Digital and Multimedia Tools for Students

Are you a student looking to incorporate digital tools into your research? Are you looking for long-term solutions to creatively display your work? Here are links to help get you started. These resources have been curated through the teamwork of faculty and students, and have been tested and utilized for a variety of different projects. To see examples of how students have used digital tools in their research, check out the Mellon Scholars and Student Research pages listed under the Special Collections page.

Digital Projects and Supplements

  • Google Books nGram: search through Google’s extensive book database to show correlations between words, ideas, and terms. Insert the generated graph into your papers, or embed them in a webpage for a visual illustration of your points.
  • Tiki-Toki / Timetoast: create an online timeline for your research to illustrate your time period. Our Timelines also offers a timeline generator, with supplementary events and details that can help provide context for your subject.
  • Google Earth: for compelling map presentations, Google Earth offers the ability to create voiceovers and walk-throughs of important places in your research.
  • ArcGIS: a similar but more powerful version of Google Earth, ArcGIS software offers mapping, analysis, and geographic data creation.
  • Final Cut Pro / iMovie: access to non-linear video editing software is provided by the Tech Lab on the second floor of the library. Create documentaries, slideshows, podcasts, and more.
  • YouTube / Vimeo: upload and host your videos to these sites for free. Embed and link to your video creations. Privacy settings are adjustable.

Research Tools

  • Voyant Tools: perform lexical analysis on your own writing or other texts.
  • Diigo: help organize your research. Diigo allows you to archive web pages, annotate online research, collaborate, and build a personal research database on the cloud so you always have it with you.
  • Delicious: a method of saving, organizing, and discovering links that are relevant to your research.
  • Managed Q: a different, more focused kind of search engine that acts more like an application than a search form.
  • ArchiveGrid - search the ArchiveGrid database for archives and archive collections throughout the United States. Searches by item and by location.

Digital Presentations

  • Narrable: create an online presentation based off of photographs. Narrable lets you record a voiceover that plays when the viewer clicks on any of the photographs in the slideshow.
  • Prezi: move beyond standard PowerPoint presentations with Prezi. Loaded with dozens of themes and endlessly customizable, Prezi is a visually engaging online presentation tool. Allows for easy collaboration and sharing.
  • Sophie: create an online “book” with multimedia content and text.

Showcase Methods

  • and create online exhibits, digital archives, and web pages with Omeka. The free, open-source software from is highly flexible and requires a server to host the site. Though it is more limited, the online-based offers free hosting on its .net server, and more storage space can be purchased. A great resource for those looking to display archival materials.
  • Public Knowledge Project OJS: if you are interested in creating a scholarly online journal, look into the free open-source software available from PKP. Use of this software is a quite an undertaking, and should be used for student projects with faculty mentors seriously considering the creation and upkeep of an online journal. Requires access to a server on which to host the project.
  • Tumblr: as a free and well-known visual blogging platform, Tumblr is highly customizable and flexible.
  • Wordpress: the world’s most popular blogging system, Wordpress offers both free blogs and premium upgrades. Showcase your research in blog form, or create static pages for a more website-based format. Many professional websites use Wordpress as the basic structure for their content.
  • Squarespace: a website builder with blog capabilities included, Squarespace offers a tiered membership beginning at $8 a month. A solid option for those looking to create a website from scratch without buying a domain, building with Dreamweaver, or using Hope College server space.