Coordinators of the Deep South Digital initiative are inviting the digitally curious to attend “Sharing Your Digital Collections,” a full-day, online workshop Friday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This workshop is an exciting opportunity for those of us who are interested in sharing our stories and memories online, but who are a little unsure of how to get started, or who might be a little wary when it comes to computers,” said Hillary Richardson, associate professor and coordinator of Undergraduate Research at Mississippi University for Women.

The workshop is for anyone wishing to build an online home for items in a collection – for example, old family papers, letters, photographs, journals, art works or other materials – with tools that are free and relatively easy to learn. This workshop is free and open to the public, and no prior experience or institutional affiliation is required.

This hands-on workshop will consist of two sessions, to which attendees can come and go. The first session, which will begin at 9 a.m. and end at noon, will discuss the big picture questions that drive the creation of digital collection. Attendees will discuss why digital versions of paper documents should be shared online, what digital archives can look like and what best practices for building them include.

The second session will run from 1-4 p.m. It will feature Devin Becker, Olivia Wikle and Evan Williamson: a team of librarians based at the University of Idaho who have developed a project called CollectionBuilder. CollectionBuilder is a series of templates, instructions and tutorials for building a website for a modest-sized digital collection. In the weeks following the workshop, the hosts will hold three remote “office hours” sessions for anyone who needs additional help or consultation.

The Deep South Digital Humanities initiative is run out of the Mississippi University for Women’s library in collaboration with the Digital Welty Lab at Millsaps College, and the workshop is spearheaded by Richardson and Dr. Michael Pickard, Eudora Welty chair of southern literature at Millsaps College.

Richardson has worked on two extensive digital humanities projects, one of which has used CollectionBuilder. “I’m excited to share this tool, but I’m also interested to see what projects and stories pop up from those who attend.”

Pickard added, “Many digital archives originate at large research institutions, but not all collections find their way to those institutions. Some live in closets and attics, prized heirlooms to be passed from one generation to the next. Others belong to small organizations that do not have the resources to support digitization projects, or perhaps they do not know where to begin. Our workshop can help caretakers of such collections (among others), which might otherwise slip through the cracks. We thank the Mississippi Humanities Council for supporting this effort to build community among digital humanities practitioners in the state and link up with others working elsewhere in this field.”

To register for the Oct. 21 workshop, please visit

For questions about the event, email the program coordinators at

Funding for the event comes from a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

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