Session Descriptions

Printer-friendly version

Archaeology and GIS - Mapping an ancient Maya village

  • Cynthia Robin, Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • 9:10 AM-10:00 AM, Library Staff Training Lab, 2699B, 2nd Floor, East Tower

Archaeology may be about the past, but current digital technologies are becoming critical for how archaeologists analyze and visualize ancient settlements. The same techniques that the contemporary demographer or sociologist uses to record and analyze the spaces and populations of the modern world, are being used by archaeologists to study the ancient world. This workshop explores on-going research that is using GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to create a digital map of the ancient Maya farming community of Chan in Belize, Central America. By following step-by-step, how archaeologists at Chan are developing a GIS map of this ancient settlement, students in this workshop will be exposed to procedures applicable for creating a digital map of any settlement, ancient or modern.

Go to Top

Bodies, Genders, and Beyond: Electronic Resources for Gender Studies

This workshop session will focus on the broad spectrum of resources including full texts, abstracts, directories, and other electronic material available to students whose investigations lead them to study women and men, gender and sexuality, and issues of cultural identity and sexual politics. In addition to suggesting effective search strategies and optimal electronic resources for initiating an investigation or research project, the workshop will also treat specialized resources in the social sciences and the humanities depending upon participants' interests.

Go to Top

Electronic Access to Scholarly Journals and Periodical Publications

  • Harriet Lightman, Bibliographer for History, Economics, French & Italian Literatures, and Philosophy
  • Carl Smith, Professor of English, American Studies, and History
  • 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM, Forum Room, 2nd Floor, South Tower

Scholarly journals are among the most important sources for researchers, and popular periodicals and other serial publications offer some of the richest materials for study in several fields. In recent years, electronic resources have been developed that have revolutionized access to these sources, not only by providing remarkably efficient finding aids but also in many instances by enabling researchers to examine, search, and print complete texts of articles. In this session, we will survey the array of electronic resources that put a very wide range of sources, from 19th century magazines to 21st century scholarly journals, literally at the researcher's fingertips. Included will be an introduction to the use of such resources as the American Periodical Series (APS) Online, Periodical Contents Archive, and JSTOR for both primary and secondary research.

Go to Top

Electronic Resources for African Studies

The Herskovits Library of African Studies is the largest separate library for the study of Africa in existence. Digitizing portions of its rare and unique resources make them more available for use both on campus and world-wide. Digital projects have included about 375 political posters focused on Southern African liberation now on the web and about 200 HIV/AIDS posters now in production. In 2007, 113 antiquarian maps became accessible. In 1993 the Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African photographs was purchased. Comprised of about 6,500 photographs taken between 1860 and 1960, this collection is an unequalled resource. A preliminary web site with about 135 images exists at present, with plans underway for a redesigned web site and most of the 6,500 images accessible. In this session, instructors will introduce the Winterton collection as well as the Africana posters, maps, and commercial electronic resources.

Go to Top

Electronic Resources for the Study of the Medieval and Early Modern World

  • William McHugh, Reference Collection Management Librarian
  • Kasey Evans, Assistant Professor of English
  • 2:40 PM - 3:30 PM, Reference Classroom, 2nd Floor, East Tower

The instructors will introduce students to electronic resources central to the study of medieval and early modern European religion, history, culture, and literature. Among the resources to be discussed will be the International Medieval Bibliography, Iter, Early English Books Online (EEBO), and the Middle English Compendium.

Go to Top

English and American Studies: The 16th to the 18th Centuries

  • Charlotte Cubbage, Bibliographer for American, English, and Comparative Literatures, Children's Literature, Dance, Drama, Performance Studies, Radio/TV/Film, & Theatre
  • Ethan Shagan, Associate Professor of History
  • 3:40 PM - 4:30 PM, Reference Classroom, 2nd Floor, East Tower

This session will focus upon a variety of resources for the study of Britain and America. Among the resources included will be Early English Books Online (EEBO), a large-scale digitization project for pre-1700 British publications; the English Short Title Catalogue, a bibliographic resource for identifying published materials through the eighteenth century; the Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and Evans Digital Editions (Series I of Early American Imprints) two other large-scale full-text digitization projects.

