February 15, 2022, by Matt Davies
DTH Update: Spring 2022 by Matt Davies
DTH Manager Matt Davies gives us a quick update on all that’s new in the Digital Transformations Hub.
DTH is fully open again and welcoming Faculty of Arts staff and students who need help with producing or editing digital content. We’re open 10-5 weekdays during term time, no need to book – although it is worth dropping us an email if you want to use or borrow something specialist – just bring along your student card if you wish to borrow equipment.
We have several new PCs, some with high specs and graphics cards to process 3D, VR and high volume / large files. There are also scanners of all shapes and sizes (we can scan A0 – film strips and all between!) and now Adobe Creative Cloud licenses on all of our PCs. This includes photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat and Premier Pro, for creating and editing photographs, documents, video and digital audio files. The new license package also comes with access to learning resources so a great opportunity to come along and teach yourself these widely used and supported packages. You will also find lots of useful information and guides on how to create and edit digital media at our SharePoint page – see links at the end of this post.
New Research Associates
DTH has been pleased to welcome two new Postgraduate Research Associates this year.
Lu Zhang is a PhD student in Art History, and teaching assistant in the School of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies. She studied in China, the UK and France and her current research focuses on exhibiting and collecting Chinese art outside China. Lu loves to travel, and every time she visits a new place, she likes to hit the local museums (and cafes, restaurants, bookshops, parks…)!
Lu was a volunteer in the DTH back in 2019, she covers DTH on Fridays, and supervises the Archaeology Slide Digitalisation Project.
Abigail Parker is a first-year PhD student within the Department of Music working towards her PhD in Musicology, her academic interests include Swedish popular music, ABBA, and the Eurovision Song Contest.
Abigail works Wednesdays in the DTH and supervises the Marketing team where her previous experience with conference organisation and academic marketing comes in very handy!
Volunteers and Projects
DTH has a team of twenty student volunteers drawn from across the faculty, they work two hour shifts in DTH where they assist users but also work on real world digital projects.
The Digital Marketing project team are looking to increase awareness of the DTH and its resources amongst the FoA student body. Besides looking after our long standing social media platforms, this year’s team have launched a TikTok account and have introduced a new DTH mascot – Digital Dan the DTH man!! They have also been writing blogs, and producing posters for the Faculty’s Offer Holder Days.
The Archaeology slide and Hennessy collection digitisation projects are moving on apace. The former utilises DTH’s A4 scanners’ Transparency Units to capture the Archaeology department’s unique 35mm slides (some of which date back to the 1950s) at high resolutions. They are also transferring information about each image from the collection’s card index into a database so that both can be cross-referenced to build a searchable database and make these amazing images available to all.
Similarly, unique is the English department’s Hennessy collection, which includes 1960s Cuban newspapers. They are being captured by students who have been trained to use the copystand, lighting units and DSLR camera by the University’s digitisation officer Mark Bentley. Mark works for the Manuscripts and Special Collections (MSC) department and was able to train the students to carry out this work to professional standards. Excitingly all of the volunteers will be travelling over to KMC to visit MSC soon, where they’ll enjoy an exclusive tour of the archives and a look at the state-of-the-art digitisation studio.
The two projects that we started working on in partnership with the University of Nottingham Museum last academic year have also continued into 2021-22. The Museum video project is overseen by long time DTH collaborator Joe Bell of the University’s Video Production Unit. Joe and the students will produce information videos about some of the artefacts which they have been filming in the Museum, as well as interviewing the relevant experts from the Classics and Archaeology department for talking heads segments.
Finally, a team of students and I have been capturing Ancient Roman artefacts this term for the UoN Museum 3D Photogrammetry project. Photogrammetry is a method of creating a digital 3D version of an object by capturing multiple overlapping photographs and then running them through software called Metashape. The team have had to learn handling, photography and software skills all whilst being incredibly careful!! Third year Archaeology student Sam Jenkins, in his second year of volunteering in the DTH, has been invaluable to the project, teaching the new cohort skills that he brought with him from external experience doing underwater photogrammetry.
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