My Digital ToolChest:
As the end of the digital scholarship program comes swiftly along, I have revised and critiqued my own research question multiple times. I believe this is the most challenging aspect of research for me. I always have a larger vision for my project because I see it encompassing a variety of geographic regions and a multitude of digital tools for analysis. After much discussion and deliberation, I am now on the right track to finish my research project: The Representation of Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Miners: An Artistic Movement. (This title is a work in progress as well!)
I recently began archiving information on various monuments throughout the central PA anthracite region, finding a variety of coal miner statues in all three prominent coal fields: northern, middle, and southern. After I find ten monuments, I will choose five that are the most intricate and thought-provoking monuments, and pinpoint that certain location. I will then collect newspaper articles from these regions, searching the word “coal miner”. My date range will be after the fall of the coal industry between 1970 to present day. I hope to gather at least 20 articles per area. (or more if possible)
I will OCR (Optical Character Recognition) the newspapers, gathering all the text throughout the five areas. Then, I will use Voyant and Antconc looking at how miners are represented within these texts. I will look for romanticizations of the miners too.
Then, I will use Alchemy API to perform sentiment analysis on the newspapers. I want to see if the computer generates that these are mostly positive or negative representations.
I will then compare these with sentiment and text analysis of 20 newspapers from Shamokin, PA. Thus, I will see if there are any difference in towns that publicly represent coal miners against a town that does not choose to represent coal miners through monuments.
Also, I will critique the monuments with theories about public memory and the geographical location of the monument.
The end result of my findings will be displayed on a scalar site that will include a map of Pennsylvania, which displays the locations of each monument. Additionally, I will have a timeline that shows the monuments. There will be a page for each monument with its metadata and a critique of it too.
Finally, there will be a page on the text/sentiment analysis and a bibliography.
There is much to be done in four weeks, but I believe I am on the right track and moving full speed ahead!