ThingStor’s Summer 2022 Datathon


In the ThingStor Summer 2022 Datathon, the team members added nearly 70 new entries to the database. Photo Credit: Victoria Sunnergren

CMCS’s graduate student working group ThingStor finished its bi-annual Datathon last week. Over the two-day event, UD students from various disciplines gathered together in a conference room on campus to catalog objects from literary works and artworks of the nineteenth-century transatlantic world. 

ThingStor began with a simple question in a graduate seminar a few years ago. Upon reading some of the literary classics and viewing genre paintings, students encountered unfamiliar objects, ranging from a “Bowie knife,” “Lucifer,” to an “instantaneous light-box.” The question then prompted the students and the principal investigator, Professor Martin Brückner, to develop a digital database to highlight how things circulate and communicate across the literary and visual arts.

The ThingStor database has evolved into a more interdisciplinary research project thanks to the collaboration of graduate students, faculty, and UD librarians over the years. 

Last year, the working group held an online webinar to share their progress with the scholarly community. In an effort to be in conversation with Digital Humanities scholars, the team members also presented their project at conferences including Keystone DH, The Mobile Archives Project, and the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association. 

If you are interested in material culture studies and/or digital humanities projects, reach out to Professor Brückner at Explore the nineteenth-century object world at!