gerben zaagsma's blog

Transitions: on using Drupal in the humanities

In this post I want to discuss the use of Drupal and Drupal distributions in academia, especially the humanities, where Drupal has become an increasingly popular CMS in recent years.

This has not always been the case. Traditionally, Wordpress has been a popular choice among humanists, especially for personal websites/blogs, and in humanities institutes in general, particularly for conference and project websites (see also my post on building a blog with Drupal here). Given its relatively easy learning curve, out-of-the-box functionality and general ease of use this is an understandable choice, if also a self-perpetuating one: given the scarce availability of resources in many humanities institutes, previous experience with a particular system is often a key criterion, even when other systems might suit a project's functional demands better. 

Building a blog with Drupal

When I decided to create this website the first question that came up was: which CMS will I use? I built a previous version with Wordpress which is pretty much ideal for a blog-oriented website. But as it happens I built several websites with Drupal already and I currently work as a web developer using Drupal Commons to create a major new website relating to Dutch history.

Building an Online Community for Historians in The Netherlands

At the recent National Council on Public History annual meeting in Milwaukee I participated in a working group called Public History Online: Using the Web to Collaborate and Share. The goal of the working group was to "discuss how we can build more democratic and sustainable cultural institutions using digital technology and the web". Visit the blog to read the reflections of all participants. Below is the piece that I wrote on my project (with a big thanks to my colleagues at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands who commented on various drafts). 

By the way, be sure to check the new International Federation for Public History



Building an Online Community for Historians in The Netherlands


New version of European History Primary Sources

Recently, the new version of European History Primary Sources (EHPS) was launched. EHPS is an index of scholarly digital repositories that contain primary sources for the history of Europe. Hundreds of digital libraries, archives and born-digital sources are described and tagged by country, language, period, subject and type of source. 

For more information visit EHPS here.



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