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Detroit museums to discuss digital opportunities at Sept. 27 conference

Release Date: September 11, 2013
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. –Representatives from the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum, the Detroit Historical Museum, and The Henry Ford will discuss current and potential digital projects at a conference, Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice, at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) on Friday, Sept. 27.

The panel discussion, “Detroit Heritage Institutions in the Digital Age,” will be held from 9-11 a.m. in the Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium on the LTU campus at 21000 West 10 Mile Road in Southfield. For a full schedule of the conference and registration information, visit www.detroitdh.org.  

Potential projects at these Detroit-area museums include:

•    Digitization of the archival papers of William Valentiner, director of the DIA from 1927-1945.
•    Digitizing a current exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum, “Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Celebrating a Century of Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.”  
•    Interactive kiosks for several on-site exhibits at the Charles H. Wright Museum.  
•    Presentations of collections of Americana at The Henry Ford related to manufacturing, such as prototypical light bulbs and typewriters.  
•    A virtual Model T at The Henry Ford.  
•    Crowd sourcing for thousands of unidentified photos at the Detroit Historical Society
•    Digitization of “Riding the Railroad,” a current exhibit at the Detroit Historical Society.

The panel will be moderated by LTU Associate Professor Melinda Phillips who emphasizes that “such projects offer scholars and students unprecedented opportunities to work with primary sources and archival material.”

The panel and conference are a part of a growing trend in humanities research, dubbed “the digital humanities,” which investigates the current and historical impact of computers on human culture. Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice will highlight the local digital humanities projects of professors, teachers, museum archivists, publishing executives, and independent scholars.

Interested parties may register for Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice (Sept. 27) at http://detroitdh.org. Attendees are also encouraged to register for a sister event, Great Lakes THATCamp 2013, the following day (Sept. 28) at http://greatlakesthatcamp.org. The events are free for students but they must register to attend. For more information, contact mphillips@ltu.edu.

Lawrence Technological University, http://www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 7 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area.  Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations, as well as a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.