Go to Top

Finding Primary Sources Online: The Marriage of Technology and Archives

  • Janet Olson, Assistant University Archivist
  • 11:10 AM to 12 noon, Forum Room, 2nd Floor, South Tower

Personal papers, correspondence, diaries, and other primary sources are crucial to research in the humanities. Due to the unique nature of these materials, they are organized and indexed differently from books and periodicals. As a result, they can be more difficult to track down and use than published sources. But researchers can now benefit from technologies that make archival and manuscript collections much easier to locate. This session will discuss what to expect when searching online for primary sources; what finding aids are (and why you should care); all about EAD; and tips on using databases of archival collections.

Go to Top

Historic Newspapers

  • Peter Carroll, Associate Professor of History
  • Harriet Lightman, Bibliographer for History, Economics, French & Italian Literatures, Philosophy, and Sociology
  • 2:40 PM - 3:30 PM, Video Theater, 2nd Floor, South Tower
Because newspapers are difficult to preserve and store in their original print format, libraries have long relied on facsimiles in lieu of paper originals. As a welcome alternative to film and fiche, an increasing number of historical news sources are now available in digital format. In this session, we will survey some of the materials available to members of the Northwestern community. Sources will include examples of U.S. papers, ranging from late 18th century newspapers to major urban dailies (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times) as well as foreign news sources, such as Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), and the Times of London. We will also discuss some sources for surveying more recent events in the foreign press, including World News Connection, Factiva, and China Core Newspapers.

Go to Top

The Importance of Not-Reading, or, How to Work with Texts in a Digital World

  • Martin Mueller, Professor of English and Classics
  • 1:40 PM - 2:30 PM, Library MAC/PC Lab, B182, Lower Level

As long as there have been books there have been more books than you could read, and as long as there have been books there have been ways of "not-reading" them, whether by skimming them (not easily done in the world of scrolls), reading reviews (not until the eighteenth century), depending on someone else's 'cherry-picking' (florilegia or anthologies), taking somebody else's word, thinking a knowledge of the title is good enough, or just pretending to have read them anyhow. In the digital world, the art of "Not-Reading" has taken new and exciting turns. Computers cannot "read," but if you know how to"talk to" and order them about, you can range within seconds or minutes across very large text archives that it would take years or a life-time to "read" through. Such ranging does not replace reading, but it creates new opportunities for what you want to look at closely and for situating it quickly in a wider context. Franco Moretti, in a way that is both polemical and respectful , calls this "distant" reading, to oppose this new practice to the "close" reading dear to New Critics. "Distant reading" or "Not-reading"--it is an art that is both new and very old. In this session we will look at some of the tricks of this old/new trade, paying attention to the technological underpinnings that make it possible and to the necessary skills that it will be useful to have if you want to be a successful "not-reader."

Go to Top

International Statistical and Data Resources

  • Kathleen Murphy, Data Services Librarian
  • Louis Takács, International Documents Librarian
  • 3:40 PM - 4:30 PM, Video Theater, 2nd Floor, South Tower

Participants in this session will be introduced to key electronic and print sources for International statistics and data related to demography, socio-economics, political and social public opinion, infrastructure, agriculture and business. These statistical and data resources can be used for research and teaching in the social sciences and related fields such as journalism, education, health, transportation studies and management. Participants will have the opportunity to review a number of sources by topic and to learn how to access the resources for their own research.

Go to Top

Organizing Scholarly Resources in a Digital World: Using EndNote® Bibliographic Software

Please note the offering of this session twice. Same information will be presented in both sessions.

EndNote® is a powerful bibliographic tool that can help you organize your research materials and save you countless hours in the course of your reading and writing. In these sessions we will introduce you to the software and show you how EndNote® can help you gather information from remote databases, organize and sort records and notes, and automatically format citations and bibliographies in a finished paper.

Go to Top

Presenting Yourself - Your Media Package

This session will demonstrate and provide options for presenting your work/research for portfolio, grant application, and conference purposes.

Some of the topics covered will be: Blogs, Websites, use of pdfs, and integration of video and audio. Also we will talk about solutions for maintenance and care of your presentation materials. Following the presentation we'll have an open discussion to compare notes concerning what others are doing, personal experiences and preferences.

