Libraries celebrates Love Data Week 2022

Data is for everyone! Wait … data are for everyone? Either way, Love Data Week 2022 (February 14-18) is about how different folks use data.

Love Data Week is sponsored by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). This year’s theme focuses on the people side of data and asks questions like “What does data look like in different disciplines?” and “How about biases in data… who is ‘in’ the data and who is invisible?” Follow the activities on social media using #LoveData22.

In celebration of Love Data Week, the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC) will be offering three short 30-minute workshops focusing on data tools. You can learn more and register at the links below.

Samuel Clowes Huneke and Andrea Weeks Named 2020-21 Fenwick Fellows

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John G. Zenelis is pleased to announce the annual Fenwick Fellow award recipients for 2020-21: Samuel Clowes Huneke, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Art History, and Andrea Weeks, Associate Professor, Department of Biology.

Professor Huneke’s research proposal, Visualizing Authoritarianism, is a three-part project concentrated on examining the East German regime’s visual propaganda and how it changed over time, through examination of the East German poster collection held by the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). Professor Huneke will collaborate with both SCRC and the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC) to accomplish his project goals: 1) migrating existing collection metadata into an Omeka S site (with the assistance of graduate research assistants); 2) conducting a qualitative assessment of the posters in the collection to augment the existing metadata and to create more nuanced descriptions of the posters; and 3) publishing a journal article of research findings and digitizing a sampling of the posters for inclusion with a digital exhibit.

Professor Weeks’ research proposal, The Extended Specimen Project, seeks to explore the extended specimen concept in relation to the curation of natural history collections using the methods of digital scholarship by focusing on an orphaned research collection recently acquired the University Herbarium. The collection, amassed over 40 years by a professor at Virginia’s Lord Fairfax Community College, contains 20,000 herbarium specimens and 18 collection notebooks of significant historical and scientific value for understanding the flora of Virginia and its exploration in the late 20th century. Professor Weeks’ project has two main goals: 1) creating a digital resource of the notebooks (which will be accessioned within the Libraries) and 2) cross-linking the digital images of the notebook entries with the growing database of herbarium specimens, with the assistance of DiSC. Professor Weeks’ also intends to publish and present on her findings.

Zenelis commented, “It is a delight each year to see Mason faculty’s creative proposals to use, build upon, and expand the Libraries’ collections. I am pleased to support the review committee’s endorsement of Professor Huneke’s and Professor Weeks’ projects, with their mix of archival and digital exploration. We look forward to the results of their research projects.”

Professors Huneke and Weeks will present on the outcomes of their projects in spring of 2022 at the annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture hosted by the University Libraries.

About the Fenwick Fellowship: The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to one or two Mason tenured, tenure-track, or multi-year appointment term faculty members to pursue a research project that uses and enhances the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in their fields. The winning proposals are recommended to the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian by a six-member selection committee including three instructional faculty members and three librarians, with one of the Associate University Librarians serving as administrative coordinator. The recipients are provided with a fully equipped and furnished research office in Fenwick Library and an award of $5,000 to support the recipient’s research project. The term for the fellowship is one academic year.

DiSC Research Connections: Noel Johnson

March 12 , 2020: THIS EVENT IS CANCELED

Join us for the next DiSC Research Connections presentation on Tuesday, March 24, 3 – 4 p.m. Noel Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Economics will present “Using GIS to Uncover the History of Persecution and Toleration in Europe” in 2001 Fenwick Library (Main Reading Room). This event is hosted by Mason Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC).

For most of European history, religious minorities were in a precarious position. Toleration was conditional and could fall apart quite easily. Jewish communities, for example, were more likely to be persecuted when environmental shocks such as the Black Death or bad weather occurred. Dr. Johnson will discuss how tools from GIS have played a vital role in his study of religious minorities in Europe and the gradual emergence of religious freedom.

For more information, please contact Wendy Mann, datahelp@gmu.edu

GIS Day on November 13

GIS Day, an annual event hosted by the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, will take place on Wednesday, November 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Fenwick Library.

This year’s theme is “The Intersection of GIS and Drones,” and will feature student work and competitions, employer vendors, and guest speakers.

For a full schedule of events, visit https://cos.gmu.edu/ggs/gis-day/.

DiSC Research Connections: Text Mining

Join us for a DiSC Research Connections presentation on “Text Mining Digital Humanities Blogs with APIs, OpenRefine, and R” on Tuesday, October 29, 3-4 p.m., in Fenwick 2001. This session will be led by Laura Crossley, PhD student, Department of History and Art History.