Are you interested in learning more about ThingStor? Join the ThingStor working group on May 6 at 4:30pm for a virtual webinar. Working group members will introduce the database and talk about their experiences of cataloging objects represented in works of art and literature. Click here to join the meeting via Zoom!
ThingStor is a digital humanities project that puts into dialogue objects found in English and American literature and visual art from the long nineteenth century. Tracking mundane and symbolic objects—like “Lucifers,” “Brussels carpets,” or “pelerines”—our database connects object references found in fiction or paintings to researched object descriptions, representative visual illustrations, and a host of other source information, including historical context and critical secondary sources. Today, we have more than 1,000 object entries in our database.
The initial ideas of ThingStor began in the graduate seminar “Literary Things in Early American Literature” a few years ago. In this class, students from Art History, English, and Museum Studies discussed how to bridge their research interests in objects, materials, and things across different media. Now, five years later, the students have turned their research questions into an interactive database capable of supporting multi-layered contexts, histories, and interpretive methodologies.