Converging Community Service: Discovering Collaboration Opportunities for Digital Humanities Projects

Laura Yeck, STEM Learning Community Coordinator
Schreiner University

Cecila Barlow, Center for Digital Learning Coordinator
Schreiner University

Cristina Hinojosa, student collaborator
Schreiner University

Project History: In order to address a digital humanities initiative at a small rural university, the university’s Center for Digital Learning (CDL) teamed up with a freshmen STEM Learning Community to work on a service-learning project for the community cemetery located next to campus. Years ago, the Glen Rest Cemetery records were lost. Though an existing partnership between the Glen Rest Cemetery and Schreiner University, the CDL had begun the process of recovering records and creating a website that would allow Kerrville community members to locate and access their ancestral heritage through photographs and tombstone location identification. Currently, the CDL hosts the cemetery’s website, which provides an ever-expanding archive of the history of the cemetery and the individuals it inters.

Project Highlights: Utilizing multiple forms of technology, STEM Learning Community Students created individual projects to enhance the presence of Glen Rest Cemetery in the community via the cemetery’s website. This poster will explore how principles of digital humanities scholarship were applied in an undergraduate research setting through the lens of a sample project that focused on gravestone symbolism. The goal of the student’s project was to help family members, friends, and cemetery visitors understand the meanings of the symbols on the headstones and their locations throughout the cemetery. Overall, this project provided first-year student researchers the opportunity to interact with primary source research materials and technology through a service-learning project founded in digital humanities discipline. This poster will demonstrate how students were able to connect to the community outside of the campus while learning about personal and social responsibility and will highlight the ongoing collaboration between the Center for Digital Learning and the Glen Rest Cemetery that will be continued in the fall with the new cohort of STEM Learning Community students.