Alan Burdette Is Coming to Louisiana

Dr. Alan Burdette, Director of the EVIA Digital Archive and Associate Director for Digital Humanities Infrastructure will be in Louisiana the week of May 17-21. He is traveling to the the Association for Recorded Sound Collections annual meeting in New Orleans, but he has agreed to come in early and meet with faculty interested in the projects that he and others have initiated in the digital humanities. He also said he was happy to meet with an executive team and share openly what Indiana University has learned in its efforts to build a cyberinfrastructure that can both support faculty research and communications as well as the university’s efforts to position itself in the new digital learning landscape. In particular, his work on the EVIA Digital Archive, which was a cooperative effort between Indiana University and the University of Michigan funded by the Mellon Foundation, has given him a lot of insight into the current state of digital archives and the infrastructures, like an institutional repository, that play a role in such projects.

A Desktop Rig That Worked

For the record, I wrote 9000 words in less than a week while at the EVIADA Summer Institute, and I did it all on my MacBook, augmented. Augmented how? With one of these:

![Apple keyboard](http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AgXvZre0L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

And one of these:

![Apple cinema display](http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21GkNqy7JnL._SL500_AA185_.jpg)

But, for the record, I’d settle for any decent 22″ or 24″ HD display.

Our First Day Back

It’s nine o’clock in the evening here in Bloomington and, well, it’s still evening: it’s not yet night. I am sitting out on our apartment’s balcony listening to cars rush by on Highway 46 and birds sing a last night time song. A slightly cool breeze pushes on my left side on occasion. And it is still bright enough to watch people pass on the paths below.

Our first full day back and we enjoyed it in a very relaxed fashion. I did a quick second grocery shop accompanied by Jane Beck, and I returned to find Lily and Yung in one of the many play yards that literally surround Campus View apartments. Lily was playing with a much younger boy whose father spoke to him softly in Russian as well as in English, as if helping him transition into the second language.

After lunch and a bit of rest, we launched on a long walk around campus, walking down Tenth Street to the library and then winding past the theater to Ballantine Hall before stopping off in the Indiana Memorial Union for some refreshment and (more) rest in front of the hospitality fire that has been burning in the IMU since 24 November 1939.

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Lily in front of the hospitality fire in the IMU.

We walked back following the branch of the Jordan River that passes behind the Lilly Library, coming up to Showalter Fountain again and then through the pedestrian walkway that was a street while we were at IU:

Laudun-2009-0298

I think both Yung and I expected to feel some stronger set of emotions than we did. I don’t think either of felt nostalgia or haunted by our walks around campus. It was simply pleasant. Perhaps Lily diverted us too much to be focused on re-living moments. All we knew was that we were on a beautiful campus, a true university campus, and that we knew our way around. Sure, we wished ourselves on the campus. Who wouldn’t? A library so well stocked. A campus so well imagined. And so many events going on every single day.

Perhaps the clincher for us came at the close of the day, when we visited the small library on the first floor of our apartment building. After I read Lily a few books, she wanted to spend some time drawing, where she was joined not by one but by two other girls, both of whom were also Chinese and who were spoken to in Chinese by their mothers. You could sense that Lily felt a sense of wonderment at being surrounded by people who looked like her, instead of being the only Chinese child in the room.

Our Campus View Apartment

Wow. That’s all I can write right now. Wow. The EVIA Digital Archive folks have set us up in an amazing apartment. We’re on the top floor, the ninth, and we’re all the way to the end of the East wing. We have a balcony that has one of the most amazing views I have surveyed in a long time.

The apartment itself is small, but it’s clean and it’s simple. We’re going to easily enjoy our two weeks here, and I think we both already wish we could stay longer, enjoy the simplicity of it, harness that simplicity to drive our own work forward.

I’ve put together a small slide show of the place for folks to see: