This page houses the archive of IRIS Center Morning Bytes workshops. Most of the workshops have video recordings. If there’s one that you’re interested that doesn’t have a recording, please drop us an email! We may be able to hold an individual consultation or add it to our forthcoming workshops.

Click on the workshop titles to open or close the entry.

Making DH Projects Accessible

September 17, 2021

This Morning Bytes presentation, with Kristine Hildebrandt (IRIS Co-Director), Meg Smith (IRIS Research Assistant Professor), and Daniel Flaum (Computer Science Major, Linguistics Minor, and collaborator on IRIS projects), covered accessibility in digital humanities projects. We talked about the whats, the whys, and the hows of implementing web accessibility standards.

Demystifying the Command Line

October 29, 2021

While the smooth, point-and-click interfaces of modern operating systems offer one easy way of communicating with our computers, there’s a lot more that’s happening behind the scenes! This two-part workshop will introduce participants to the command line. This text-based interface (no mice!) offers users greater control, more direct access, and the ability to automate tasks. During the two workshops, participants learn what the command line is, a survey of essential commands, and how humanities and social science researchers can leverage the command line for working with big datasets or across multiple operating systems.

Download workshop materials here:

Dealing with Data: Finding and Using Humanistic Data

February 26, 2021

The field of digital humanities offers exciting possibilities for using our sources in innovative new ways. But there’s a hidden challenge in taking humanistic data – from letters to law codes, poems to polemics – and extracting usable data for all those modes of analysis. In this Morning Bytes session, Dr. Meg Smith, research assistant professor in the IRIS Center, talks about finding data in historical, literary, and other humanistic sources and what we can do with it once we’ve got it.

WordPress in the Classroom

March 19, 2021

In this Morning Bytes session, Dr. Jessica DeSpain talks about tips, tools, and things to consider when using WordPress in the classroom, including site design, creating content, and student assignments.

The Right Tool for the Job: Where to find DH tools (and what to do with them)

April 16, 2021

So you’ve got an idea for a digital humanities project – it could be anything from quantitative analysis to a digital exhibition. But when you start looking for the best tool to implement your vision, either it seems like no one’s built the tool you need, or there are too many to choose from and no easy way to evaluate their pros and cons. In this Morning Bytes talk, Dr. Meg Smith will walk through some resources and strategies for choosing the right tool for your DH project. A Q&A and conversation will follow.

Publishing Digital Scholarship with Scalar

January 24, 2020

In this talk and workshop, IRIS Center Technician Ben Ostermeier discusses and demonstrates the Scalar content management system. Using scalar, students and professors can publish their scholarship online in unique ways using digital media. Ostermeier shows how to use Scalar and discuss what types of websites Scalar is best suited for creating.

Google My Maps: Locations, Pins and Labels

February 21, 2020

Google Maps is not just for car navigation! You can create custom maps to plot, describe and label locations around the world in a variety of interesting ways. In this workshop, Kristine Hildebrandt, PhD, associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, shows the basics of creating a custom map.

Google My Maps: Mapping Multiple Locations

March 27, 2020

In this presentation, which is a follow-up to the introductory Morning Bytes presentation from February 21, Kristine Hildebrandt demonstrates how you can import larger quantities of geo-referenced data in to Google My Maps from a spreadsheet or comma-separated-value file, and create maps with multiple layers of geo-coordinated information.

Using Omeka: Strategies and Possibilities

October 25, 2019

Assistant Research Professor Zachary Riebeling examines the basics of planning an Omeka archive website. Using the Exhibition Plug-in from the Rosenzweig Center for New Media at George Mason University, Riebeling explores how to create a self-reflexive and internally-differentiated digital exhibit.

The plug-in represents a creative means to bypass the restrictions Omeka places on items and collections, allowing for layered and intersecting exhibit levels. This presentation is especially designed for scholars new to Omeka.

Digital Community Engagement with Washington Park, Illinois

November 15, 2019

Sociology and Environmental Science graduate students are working with Ms. Derissa Davis, an elementary teacher in the Village of Washington Park, to help materialize her vision of a community garden. Members of The Tiny Children’s Garden Team present a synopsis of their use of digital tools to practice applied sociology and to amplify the voices and desires of their collaboration partner and her community. The team provides an overview of the digital pieces and outline their role in the collaboration, including how they contribute to shifting the dominant deficit-based narrative of the community to one that highlights the community’s rich cultural capital.

Creating Data Visualizations with Tableau

February 15, 2019

In this workshop, IRIS Center Technician Ben Ostermeier demonstrates how to use Tableau Public to create interactive data visualizations. He shows a variety of examples of the different ways you can present information using Tableau. Ostermeier also leads an exercise on creating your own data visualizations using Tableau Public.

You can download and install Tableau Public for free at this link: No previous data visualization experience is necessary.

Networking the Regional Comprehensives: A Summary of a DH Summit

August 31, 2018

Humanities Librarian Lora Del Rio shares her experience as a participant and speaker at a 3-day digital humanities summit, Networking the Regional Comprehensives, this past July at Salem State University. This event brought together leaders in digital humanities at regional comprehensive universities around the United States to share their successes and challenges developing digital humanities initiatives in their local university contexts. The assembled group looked a t similarities between institutions and developed plans for a network of regional comprehensive digital humanities practitioners to leverage our resources and do outreach to practitioners at other universities. Lora discusses highlights and future plans.

Doing Oral History in the Digital Age

September 28, 2018

Oral history—the practice of recording long-format personal interviews to document history—has changed greatly in the digital age. Audio and video recording equipment is cheaper and easier to use than ever before, and the web allows individuals and institutions to share oral histories in new ways. In this talk, Dr. Jeff Manuel explores the opportunities and challenges that face oral historians and related interview-based practitioners in the digital age.

STEM Meets Humanities

October 26, 2018

Candice Johnson, program coordinator for the “STEM Meets Humanities” initiative at the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities, presents an overview of her work with this innovative exploration of the ways in which enduring humanistic questions can influence student interest in STEM inquiry. She describes the different activities currently run through the program, including Digital Humanities Clubs, Urban Gardening, Math Games, and Robotics, and discusses tips on how to engage students in programming.

An Introduction to Digital Storytelling

January 26, 2018

IRIS Center Project Manager Katie Knowles presents an overview of digital storytelling methods, the storytelling process, ethical considerations when working with storytellers, and how to facilitate story creation. She also discusses upcoming digital storytelling projects at SIUE.

Digital Map Making

February 16, 2018

Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt discusses maps and map-making in the humanities and the digital humanities. She also demonstrates how to make maps on Google Maps.
Download Image
Download Map Data

What is a Digital Archive?

March 30, 2018

An archive, quite simply, is a collection of documents or records, assembled and curated in order to provide lasting information about a place, a time, a person, an object or set of objects, a movement, a community. Digital archives in particular have proliferated in recent years because of a concurrent rise of “born digital” data and also the need to digitally preserve analog/paper materials. In this talk, Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt provides a general coverage of digital archive initiatives and standards in multiple fields and disciplines. She discuses debates surrounding archives, including issues of ownership and of access and usability, and will include examples of the archives built in the IRIS Center.

Digital Humanities in the Classroom

September 8, 2017

Dr. Jessica DeSpain discusses how to introduce digital scholarship to undergraduates to enhance their approach to more traditional methods like close reading. She has spent nine years training undergraduates to work on digital humanities projects, integrating DH methods into her classes, and developing a minor in the digital humanities and social sciences. She will also discuss best practices for introducing DH into a variety of learning environments and share her most successful assignments.

An Introduction to Scalar

October 13, 2017

Senior English major and Digital Humanities and Social Sciences minor Gabrielle Borders conducts an interactive workshop that demonstrates the digital exhibit  building tool Scalar.

The Nepal Earthquakes Project

December 1, 2017

Jacob Sebok is an undergraduate student at SIUE working toward his degree in anthropology with a minor in linguistics. As a research assistant to Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt, Jacob has been working with a team to develop a web-based archive and exhibit to house data collected as part of Hildebrandt’s research project: “RAPID: Narrating Disaster: Calibrating Causality and Responses to the 2015 Earthquakes in Nepal.” During his presentation, Jacob will cover topics including language endangerment and death, consequences of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, the process of constructing IRIS’ newest website, and the role that archives run by small institutions can play in benefitting both academic and applied linguists in their work with endangered languages.

How the Web Works

January 27, 2017

Web developer Ben Ostermeier presents a brief overview on how the World Wide Web came to be and how it works today. He will also give a demonstration on creating webpages using HTML and CSS. The first of four talks in the IRIS Brown Bag series on topics in the digital humanities.

Organizing and Personalizing Online Digital Collections with Omeka

February 17, 2017

IRIS Center Technician Katie Knowles and web developer Ben Ostermeier conduct a workshop on using Omeka to create individual digital projects. They address the process of adding items to create collections and exhibitions with the software as well as customizing the presentation of digital collections. The second of four talks in the IRIS Brown Bag series on topics in the digital humanities.

Aspects of Making an Online Multimedia Map

March 24, 2017

Web developer and Computer Science graduate student Brajesh Karna gives a brief overview of Google Maps. He demonstrates various features of Google’s My Maps, including layers, pins, drawing polygons, and adding routes. Try it yourself! No web development experience necessary.

Madison Historical: A Model for Digital Public History

April 21, 2017

Dr. Jeff Manuel, Dr. Jason Stacy, and Ben Ostermeier–members of the research team behind Madison Historical: The Online Encyclopedia and Digital Archive for Madison County, Illinois–give an overview of this community-based digital history project. Research team members also discuss the intersection between public history and digital humanities as well as the benefits and challenges of conducting community-engaged digital history.