Go to Top

Rare Music Materials Online

  • Robert Gjerdingen, Professor of Music Theory and Cognition
  • D.J. Hoek, Head of Music Library
  • 9:10 AM - 10:00 AM, Reference Classroom, 2nd Floor, East Tower

Long before the advent of sound recordings, notated music served as the primary fixed record of musical culture, and today the scores, treatises, and other documents created by composers and master musicians of the past can convey how music was created and taught. In this session, the Music Library's manuscript collection will be discussed, including how this collection is being cataloged and digitized. Following this, the web-based series Monuments of Partimenti will be demonstrated. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and hosted by Northwestern, this site draws together partimenti (instructional bass lines used in the training of European court musicians) from the late 1600s through the early 1800s, providing understanding on how seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and and nineteenth-century musicians thought of music.

Go to Top

Religion in Cyberspace

This introduction to the essential mastery of electronic research through the Northwestern Library system will focus on databases linked to the Religion website. We will explore additional electronic resources from the Library’s webpage. Navigating cross-database searching will be demonstrated, and time will be devoted to research on various religions, faiths, and denominations as well as related subjects, such as the philosophy and sociology of religion. Special attention will be paid to the importance of technological literacy in academic research, and the integration of electronic and conventional methodologies. It will be demonstrated how the skillful use of technology can make performing research dramatically more efficient and rewarding.

Go to Top

Resources for the Study of Drama and Theatre

  • Charlotte Cubbage, Bibliographer for American, English, and Comparative Literatures, Dance, Drama, Performance Studies, Radio/TV/Film, & Theatre
  • Tracy C. Davis, Professor of Theatre, English, and Performance Studies, and Director, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama
  • 11:10 AM - 12 noon, Library PC Lab, B183, Lower Level

This session combines text and performance aspects of drama and theatre, providing a snapshot of research resources available to you. We will highlight electronic texts for American, Asian-American, Black, and English plays. We will also examine a variety of secondary sources appropriate to the interdisciplinary nature of theatre, including historical newspapers, electronic journal sets and multi-media materials.

Go to Top

Resources in Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and Critical Theory

  • Jeffrey Garrett, Assistant University Librarian for Special Libraries & Subject Specialist for Linguistics
  • 9:10 AM - 10:00 AM, Video Theater, 2nd Floor, South Tower

Availability of electronic resources for students of literature and philosophy continues to improve by leaps and bounds. Over the last five years, the most authoritative dictionaries and multi-volume encyclopedias have gone online, along with works editions in English, French, and German and hundreds of titles of first-rate journal literature. Here is your opportunity to create and customize your own online library for direct access to the works of writers, theorists, and philosophers, from Voltaire (in the original French) and Herder and Kant (in the original German) to Max Weber, Jacques Derrida, and other giants of the 20th Century.

Go to Top

Seeing and Knowing: Digital Tools for Image Research

  • Russ Clement, Art Librarian
  • Hannah Feldman, Assistant Professor of Art History
  • 11:10 AM - 12 noon, Reference Classroom, 2nd Floor, East Tower

What are some of the digital tools available to those interested in knowing more about or using images in their research and teaching? In this session, we offer a broad overview of these tools, starting with databases and bibliographic resources that are specifically geared toward scholarly, art historical research, and followed by an introduction to the three primary archives of digital images on campus and on-line: ArtStor, MDID, and Northwestern's Visual Media Collection. We’ll focus on how the viewing platforms and tools these powerful databases provide can enrich your knowledge—both visual and factual—of the objects in question and conclude the session with a a survey of Northwestern’s resources in streaming and otherwise disseminating digital moving images and time-based art.

Go to Top

Social Sciences Computing Cluster

  • Bruce Foster, SSCC Architect, Academic Technologies
  • 1:40 PM - 2:30 PM, Library PC Lab, B183, Lower Level

The Social Sciences Computing Cluster (SSCC) provides a rich suite of statistical software applications, an advanced computational capability, and a centrally-managed data storage service to support the research activities of Northwestern social scientists. Accounts on the SSCC are available free of charge to Northwestern social sciences faculty researchers and to their graduate students.

The cluster of 18 Linux systems provides two interactive systems, a batch cluster of 16 systems that will run 32 simultaneous jobs, a network file service, a wide variety of statistical software applications, online access to NU Library's datalib files, and consulting and education services.

In this session, instructors will introduce participants to these resources and discuss their role in your doctoral research. A brief demonstration of the SSCC will complete this presentation.

Students interested in the Social Sciences Computing Cluster can learn more by visiting <>.

