Nathan Kelber, PhD

Digital Humanities Fellow @ JSTOR Labs

About Me

Higher education project manager, educator, and programmer with experience working in universities, libraries, museums, and other non-profits. Currently Digital Humanities Fellow at JSTOR Labs working on social justice, environmental history, and data science.

This page contains Digital Skills Workshops and Digital Project Support documents I helped create or am connected to. This page also contains selected information on my grant projects, work experience, and education. Full CV.

Education Resources

Project Planning Documents

Recent Grant Projects

The Plant Humanities Initiative

https://labs.jstor.org/planthumanities/

A partnership between Dumbarton Oaks and JSTOR to foster innovative research methods for studying the science and social history of plants. (Funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

The project is developing a new linked open data tool to aid in our understanding of the early modern history of plants, particularly European herbals from the 15-17th century.

On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance

https://unc-libraries-data.github.io/OnTheBooks/

A text mining and machine learning project with the goal of discovering every Jim/Jane Crow congressional law passed in the state of North Carolina between the end of the civil war and the civil rights movement (1865-1968). (Funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

Inspired by Pauli Murray’s State’s Laws on Race and Color (1950) and Safiya Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression (2018), On the Books is using artificial intelligence to discover racist laws. We are creating the following:

  • A website for educators and researchers interested in Southern and African-American history that lists and contextualizes North Carolina segregation laws we uncover from the Jim Crow era (1877- 1965).
  • A publicly-accessible, plain-text corpus of North Carolina Session Laws from 1865-1968 for general legal and historical research.
  • A short white paper describing our methods and workflows for accurate, large-scale OCR text conversion and text analysis for future teams seeking to create large-scale digital corpora and/or experiment with data-driven discovery.
  • A public git project repository containing general scripts, open source software, and use documentation for the benefit of future collections as data projects.
  • A series of training workshops

Digital Humanities Collaborative of North Carolina

http://triangledh.org

A community of practice to promote digital and public humanities projects across North Carolina in an equitable fashion. (Funded by National Endowment for the Humanities and The American Institute of Pakistan Studies)

The Digital Humanities Collaborative of North Carolina shares information and resources for digital research in the triangle including events, profiles, projects, organizations, training/workshops, spaces, communities, and code/lesson repositories. Through strategic partnerships with large and small institutions, we created one of fifteen national digital humanities research institutes in the research triangle.

A community project to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the civil uprising of 1967 and to create new conversations on racial harmony within the city of Detroit. (Funded by many Sponsors)

The Detroit 67 Project led to a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services by:

  • Collecting the stories of the past 100 years to commemorate the July, 1967 civil unrest
  • Taking the lead to connect the story and its relevance outside the museum
  • Developing a comprehensive, balanced & experiential museum exhibition
  • Creating a “model” that makes history relevant to the community’s present & future

A video archive of Detroit history featuring over 400 videos sourced from film and magnetic tape. (Funded by Institute of Museum and Library Services and National Endowment for the Humanities)

Experience

JSTOR Labs

https://labs.jstor.org/

Digital Humanities Fellow

2019-present

The JSTOR Labs unit is the experimental skunkworks of the non-profit digital library JSTOR.

At Labs, I help design digital humanities tools for the plant humanities, prison education, and text analysis.

UNC Chapel Hill

https://library.unc.edu/hub/

Digital Scholarship Specialist

2018-2019

The Research Hub leads and collaborates on academic research requiring cutting-edge digital methods and tools.

At The Research Hub, I collaborated with partners across the region to create new support communities and educational programming through the Triangle Digital Humanities Network and Institute. This work was financially-backed by The National Endowment for the Humanities and The American Institute of Pakistan Studies. On the research front, I helped create On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) and The UNC Fellowship in Data Curation for African American and African Studies (Council on Library and Information Resources).

Detroit Historical Society

https://detroithistorical.org/

Digital Projects Manager

2014-2018

Digital Collections develops and supports workflows for traditional and born-digital media preservation.

As the head of digital projects and collections, I worked with a small team of technicians, interns, and volunteers on projects funded by The Institute of Museum and Library Services, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Americana Foundation, and The Knight Foundation.

Lawrence Technological University

https://www.ltu.edu/

Adjunct Professor

2012-2014

The Humanities department fosters creative minds and critical thinkers through effective teaching and real world experiences.

In addition to teaching courses in world literature, composition, and digital humanities, I worked on a couple of grant-funded projects dedicated to improving the diversity of STEM (Association of American Colleges and Universities) and promoting digital skills in liberal arts colleges (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation).

University of Maryland

https://www.umd.edu/

Teaching Assistant

2008-2012

The University of Maryland is an international leader in the study of the digital humanities.

Maryland honed my skills as a teacher and public speaker in areas such as the digital humanities, rhetoric, and writing.