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  • SN-0048 Student Research as Bricolage

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Student Research as Bricolage

Please fill in the following metadata about this story (and delete this line when finished!):

Collection Date: Dec. 18, 2008
Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Massimo Riva
  • Email:
  • Title: Professor of Italian Studies
  • Institution/Organization: Brown University
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor: Italian Studies

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name: Elli Mylonas
  • Email:
  • Title: Associate Director, CIS (Scholarly Technology Group)
  • Institution/Organization: Brown University

Notes on Methodology:

Please briefly describe the collection methods used (eg. "self report", "questionnaire", "ethnographic interview")

The Brown University Local Bamboo Group met and discussed various actual scenarios for research and scenarios. The participants in this discussion were two faculty members and 4 CIS staff members from the Academic Services Group.


The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this story apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes?
    (e.g. "just this scholar", "many people in the scholar's field of inquiry", "all academics", etc.) Students
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar? Contributes to scholarly research, enhances instruction
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described? faculty, students
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals? No
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated? Services that allow shared data across institutions, tooklts for student projects (along the lines of Omeka, Drupal)


Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

  • Shared Services
  • Stories

2. Suggested keywords: Does this story contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:

4. Related Stories: Are there parts of the story that relate to other collected stories? Please provide title(s) and link to the story page. 


Please include the text, documents, media, or other material which comprise this story

Students did original research in order to study and enrich the publication of the Garibaldi Panorama, which was digitazed and made available by the Brown University Library []. The Garibaldi class represents a research project taking place around an artifact, not mining a database, as in the previous example.

Students selected research topics, searched a microfilm collection that had materials about 19th c. European history, and digitized textual resources that they found. These were collected and contextualized in order to provide information for understanding the content and purpose of the Garibaldi Panorama. An example of a student research topic is the network of information around torture in Bourbonic jails in southern Italy. Students found legal documents from a court case and documents by William Gladstone, prime minister of England on the subject.

The class used Google Documents to collect their materials, because it permitted shared use and enough storage for the digitized images.  This system has worked adequately, but is opportunistic.


  • The students could have done better work if they had access to collections at other universities, and if they could integrate them more seamlessly into their own collections of resources.
  • Students from other institutions could also have access to these materials and tools, in order to perform similar research projects.

Other Comments:

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