Exploring Digital Humanities platforms at your domain

As outlined in the your syllabus,  your hosting plan provides easily installed, popular digital humanities platforms.

There are many available to you at your domain using the one-click web application auto-installer Installatron (the same method most of you used to setup your WordPress site in Week 1.)

Among the great platforms available to you:

Mukurtu CMS.
Mukurtu is a grassroots project aiming to empower communities to manage, share, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways. In addition to a compelling platform, Mukurtu also offers open office hours and workshops and a demo site to take a test drive. You can also check out some wonderful examples of the software in use at their showcase.

“Omeka” is a Swahili word meaning to display or layout wares; to speak out; to spread out; to unpack. The team chose this name, because it signifies the practices that Omeka helps its users to do with digital content and through building digital projects for online communities.  Launched in February 2008, Omeka has established itself as a leading open source web publishing platform for digital collections. First funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) from 2007-2010, Omeka targeted small museums and historical societies. Few free, open source options existed for museums, libraries, and archives wishing to publish collections and narrative exhibits to the web as easily as one could launch a blog. Since launch, it has been downloaded over 150,000 times, and is the content management system for thousands of websites developed by libraries, archives, museums, scholars, and enthusiast users. Omeka provides a free and open source answer to the need for a web publishing platform that honored the importance of standards-based metadata and that allowed their content experts to showcase their unique knowledge about their collections, and allowed other experts, such as scholars, to better use these materials in their work.


Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required.

More fundamentally, Scalar is a semantic web authoring tool that brings a considered balance between standardization and structural flexibility to all kinds of material.  Scalar gives authors tools to structure essay- and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing, including nested, recursive, and non-linear formats. The platform also supports collaborative authoring and reader commentary.

Scalar aims to close the gap between carefully created digital visual archives and scholarly publication by enabling scholars to work more organically with archival materials, creating interpretive pathways through the materials and enabling new forms of analysis.

In Week 2 you will have already installed Omeka at a subdomain.  As a warm up for thinking about how you will approach your Project Proposal and Final Project in this course, I encourage you to install one of these applications at a subdomain of your site and explore it.  If you don’t find it useful – no problem, just delete it!

If you install a platform on a subdomain please consider sharing this link with the class in a blog post and let the class know at https://chat.opened.ca.  For your reflection, consider the following:

  • Did you get stuck at any point?  What aspects of the installation and/or use of the platform did you get stuck on? How did you overcome your issue?
  • Which applications did you experiment with? What factors influenced your choice to retain or remove a platform?
  • What features of the platform do you like the most?
  • Can you foresee yourself using a particular platform for either personal or school-related work?

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