Uncovering the Betrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer with Gale Primary Sources

│By Nicolas Turner, Gale Ambassador at Leiden University│

The release this year of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer biopic has focused attention on the ‘Red Scare’ of the early 1950s in the United States, a period of history filled with all the ingredients of a thriller: double agents, secret recordings, and dramatic revelations. As Nolan’s film reminds us, however, there was also a very real human cost to the persecutions, with – in the words of the historian Ellen Schrecker – an impact on “the lives of thousands of people”.1

I have always been fascinated by this McCarthyite moment, in which the tide of history seemed to suddenly go out, leaving people stranded with beliefs that had previously been acceptable but were now framed as treasonous or worse. I was therefore thrilled to discover in Gale’s Political Extremism and Radicalism archive a treasure trove of documents that offered direct access to the experiences of those living through that dramatic moment – including, most tantalisingly of all, J. Robert Oppenheimer himself.

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The Second Gale Digital Humanities User Engagement Program

DH User Group - all members

|By Becca Bowden, Gale Digital Scholar Lab Product Manager|

Gale is pleased to announce its second ‘Gale Digital Humanities User Engagement Program’. Following on from the success of the program in 2022, we are excited to invite eight new Gale Primary Sources and Gale Digital Scholar Lab users to collaborate closely with the Digital Humanities production team at Gale. The members of the Digital Humanities User Engagement Program will provide feedback throughout the product development process, keeping the voice of the researcher at the center of the product experience.

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Re-imagining Assignments in the DH Classroom: StoryMaps

│By Sarah L. Ketchley, Senior Digital Humanities Specialist│

It’s back-to-school season, and the next two ‘Notes from Our DH Correspondent’ blog posts will focus on non-traditional assignments in the DH classroom. Often, Humanities classes culminate in a final paper or essay which is a worthwhile exercise in sifting through relevant information to answer a question or propose a thesis. A syllabus that incorporates Digital Humanities methodologies, however, often blends subject content with technical and analytic proficiencies, meaning an essay may not be the best medium to showcase student learning in this scenario. Below we consider tools for digital storytelling which blend text, image, and analysis results to create engaging and interactive assignment outputs.

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Understanding Recent Enhancements to Sentiment Analysis in Gale Digital Scholar Lab

│By Sarah L. Ketchley, Senior Digital Humanities Specialist│

Sentiment Analysis can be described as an exploratory form of analysis that reveals trends or patterns in positive, negative or neutral sentiment of a collected set of documents (a ‘Content Set’). This type of analysis can identify avenues for further research or investigation at both a macro (Content Set) and micro (document) level.1 Sentiment Analysis is one of the six analysis tools available in Gale Digital Scholar Lab where it was recently updated to include an expanded sentiment lexicon which offers opportunities to further refine analysis results. This blog post will discuss these enhancements and offer suggested pathways to work with Sentiment Analysis both in the classroom and for research.

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ECCO’ing through the Ages: Exploring Reception with Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online

Reception Reader showing reuses of Shaftesbury’s A Letter Concerning Enthusiasm; overlaps with Astell’s An Enquiry After Wit highlighted by a red box.

│By David Rosson, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki│

A big-picture goal for the Computational History research group at the University of Helsinki is to develop methods for studying how ideas spread during the Age of Enlightenment. This was a time period marked by notable thinkers and burgeoning ideas about reason, science, human nature, the state, and society as a system operating on certain principles. These ideas have profoundly shaped the modern world we live in today and in many ways still bear influence on current affairs.

An indispensable resource for studying historical discourse in this period is Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), which covers a considerable portion of books published in Britain between 1700 and 1800. Our research group has been working with the datasets and building research infrastructure on top of Gale’s primary sources for more than a decade. One of the latest examples of our researcher-oriented tools is a web interface, Reception Reader, that helps with the tasks of exploring text reuse patterns in ECCO documents.1

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Developments in the Fashion Industry Post-WWII

Montage of images from blog post of fashion in The Telegraph

│By Nonkoliso Tshiki, Gale Ambassador at the University of Johannesburg│

Do you find writing for academic purposes challenging? I did too. However, I have recently discovered and started implementing a new and exciting trick to improve my writing skills, which also ignites greater interest in my writing. I write short essays about topics which I come across and find interesting. For instance, when I was going through lecture notes about writing a research proposal a couple of months ago, I stumbled upon an article exploring the evolution of global fashion trends between 1945-1965, and I thought to myself, “this is quite interesting, I would like to know more about this topic!” Then all I needed was a research database that offers accredited, valuable and interesting sources. Luckily for me, I did not have to look too far because, as a Gale Ambassador, Gale Primary Sources is one of my very first go-to and most favourable research databases. Thus, the following blog post uses Gale Primary Sources to explore some of the fashion trends that made fashion headlines 1945-1965.

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Groups and Notebooks: Using Gale Digital Scholar Lab’s latest features in the DH classroom

Notes from our DH Correspondent

│By Sarah Ketchley, Senior Digital Humanities Specialist│

The field of digital scholarship tends to be collaborative, since any given project may involve disciplinary experts, developers, librarians, archivists, and students. Management of workflow and data can be challenging unless there is careful planning from the outset about record-keeping, group working practices, the sharing of information and goals for project sustainability and longer-term archiving. These practical considerations are the same for research projects and for those built in the classroom.

The ability to create Groups was recently added as a feature to the Gale Digital Scholar Lab platform, along with a flexible ‘Notebook’ tool for documenting decisions and outcomes. This blog post will consider how Group spaces can be used to facilitate classroom project-building by students in an undergraduate classroom, using a recent course I taught in the Information School at the University of Washington as a case study. The practicalities of using the Groups/Notebook features were discussed in my previous blog post, including details about how a teacher might go about adding students to new groups within the Lab, then managing classroom workflow via record-keeping in the team’s Notebook.

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Digging into Datasets in Gale Digital Scholar Lab

│By Sarah L. Ketchley, Senior Digital Humanities Specialist, Gale│

This dataset post is a follow-up to Working with Datasets, a Primer which discussed text datasets of primary sources and explored how to access and work with them in Gale Digital Scholar Lab. Here, we’ll look at the topics of the first eight datasets in the Lab in more detail, the types of documents included in each set, and consider how a user may work with them for analysis. Our next blog post will showcase classroom-based use of the Lab’s datasets as an introductory pathway into the field of digital humanities.

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Taking Your Master’s Dissertation to the Next Level: Using Gale Digital Scholar Lab for Research

Gale Egyptology sentiment analysis

│By Tamar Atkinson, Gale Ambassador at the University of Liverpool│

Primary sources can be a great resource for Master’s dissertation research, providing a deeper understanding of history. Whilst they make handy supportive evidence to back up the points you want to make in an assessment, is there a way to take them further? Within Gale Digital Scholar Lab, you can find a whole range of data-mining visualisation tools and other resources that can allow you to bring elements of Digital Humanities methodologies into your research, through an easy, step-by-step process. This can add great insights to any work!

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