Dr. Pam Lach (MSIS ’12), an alumna of the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the project manager of a new software tool called the Digital Humanities Toolkit, or DH Press, which helps researchers, teachers and community groups document history and community projects. The easy-to-use tool assists in building interactive Web sites such as the pilot project, “Mapping the Long Women’s Movement” that is available online at: http://dhpress.org/mapping-the-long-womens-movement/
“DH Press helps users create a range of digital projects, from virtual walking tours and interactive exhibits, to classroom teaching tools and community repositories,” said Lach. “It was designed for non-technical users, such as students, scholars and cultural heritage groups.”
As project manager, Lach coordinated the work of a team that included Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) programmer Joe Hope; the Southern Oral History Program represented by Seth Kotch; the Digital Innovation Lab (DIL) Tech team made up of Bryan Gaston (MSIS '13) SILS alumnus; Chien-Yi Hou, SILS doctoral student and research associate; Stephanie Barnwell, SILS graduate student; and Jade Davis and the DIL undergraduate team including Christopher Breedlove, Beth Carter, Charlotte Fryar and Lauren Stutts.
Lach’s tasks as project manager also include writing the requirements for the tool, overseeing the development of the pilot project, maintaining a public project blog and setting up and staging testing projects.
“Essentially I function as a project manager in two ways: overseeing the development of the toolkit and overseeing the creation and implementation of Digital Humanities projects that make use of DH Press,” Lach said. “I came to this role both in my capacity as the manager of the Digital Innovation Lab and as the project manager for ‘Main Street, Carolina,’ a project developed with the Carolina Digital Library and Archives, which was the initial inspiration for DH Press.”
Lach has been serving as the full-time manager of the DIL since graduating from SILS with her MSIS in the summer of 2012.
“I use what I learned at SILS every day on the job, particularly what I learned about databases, organization of information, information architecture, usability design, information visualization and information retrieval,” Lach said. “What's great about what I'm doing now is that I am able to combine the skills I acquired at SILS with my training as a historian/humanist. This allows me to keep a foot in both worlds, and help bridge those worlds for our diverse, interdisciplinary team. Since the digital humanities are so interdisciplinary, pulling in technologists and humanists, my SILS training is truly indispensable to my work.”
The DH Press pilot project, “Mapping the Long Women’s Movement” was released earlier this month.
Map image provided by RENCI.