Day of DH 2010 tomorrow

March 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Day of DH, where DH practitioners in many locations blog about their activities and thoughts for 1 day, is tomorrow!
You can see the latest postings and a list of the individual blogs here:

I’ll be participating in the Day of Dh this year!


One Week | One Tool

March 10, 2010 at 10:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s a very interesting DH summer institute — “One Week | One Tool”. It really would be wonderful to be able to host a event like this at UofT. I see so many announcements for interesting DH conferences, workshops and institutes, but none are even remotely local: Victoria, Virginia, Dublin, London. Nothing in Toronto or even Ontario. Given the concentration of colleges and universities in this province, I am sure there would be interest in gatherings like these, and UofT could really put itself on the map as a DH leader in Ontario if it sponsored events like this.

iSchools and DH

March 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s an interesting initiative in the US: 3 iSchools are collaborating with 3 DH centres to develop an internship program that will place iSchool students at DH centres:


March 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another very interesting product from the Center for History and New Media (creators of Zotero): Omeka.

Omeka is a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions. Its “five-minute setup” makes launching an online exhibition as easy as launching a blog. Omeka is designed with non-IT specialists in mind, allowing users to focus on content and interpretation rather than programming. It brings Web 2.0 technologies and approaches to academic and cultural websites to foster user interaction and participation. It makes top-shelf design easy with a simple and flexible templating system. Its robust open-source developer and user communities underwrite Omeka’s stability and sustainability.

Until now, scholars and cultural heritage professionals looking to publish collections-based research and online exhibitions required either extensive technical skills or considerable funding for outside vendors. By making standards based, serious online publishing easy, Omeka puts the power and reach of the web in the hands of academics and cultural professionals themselves.

Ray Siemens talk: a summary

March 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Disclaimer: this summary was created from my notes and memory, and should not be taken as a verbatim account.

The Department of English hosted a talk by Professor Ray Siemens, Director of the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) at the University of Victoria on 2 March 2010 entitled ‘Research in Electronic Textual Culture and the Digital Humanities: Understanding the TEI Community, Exploring Manuscript Culture, and the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Project.”

After a gracious introduction by Professor Ian Lancashire, Ray outlined the four main subjects of what he described as a ‘casual, descriptive talk’: 1) Digital Humanities and Digital Literary Studies, 2) The ETCL’s work on the Devonshire Manuscript, 3) The INKE project, and 4) Understanding the TEI community.

The first part of Ray’s talk was an introduction to DH. He made reference to literature on DH, including the Wikipedia entry on DH, Willard McCarty’s Humanities Computing (2005), and the essay collections A Companion to Digital Humanities (2004) and A Companion to Digital Literary Studies (2008). He also mentioned that Canadian scholars interested in DH could participate in the annual conference of the Society for Digital Humanities/Société pour l’étude des médias interactifs (SDH-SEMI) and in the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria (which attracts participants from around the world). Noting that the membership of SDH-SEMI has been growing exponentially, Ray explained that these forums offer a different type of scholarly engagement than other forums because of the interdisciplinarity of the participants, and that there is a great opportunity to learn about new methodologies of scholarly inquiry coming out of different disciplines. Continue Reading Ray Siemens talk: a summary…

Townsend Humanities Lab

March 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Townsend Humanities Lab (at the University of California, Berkeley) offers another model for university DH support (see the previous post on Brown’s Center for Digital Scholarship). The Townsend Humanities Lab, as it explains on the ‘About’ page of its website, is

a community-driven suite of digital tools to support interdisciplinary research and collaboration among Berkeley scholars and their affiliates.  Driven by a powerful content-management system, and hosted by new “cloud” computing services, the Lab provides project space and a suite of Web 2.0 resources to all Berkeley scholars with interests in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

I find the ‘community-driven’ aspect of the Lab very compelling — digital humanists drive what technologies, tools and functionalities the Lab develops. The Lab also offers an excellent forum for networking, collaboration and information sharing about DH work at UofC Berkeley.

The Lab was developed and is supported by the Townsend Center for the Humanities. The question is, does one need a Humanities Centre in order to develop a Humanities Lab? Or can this kind of Lab be sponsored by a Library? The answer might be forthcoming at a DH2010 pre-conference workshop hosted by the Townsend Humanities Lab, ‘Designing a Digital Humanities Lab’.

Protected: Notes of meeting with Sian Meikle

February 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Enter your password to view comments.

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The Computer and Canadian Scholarship

February 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The latest issue of Digital Studies / Le champ numérique takes as its theme “The Computer and Canadian Scholarship: Recent Trends in the Humanities and Social Sciences.” The introduction by John Bonnett and Kevin Kee and the closing piece by Bonnet on High Performance Computing I think are especially relevant reading for DHC members.

The Bonnet & Key introduction contains a survey of the current Canadian DH field. I found the description of DH at UofT interesting. What strikes me is that the DH projects that are considered worthy of mention are either highly collaborative or have the potential to significantly impact on a field of scholarship or on scholarly practices generally.

The survey implies that anyone working on a DH project should look beyond the particularities of that project’s content/scope and imagine how it might contribute to a broader transformation of scholarly practices and methodologies and outputs. Collaboration and Significance (or Impact) are going to be important keywords when it comes to finding support for DH projects in the future.

Brown’s Center for Digital Scholarship

February 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Brown University Library recently announced the launch of its Center for Digital Scholarship on the Humanist list:

The Center’s activities and support include: education and outreach (courses, seminars, conferences), fellowships and internships, digital project development and support (including grants), consultation on external and long-term support for digital projects, a directory of projects, and a DH bibliography. UofT might consider this as a model.

Recent DH Articles

July 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pam King drew my attention to this article, which deals with DH research teams, a timely issue as we put together our DH collaboratory:

Siemens, L. “It’s a team if you use ‘reply all’: An exploration of research teams in digital humanities environments.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 24 (2009): 225-233.

On the issue of the development, maintenance and improvement of DH resources, the Spring 2009 issue of the Digital Humanities Quarterly has a Special Cluster of articles called “Done,” concerning the idea of  ‘completion’ and DH resources. If a DH resource can never be ‘done,’ this poses challenges in regards to finding resources to do the necessary work, especially when the funding model for DH is focused nearly exclusively on ‘start-up’ funding.

On a related topic, there is a call for participation in a survey called “Graceful Degradation,” a “survey of the digital humanities community — broadly conceived — on project management in times of transition and decline, and what we see as the causes and outcomes of those times”:

What happens when the funding runs out, or the original project staff move on or are replaced? What happens when intellectual property rests with a collaborator or an institution that does not wish to continue the work? How, individually and as a community, do we weather changes in technology, the patterns of academic research, the vagaries of our sponsoring institutions?

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