Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date

12-19-2013

Abstract

Digital Humanities (DH) work harnesses digital technologies to disseminate, analyze and synthesize information in new and innovative ways, often to answer humanistic questions, and may make use of tools like visualization, text mining and statistical tools. The Libraries’ Digital Humanities Task Force was formed to investigate and report on DH activities and needs on campus and formulate recommendations for how the Libraries might help support these needs in tandem with campus partners. We take a broad view of DH and were as inclusive as possible in all of these activities – the disciplinary affiliation of the scholar engaging in these activities (humanities, social sciences or sciences) is irrelevant. In this context, DH is not a circumscribed concept but rather a broad set of methodologies and approaches that loom large in the realm of support and participation libraries and their staff can offer to users undertaking digital scholarship.

The Task Force undertook several major activities to meet these goals. Among them are: an investigation of library-associated DH initiatives at other institutions; an environmental scan of campus facilities and services; a campus-wide survey (345 responses); in-depth interviews with 20 faculty, graduate students and other campus researchers; additional interviews with those involved in external DH initiatives; and presentations and feedback during the DH symposium and workshop held in August 2013. Our research showed that DH work was of broad interest to graduate students and faculty on campus across disciplinary boundaries.

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