For the past week a group of hackers have been feverishly working on a top secret new project in a government-funded lab in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. While this might sound like a great opening to a new Dan Brown thriller, it’s actually a description of the One Week | One Tool project was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and led by the folks at George Mason’s Center for History and New Media. What do you get when you lock a group of digital humanities hackers in a room for a week?
Anthologize: a free, open-source, plugin that transforms WordPress 3.0 into a platform for publishing electronic texts. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI.
Just like the earlier Omeka tool, CHNM hopes that Anthologize will find uses outside traditional academic settings. Included in the use cases that helped shape the tool are a few relevant for libraries, archives and museums:
Library, Archive, and Museum staff are increasingly using blogs to engage visitors and users in new and exciting ways. Publishing online gives the public behind-the-scenes access, richer engagement with collections and staff, and increased connection to our institutions and their future. However, cultural heritage practitioners are understandably concerned about the impermanence of online platforms. Anthologize provides the opportunity to publish online work in multiple formats suitable for archiving.
- Publish research or processing activity on a blog and create the exhibition book from blog posts.
- Pull together blog posts across institutional divisions to create a topically coherent publication.
- Edit the proceedings of a professional workshop or conference to share expertise with new audiences.
- Anthologize a behind-the-scenes blog to offer as a gift to donors.
- Collect and preserve online publications.
- Document social media outreach programs.
I’m looking forward to playing around with the tool soon (comment on whether you’d like to see it added to Musematic – as usual I’ll probably install it on my blog first to test it out.) and would be interested in hearing what everyone has to think about it in a museum setting. I like that it’s built on top of an existing platform (WordPress) and that it exports to several standardized output formats, especially TEI. It will also allow you to import feeds from different sources – nice for compiling an anthology out of different sources.
Do you think you’d use Anthologize in your library, archive or museum? How? Why? Where? Are these realistic use-cases for this tool?
If you are interested in following along as Anthologize filters out into the world, you can follow on Twitter or the #anthologize hashtag. (comments from today’s unveiling are found at #oneweek). I suspect the live stream for today’s announcement will also be available later (Dan Cohen mentioned it would be broadcast as a future Digital Campus podcast)