Sunday, January 10, 2016

ALAMW16: Connecting Faculty Through Digital Humanities

Kathy Rosa, ALA Research and Statistics
  • What are the humanities?  No one definition.
  • What is digital humanities? One web site serves up a variety of definitions. Digitally created as well as those converted to digital format.
  • How does the NEH define it? You see some definitions in grant applications. 
  • Faculty want libraries to be part of digital humanities.  Libraries are a central place for research.  Libraries have or can develop the needed skills.
  • Faculty though do not see that libraries can totally meet their needs.  Faculty want help with project management, for example.
  • Librarians want to be partners of digital humanities projects.
  • For some libraries, involvement in digital humanities is on an ad hoc basis.
  • There overall assessment of current services is quite low.
  • How does this affect the students?  Yes, faculty do give assignments that rely on digital humanity resources.
  • The full survey results are online at
David Seaman, Syracuse University
  • While digital humanities is an imprecise term, that's note a bad thing.  
  • We've been doing it for a long time. It is a collaborative process.  It requires a bundle of skills.  It is a natural interest for academic research libraries.
  • For the humanities, the libraries is their laboratory.
  • We have a lot of skills in this area and the ability to acquire additional skills.
  • We are challenged in understanding how to keep older projects in a useful state, especially when the owners have left.
  • It is getting easier to raise resources for projects, including from alumni.
  • Seeing faculty and staff hires related to digital humanities.
  • There are space implications.
  • This is an area of research.  Can the library be a collaborator on a digital humanities research project?
  • How do we evaluate and value digital humanities work in tenure and promotion cases?
Thomas Padilla, @thomaspadilla, Michigan State University 
  • Terms of possibility
  • Reuse
  • Reproducibility
  • Transparency
  • Permanence
  • Attribution
  • Hack vs. yack
  • Two definitions of digital humanities:
  • Arguments made using digital methods, tools and sources
  • Arguments about digital methods, tools and sources
  • HathiTrust
  • DPLA 

Stephanie Orphan,  Portico
  • Portico is committed to the preservation of scholarly literature published in electronic form to ensure that these materials remain accessible to future generations of scholars, researchers, and students.
  • Why use a third party? Scale and complexity
  • They currently have three services; one that has Gale as a client/partner.
  • Leveraging preservation infrastructure and experience to benefit the community.
  • Potential assistance with text and data mining.

Jon Cawthorne, West Virginia University
  • Talked about the three-legged stool that will allow digital humanities to blossom in an academic library.

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