DH Uncentered: Fostering Partnerships Within a Digital Humanities Network

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Laura Braunstein

    Dartmouth College

  2. 2. Scott Millspaugh

    Dartmouth College

Work text
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During the academic year 2014-15, Dartmouth College launched an informal Digital Humanities initiative. Individual researchers and campus stakeholders already constituted a loose digital humanities network at the college, and had for years, but these projects had not been coordinated through any kind of centralized infrastructure. In spring 2015, Laura Braunstein (Digital Humanities Librarian) and Scott Millspaugh (Instructional Designer), proposed to pilot a faculty residency program during the summer term. Funded by the Dartmouth College Library and Information Technology Services (ITS), the residency program had the following objectives:

• to prototype a team-based approach to supporting digital humanities projects that could be standardized for future implementation; and

• to test the capacity of the Library and ITS to support digital humanities projects without recourse to external sources of funding.

The project selected for the Residency Program Pilot was Multimedia in the Long Eighteenth Century (MMLEC), led by faculty PI Scott Sanders (Assistant Professor of French). The MMLEC project seeks to quantify the frequency with which musical paratext, including both lyrics and musical notation, appear in English- and French-language novels published between 1688 and 1815. Professor Sanders, John Wallace (Research Systems Engineer), and Jill Baron (Romance Languages Librarian) had been collaborating on the project since late 2014, and Sanders and Wallace had already presented a plan for the project at the Digital Libraries for Musicology Workshop 2015. The Residency Program Pilot allowed for the expansion of the core project team and funded the employment of two student workers who created a trained data set under the direction of Mark Boettcher (Senior Programmer and Analyst). The Pilot also led to the involvement of the Digital Library Technologies Group (DLTG), which has assisted in the creation of a bibliographic database, still in development, of published French-language works from the eighteenth-century.

The Residency Program Pilot was successful in establishing a model for institutional support of other DH projects in the pipeline at Dartmouth and has allowed the Library and ITS to develop a process for evaluating and prioritizing those projects. In the summer of 2016, we renewed the Residency Program for another year with the Jamaican Slave Names Project (JSNP). Our poster will narrativize the development of MMLEC and JSNP within the context of the Residency Program and demonstrate how institutional support of a digital humanities project can help foster community and cross-campus collaboration in the absence of a dedicated DH program or center. We hope to dialogue with colleagues at other international institutions present at DH2017 that have established different models of support for digital projects in the arts and humanities and to offer guidance to those that are initiating crosscampus collaborations within a network of individual researchers, centers, and administrative groups, instead of concentrating digital humanities support within a single program or center.

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2017

Hosted at McGill University, Université de Montréal

Montréal, Canada

Aug. 8, 2017 - Aug. 11, 2017

438 works by 962 authors indexed

Series: ADHO (12)

Organizers: ADHO