Start Date

28-2-2015 2:10 PM

Description

Dr. Stephen L. Stover retired from Kansas State University’s Department of Geography in 1989. The Stephen L. and Enid Stover Papers, officially donated in 2014 to the Morse Department of Special Collections at Kansas State University Libraries, document the history of the Stover family. Included in these Papers is a series of 35-millimeter slides that document Stephen L. Stover’s travels domestically and internationally. Consisting of approximately 16,600 well-preserved slides, the series spans over 50 years (1956-2009). The series features a wide range of images, with particularly strong foci on the physical and cultural landscapes of New Zealand and Oceania during the late 1960s; Manhattan and the Flint Hills region of Kansas; the American West and Midwest (particularly Kansas and Wisconsin); Europe; agricultural landscapes; Canadian provinces Ontario and Manitoba during the 1960s; and the Stover family at school, at home, and at play.

A cross-disciplinary and collaborative approach to the Stephen L. and Enid Stover Papers aims to make the collection available to researchers and the public using elements from the digital humanities. For the Stover slide series, the goal of Special Collections is to have a digital version for improved access and not for preservation initially. Inventorying, organizing, describing, and digitizing the slide series is a collaborative process between subject specialists in geography, family members, and the university archivist. The slide series showcases the way cross-disciplinary perspectives and contributions during the process of describing materials enhance public access to said materials. Additionally, the creation of digital versions of the slides provides a rich resource for further work by digital humanities scholars to apply these sources in new ways, making them more valuable as a data source for future research.

This paper is divided into three primary sections. The first section illustrates how the Stephen L. and Enid Stover Papers and the collaborative work being done on the slide series fit within the greater field of digital humanities. In doing so, we discuss our working definitions of digital humanities and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The second section discusses the specifics of the archival process. It examines the way that collaboration between the Stover family, the university archives in the Morse Department of Special Collections, and representatives of K-State academic departments improves understanding of the context of the slides, and how increased awareness of their context can facilitate their application in research. The third section illustrates potential cross-disciplinary uses of the Papers, with in-depth explorations on the ways that researchers within geography and anthropology might make use of the slide series. The third section closes with a final discussion of “downstream” uses. Future researchers’ differences in geography, distance in time, access to advances in technology, and experience of the ebbs and flows of generational knowledge means that their access to the Papers through the means digital humanities ensures that its research value will have a life far beyond the scope of current potential applications.

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Feb 28th, 2:10 PM

Enhancing Access to Primary Sources through Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and the Digital Humanities: The Stephen L. and Enid Stover Papers

Dr. Stephen L. Stover retired from Kansas State University’s Department of Geography in 1989. The Stephen L. and Enid Stover Papers, officially donated in 2014 to the Morse Department of Special Collections at Kansas State University Libraries, document the history of the Stover family. Included in these Papers is a series of 35-millimeter slides that document Stephen L. Stover’s travels domestically and internationally. Consisting of approximately 16,600 well-preserved slides, the series spans over 50 years (1956-2009). The series features a wide range of images, with particularly strong foci on the physical and cultural landscapes of New Zealand and Oceania during the late 1960s; Manhattan and the Flint Hills region of Kansas; the American West and Midwest (particularly Kansas and Wisconsin); Europe; agricultural landscapes; Canadian provinces Ontario and Manitoba during the 1960s; and the Stover family at school, at home, and at play.

A cross-disciplinary and collaborative approach to the Stephen L. and Enid Stover Papers aims to make the collection available to researchers and the public using elements from the digital humanities. For the Stover slide series, the goal of Special Collections is to have a digital version for improved access and not for preservation initially. Inventorying, organizing, describing, and digitizing the slide series is a collaborative process between subject specialists in geography, family members, and the university archivist. The slide series showcases the way cross-disciplinary perspectives and contributions during the process of describing materials enhance public access to said materials. Additionally, the creation of digital versions of the slides provides a rich resource for further work by digital humanities scholars to apply these sources in new ways, making them more valuable as a data source for future research.

This paper is divided into three primary sections. The first section illustrates how the Stephen L. and Enid Stover Papers and the collaborative work being done on the slide series fit within the greater field of digital humanities. In doing so, we discuss our working definitions of digital humanities and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The second section discusses the specifics of the archival process. It examines the way that collaboration between the Stover family, the university archives in the Morse Department of Special Collections, and representatives of K-State academic departments improves understanding of the context of the slides, and how increased awareness of their context can facilitate their application in research. The third section illustrates potential cross-disciplinary uses of the Papers, with in-depth explorations on the ways that researchers within geography and anthropology might make use of the slide series. The third section closes with a final discussion of “downstream” uses. Future researchers’ differences in geography, distance in time, access to advances in technology, and experience of the ebbs and flows of generational knowledge means that their access to the Papers through the means digital humanities ensures that its research value will have a life far beyond the scope of current potential applications.