Anthologize sets DH world abuzz

We’ve come to expect innovative ideas from CHNM and this week has been no exception. Funded by a grant from the NEH, the One Week/One Tool project’s intent was to bring together twelve practitioners in the digital humanities to decide on, and develop, a useful tool. The project was announced in June 2010 and the event was held in late July. True to the premise, Anthologize was delivered at the end of the One Week. There were several finalists that we hope will be developed in future.

Anthologize is a plugin for the WordPress blog application. It allows one to collect their own blog posts, or import blog posts from others, combine them, and produce a text. Currently the text formats are ePub, PDF, TEI, and RTF. An active community has sprung up around the project, contributing bug reports and feature suggestions. Work will continue on what promises to be a simple but useful tool.

There are several educational uses that immediately spring to mind:

  1. Bringing together class blogs from a course
  2. Collecting individual student’s blog posts as a ‘takeway’ for students
  3. As an assignment or class project, having students search and compile posts on a topic
  4. For organizations, an easy way to compile news and updates from the year as a document for use in applying for, or continuing, grant funding
  5. Using WordPress as a drafting space, then compiling the results as a TEI document for forther markup and processing (Your WordPress postings do not have to be publically posted: you can build Anthologize documents from drafts)
  6. Teaching students the importance of creating their materials digitally, especially using standards like TEI. Digital, done right, means multiple opportunities for repurposing.
  7. Pulling together blog postings for a quick ebook that can be downloaded to your ereader device for offline reading.
  8. Building course packs or readers of relevant articles
  9. Building a CV or portfolio of your own work, or teaching your students to do the same for their own eportfolios

I’m sure we will all be thinking of more. Meanwhile, here is a short video of Anthologize in action. It’s done without narration as a way to show how easy it is to use. I’ve paused on, or highlighted, some of the current bugs. These are already being addressed by the creating team.

Screencast of Anthologize: Building a Document

If you are at UVM and would like to try it, contact me and I’d be happy to get you started (, Center for Teaching and Learning, UVM).

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