Go to Top

Spatial Demography 101: Analytical Techniques for Social Scientists

  • Juan Onesimo Sandoval, Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • 2:40 PM - 3:30 PM, Library PC Lab, B183, Lower Level

Within today's high-powered computer environment, scholars interested in spatial relationship and patterns have argued for the digital map to be a basic descriptive tool of all demographers and social scientists. GIS enables social scientist to create digital maps that uncover spatial relationship that often remain hidden when geographic data are presented solely in tabular forms. Spatial analysis, with special reference to spatial statistics, is the companion of these maps. The goal of this presentation is to further promote the growing popularity of GIS and spatial analysis in demography by treating spatial analytical approaches involving demographic data that are geographically referenced. Relevant issues to be addressed include: (1) geographic information systems versus geographic information science; (2) geographic scale, (3) creating a GIS database; (4) spatial methodology and (5) specification and estimation of spatial models.

Go to Top

Streamlining Research and Writing: A Case Study of Political Science Research on China

  • Lucy E. Lyons, Bibliographer for Political Science and Journalism
  • Victor Shih, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM, Video Theater, 2nd Floor, South Tower

Traditional research on contemporary Chinese society involved time-consuming and expensive trips to highly inefficient Chinese libraries. Otherwise, U.S. university libraries had to devote enormous resources to gain access to a handful of publications. The bundling of an extraordinarily large numbers of journals and books into electronic databases has greatly sped up the archival portion of research on China. This presentation first introduces several useful electronic databases, including China Academic Journals, ISI Emerging Markets, and Factiva, which provide scholars with access to hundreds of thousands of full-text or full image articles. The presentation then discusses how using electronic resources differs from traditional library research and how these differences can be exploited to the fullest to streamline research and to speed up the writing process. The final part of the session will provide an overview of a broad array of e-resources for political science including abstracts, indexes, directories, videos, books, newspapers, full texts, and free web sites.

Go to Top

Student Projects: Graduate Stipends in the Humanities and Social Sciences
2:40 PM - 3:30 PM, Forum Room, 2nd Floor, South Tower

NOTE: Student panelists will present in the order of the presentations listed below, by department names.

  • Tracing Early Equestrians: Using Digital Technologies to Ascertain Evidence of Riding in Bronze Age (2000-800 BC) Hungary
  • Katherine Kanne, Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology

Although horses were domesticated by 4000 BC, there is considerable debate if they were ridden prior to 1000 BC. Based on differential use patterns of horses and pathologies present on horse bones, my preliminary dissertation research has identified Bronze Age Hungary as a likely early center for horse production and riding. Horse bones have been used regularly in attempts to determine early riding, but human remains have been underused as a resource to evaluate when people began riding horses. In this study I use human remains and digital technologies to document the presence of riding in the Hungarian Bronze Age. Elongation of the acetabulum (hip sockets) coupled with osteoarthritis of the sacrolumbar spine are the best indicators of habitual riding. In order to ascertain if Bronze Age Hungarians were mounted equestrians, I apply a new methodology where I digitally photograph 300 human acetabulum from the Hungarian Bronze Age and quantify and compare them metrically using imaging and statistical software.

  • Revisiting Company-Era Madras and Calcutta with Digital Technology
  • Zirwat Chowdhury, Graduate Student, Department of Art History

My dissertation will explore on the interplay of portraiture and caricature during the Impeachment Trial of Warren Hastings and its implications for British identity formation during the late 18th century. Given that Hastings was branded an “Oriental despot” and that the air of cultural exchange in the 18th century is often contrasted with the more isolationist attitudes of the Victorian era, it will be useful to contrast the 18th and 19th century colonial spaces of Chennai and Kolkata on this trip. My goal is to use a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT camera in documenting my observations. Additionally, Chennai and Kolkata provide vast collections of paintings from the Company-era. Unfortunately, few of these images have been reproduced or have high-quality reproductions. With the aid of the camera, I will be able to photograph these paintings for addition to the Digital Media Collection at Northwestern University.

  • Sight, Sound, and Text: Inserting Film Clips in a Dissertation
  • Jennifer Cazenave, Graduate Student, Department of Comparative Literary Studies

Combining text with moving images is ideal for anyone whose primary sources
consist of audio and visual materials. This session will introduce students to the various software and hardware needed in order to insert video and audio clips in a dissertation. Special attention will be paid to the process of editing digitalized film and audio recordings into clips, archiving numerous film and audio clips onto a computer, and, finally, importing these clips into a dissertation.

