Public Domain Review

Name of Web Site: The Public Domain Review


Location of Site’s Right Statements:

The Public Domain Review is a website dedicated to the collection and presentation of content that has rolled into the public domain. The content spans many fields and mediums, including books, audio, images, and video. Users can browse by content type and time period, going all the way back to before the 16th century. The site also frequently publishes original essays from contributors that have drawn on content listed on the Public Domain Review. Finally, PDR also hosts their own website store, featuring items inspired by the open access objects on the site. 

Colored Conventions Project

Name of Web Site: Colored Conventions Project


Location of Site’s Right Statements: Listed on individual exhibit sites. Example:

The Colored Conventions Project contains information related to the Colored Conventions Movement, a series of political gatherings that began in the antebellum period and lasted for seven decades. The main site links to a related domain that hosts the Project’s digital records. The CCP website also spotlights more than seventeen digital exhibits. The site also contains a range of research-based teaching materials for people of all ages. The Colored Conventions Project is committed to providing open and accessible resources to all interested parties. 


Prelinger Archives

Name of Web Site: Prelinger Archives


Location of Site’s Right Statements:

The Prelinger Collection on contains thousands of films with a variety of purposes. Some recordings are focused on education, including videos on biology and human physiology. Other films are meant to introduce concepts of safety in case of emergencies like atomic attacks or attempted kidnappings. Other recordings include advertisements, films by amateur moviemakers, and home videos from personal family collections. 

NASA Commons Site on Flickr

Name of Web Site: NASA on The Commons


Location of Site’s Right Statements: “About NASA Images and NASA on The Commons” on the landing page.

NASA On the Commons provides public access to more than 3,000 photos related to the United States space agency. The website displays photos in more than 100 albums with categories like pilots, planets, probes, and unique aircraft. Because of its status as a federal agency, photos taken by NASA immediately enter the public domain. Unlike other public domain sites, some of the images on NASA On the Commons are less than five years old!  

J Paul Getty Museum

Name of Web Site: Getty Museum


Location of Site’s Right Statements:

The website for the J Paul Getty Museum contains thousands of art pieces ranging from sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, photographs, and drawings. Artifacts are divided into collections, and collections are searchable by artist, title, medium, culture, and keywords. The Getty Museum website also provides educational resources for learners of all ages and teachers at all levels. Finally, the Museum makes available its regular publications. Most are available for purchase or reservation, but some are able to be downloaded for free. 

A Definition of Digital Humanities

Digital humanities is the application and invention of techniques, tools, and methods regarding new media and the humanities. As a field of study, the digital humanities also interprets the impact of new technologies on societies and cultures. 

 Stephen Ramsay’s 2013 post, “DH Types One and Two” was especially influential in helping me understand and define the digital humanities. Ramsay’s acknowledgement of two separate but equally valid branches of DH provided a history lesson, an overview of the field, and an outline for future expansion. Pre-2004 definitions were hyper-focused on technology and how computers and methods from empirical sciences could be used to meet the end-goals of the humanities fields. This is reflected in Ramsay’s description of the “humanities computing” field, DH Type I. The boundaries for Type II are far more inclusive and can encompass inquiry, research, theory, and teaching. Type II builds upon the accomplishments of Type I (“How can this new technology serve our purposes?”) and dares to ask, “How can methods and techniques typical to the humanities serve and contribute to emerging media and technology?” 

I think it is important to include concrete examples of what DH looks like in any definition of the field. It is not enough to praise DH as a revolutionary, expanded field filled with unlimited possibilities. Nor is it enough to define DH as “whatever digital humanists do.” These broad statements run the risk of muddying the waters for newcomers and turning them away from the community before they even have a chance to get acquainted with what DH is all about.