:
      • Visualization due Friday at 9am
      • Nail down “Competition” section (stakes/examples)
      • Write Reflective Post #3
    • Week 6:
      • First draft project link due Friday at 9am
      • Nail down “Surviving and Thriving” section (buoys/examples)
      • Nail down “Present and Future” section (social media/community interaction w/ submission option)
    • Week 7:
      • Implement feedback/changes/updates after deliberation
      • Final draft project link due Friday at 9am
    • Week 8:
      • Practice for presentation
      • Present!!!
      • Write Reflective Post #4

  • End of Life/Future Plans
    • Towards the end of my Scalar site, I’d like to include a “Majestic Present and Future” page which embeds photographs/videos of community members’ shared content regarding the theater, in addition to an embedded social media (Instagram?) post carousel displaying posts linked to the Majestic Theater via location. This would be an opportunity for the project to be ongoing, as community members could submit photos throughout the years that displays the role of the Majestic in the community.

Reflective Post 1

What DH Means to Me

Hi there! My name is Carlee Mayo and I am one of the Digital Scholarship Summer Fellows for summer 2021. I am a rising senior at Gettysburg College with a double-major in English literature and Cinema/Media Studies. For our six-student cohort, this blog will be our opportunity to touch base about our progress and development throughout the summer.

So, the first prompt: what does DH mean to me? Prior to this fellowship – I’m almost embarrassed to admit – I had only heard of “digital humanities” in passing, and could barely define it in the vaguest of terms. It has hardly been on my radar, even though I am a humanities student.

As I have learned throughout my first week, the general definition of digital humanities is taking work and research already done in the humanities field, and then presenting it to your audience in digital ways. These digital resources can vary from websites and software to virtual maps, timelines, audio and video, and graphs/charts.

Personally, it goes much deeper than all that. To me, digital humanities provides an incomprehensible opportunity to share my passions with the world.

As an English major, trust me, I’ve written my fair share of papers; I would even venture to say that I enjoy writing papers. However, DH gives me the power beyond merely writing a paper because of how accessible and versatile it can be. The average person finds reading a paper or essay tedious or dull – but DH changes all that. Digital Humanities can reach a larger audience, appeal to a greater group of people, and provide a more interesting and interactive method for learning and teaching.

Another aspect of digital humanities that I love is the commitment to collaboration. Although it is a cliché, I have always agreed that “two heads are better than one.” DH allows for collaboration between people, scholars, data, and research from around the world. Is there anything better than the open flow of information for a greater increase of knowledge and understanding?

Clearly, I’m exhilarated to be a part of DSSF this summer. Each and every day brings something new and exciting to learn, explore, and experiment with, and my understanding of Digital Humanities is shifting with each week. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store!

Carlee Mayo