Projects and Courses

My Nola, My Story

Dr. Shearon Roberts (Xavier University of Louisiana)

Shearon Roberts smiling

These stories reflect snapshots of lived experiences of communities of color who have called New Orleans home. It serves as a testament that they were here, are here, and shaped the fabric of this historic, cultural space.

Project Goals

To offer students opportunities for experiential learning as they record and share the stories of people of color in New Orleans.

Outcomes & Deliverables

A series of online exhibits and videos exploring aspects of history, identity, and culture, including the impact of Caribbean diasporic communities on New Orleans.


My Nola, My Story

Over 65 student-created exhibits, videos, podcasts, and other materials highlighting the lives of people of color in New Orleans.

Boswell’s: Home Away from Home

As one example of a student-produced work, this feature highlights Boswell’s Jamaican Grill and its owner, Boswell Atkinson.

StoryMap: New Orleans and LAC

This map-based exhibit explores relationships between New Orleans and peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Tools and Topics

Minimal Computing

In a virtual session, Alex Gil (Digital Scholarship Librarian at Columbia University Libraries) discussed the value of minimal computing as a method of engaging digital humanities under constraints of software, network capacity, power, and other aspects.


The User, the Learner, & the Machines we Make

Alex Gil challenges scholars to ask themselves “How much do I need?” in terms of the technology they use in research and teaching, particularly in relation to concerns of research dissemination, access, and sustainability.

Design for Diversity: The Case of Ed

Alex Gil presents a case study on “Ed,” a system for producing online digital editions.


Wax is a resource which can be used to create scholarly exhibitions through a minimal computing process. Wax is an excellent tool for scholars who may not yet have access to or don’t want to use a lot of resources to create an exhibition.

The Command Line Crash Course

The Command Line Crash Course is a book providing a straightforward guide on how to use the command line to do basic computer programming. While not an exhaustive guide, it is meant to benefit beginners who have no previous programming experience.

HTML and CSS Courses on offers beginner-friendly online courses to learn HTML and CSS. These courses can support users who want to build a website, or simply enhance their digital literacy!

Projects and Courses

Roots of the Commonwealth: Caribbean Provisions from the British Empire to the 21st Century

Dr. Keja Valens, Salem State University

We will consider literary, historical, and archival materials as we work to chart the ways that provisions have been planted and transplanted, prepared and consumed, imagined and depicted in relation to ideas of indigeneity, independence, and community in the Caribbean and its diaspora.

Course Overview

  • ENG 715: Topics in Digital Studies, a graduate-level course
  • Examine and use concepts and practices of postcolonial digital humanities to trace literary, culinary, agricultural, and economic paths of ground provisions with a focus on provisions such as yuca, yam and plantain in and through the Caribbean from the 15th through the 21st centuries.
  • Draw course materials from the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, the Digital Library of the Caribbean, HathiTrust, the Internet Archive and other similar sources to develop digital projects that include mapping, timelines, and curated exhibits.

Outcomes & Deliverables

Students completed a series of assignments focused on critical analysis of primary sources and interpretation through digital tools. They completed reflective writings and developed “Provisions,” a multi-exhibit Omeka project.


Course Syllabus

Spring 2020 schedule with links to additional resources and readings (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Assignment: Mapping & Meaning

Designed to support critical and conceptual thinking about maps (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Assignment: How are West Indians Represented in the Archive?

Reflecting on Lady Nugent’s Journal (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Exhibit: Provisions

A series of student-created Omeka exhibits on the role of ground provisions such as yams in Caribbean foodways

New Digital Worlds

Students read Dr. Roopika Risam’s book throughout the semester.

Institute Reflection

Keja discusses how the institute impacted her course.

Projects and Courses

Challenging Colonialism Through Archives & Digital Humanities

Margarita Vargas-Betancourt, Ph.D., University of Florida

Project Goals

  • To critically analyze the history of the University of Florida’s Latin American & Caribbean Collection (LACC) and Panama Canal Museum Collection (PCCM) as examples of hegemony and colonialism.
  • To evaluate how library specialists have challenged colonialism and highlighted underrepresented communities through exhibitions.

Outcomes & Deliverables

An exhibit about the Panama Canal Zone was developed and used categories of archival materials that documented underrepresented voices: photographs of workers, documentation of systematic segregation, photographs of agency, letters from laborers, yearbooks, and oral histories.


Margarita’s presentation

Slides from the NEH Digital Caribbean Studies 2019 institute

Exhibit: Voices from the Panama Canal

Object list and interpretive labels from the 2014 exhibit

Panama Canal Museum collection

Access digital collections and the project blog

Research poster

“Voices from the Panama Canal: Finding the Other in the Colonial Archive,” presented at the 2016 American Historical Association conference

Conference paper

“Facing Diversity: Challenges of Curating an Exhibit on the Panama Canal,” presented at the 2015 Florida Conference of Historians

LACC guide

Latin American and Caribbean Collection at UF