  • Finding Effective Ways to Use Qualitative Data Collection & Analysis Software in Interview Research
  • Nehal A. Patel, Graduate Student, Department of Sociology

Sociologists often use interviews as a data collection method. The most traditional way of handling interview data has been to listen to interviews and transcribe them verbatim. This often can be a time-consuming task, given that most people can speak at 160 words per minute but can type at approximately 40 words per minute. New technology in voice recognition makes it easier to complete the transcription process. Modern voice recognition software cannot understand multiple voices well, as in the case of interview research with multiple subjects, but voice recognition software can be trained to your own voice. By repeating subjects’ words to a computer, a computer can be trained to transcribe interviews quickly and accurately.

Once the interviews are transcribed, sociologists often will scroll through the interviews and identify themes in the subjects’ responses. However, as the demand for quantity and quality of interviews increases, there is greater need for fast and accurate qualitative data analysis software to analyze text. No longer is it fast and easy to look through interview transcripts for patterns; large numbers of lengthy interviews make the process of scrolling only with the eye difficult. We will see how qualitative data analysis software is an effective tool to identify themes in interview data.

Go to Top

Technology, Interdisciplinarity and Black Studies

  • Kathleen Bethel, African American Studies Librarian
  • Esmeralda Kale, Bibliographer of Africana
  • 11:10 AM - 12 noon, Library Staff Training Lab, 2699B, 2nd Floor, East Tower

The interdisciplinary nature of Black Studies is an exciting challenge to electronic research efforts. Approaches to electronic resources for the study of the Black experience will be discussed. A survey of proprietary databases and freely available web resources will introduce the possibilities and limitations of electronic resources. An assortment of general resources for exploration of Diasporic topics will also be presented.

Go to Top

Using Digital Media in Research and Teaching: Standards, Techniques and Strategies

  • M. Claire Stewart, Head, Digital Media Services & Coordinator of Digitization Projects
  • 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM, Reference Classroom, 2nd Floor, East Tower

Understanding how to properly gather and store audio, video and images in digital form is critical to successfully integrating them into publications and presentations. This session offers an introduction to digital media file formats and capture techniques. Learn how to manipulate and organize media once captured, and discuss some options for presentation and publication. The session will also include an overview of digitization hardware and accessories.

Go to Top

Using Simulations to Explore Social Networks

  • Matthew Goldrick, Assistant Professor of Linguistics
  • 3:40 PM - 4:30 PM, Library PC Lab, B183, Lower Level

Everyone knows about the "six degrees of separation" that link you to anyone else on the planet (including, for example, Kevin Bacon--see In fact, the networks of interactions that define our social groupings--and their consequences for human behavior--have been studied scientifically for many years in a number of fields (sociology, political science, linguistics, psychology, communications, etc.).

Recently, there has been a great deal of research using mathematical and computational methods to approach these problems. This session will introduce you to one such tool developed here at Northwestern--NetLogo. During the session you will use this tool explore some of the properties of simple network theories. The application of these tools to problems in language change will be discussed.

Go to Top

What You Need to Know about Social Science Research and Data Services

  • Kathleen Murphy, Data Services Librarian
  • 9:10 AM - 10:00 AM, Forum Room, 2nd Floor, South Tower
Participants in this session will be introduced to the research process and the reference and technical consulting services which are available regarding the data files available through the Social Science Data Services (SSDS). Data Services maintains access to thousands of data files acquired from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and identifies other data resources which are available for the Northwestern students and faculty. These data can be used for research and teaching in the social sciences and related fields such as education, health, transportation studies and management. Participants will have the opportunity to review a number of sources by topic and to learn how to access the resources for their own research.

Go to Top

Where Disciplines Intersect: The Research Question and Digital Resources in Psychology and Related Fields

  • Eli J. Finkel, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • 11:10 AM - 12 noon, Library MAC/ PC Lab, B182, Lower Level

Using his recent research on reciprocity and selective vs. unselective romantic desire as a case study, Professor Finkel will illustrate how he used the information resources available at Northwestern to identify and obtain relevant literature on his topic. He will comment on his use of psychology-specific and multidisciplinary databases, on the role of the literature search in his research process, and on the satisfactions and challenges of navigating in today's complex scholarly information environment.

ERF Homepage | Go to Top