Bringing Together Digital Humanities Scholars and Librarians:
an affiliation between centerNet and the Council on Libraries and Information Resources Digital Library Federation program
On January 22, 2011 a meeting was held at the Council on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) offices to discuss the possibility of a formal alliance between CLIR’s Digital Library Federation Program (DLF) and centerNet. In attendance were the following: Rachel Frick, Neil Fraistat, Julia Flanders, Kay Walter, Bethany Nowviskie, Jennifer Vinopal, and Geneva Henry. The affiliation proposal was approved by the centerNet Board, Februrary 2011.
The affiliation focuses on areas where Digital Libraries and Digital Humanities converge and need further exploration and understanding of each community’s roles and responsibilities. Where does the work of digital humanities scholars and that of digital libraries intersect and complement each other? What are each community’s values, and how do they define their roles, and responsibilities? How can we work together, effectively, to come to a shared understanding and help each other in our related endeavors?
Points of interest initially identified were as follows:
- Data Curation – preservation of digital scholarship objects and workflows, digital products of research and instruction
- Cyberinfrastructure – issues relating to interoperability, data mining, shared infrastructure and linked open data.
- Internationalization – how can we leverage international cooperation and awareness and use existing international networks to share our work? How can we improve our communities’ awareness of and influence on international initiatives?”
- Scaling Up and Scaling Down – Up: working with Google books, HATHI Trust, and the Digital Public Library of America efforts. What is the meaning of aggregating this data? For Digital Scholarship, what new research questions are possible using huge digital libraries? What data are humanists interested in? Down: how do we leverage smaller scoped work? What unique preservation challenges do these types of scholarship present?
- Career Paths – highlighting career opportunities in both fields of digital humanities and digital libraries, to better understand the changing roles
- Publication and Distribution – Initial focus on TEI as a point of common interest, but also exploring how we share research efforts in order to better inform practice.
Proposed actions included:
- A reduced registration fee for DLF community members to the 2011 DH conference.
- Propose a Digital Library track for 2013 DH, with CLIR/DLF facilitating content for the proposed track.
- A track of programming at the 2011 DLF Forum that would be of common interest to DLF community members and DH scholars.
- Historically, DLF has sponsored the TEI SIG. We suggest continuing this sponsorship, but expanding TEI programming to include a discussion group to discuss mapping and operationalizing the encoding levels to a production-level TEI workflow, a hack-fest of sorts around the Thutmose (MARC to TEI Header) style sheets; a workshop or tutorial on applying the encoding levels; and a pre/post-conference working meeting to deal with outstanding/new TEI SIG issues to tackle
- Utilizing the DLF web presence to facilitate conversation and collaboration around the digital humanities. This would be accomplished through a specific space for a Digital Humanities interest group, with a designated listserv. Also use the “jobs” space on the website to post employment opportunities in the DH community. We could share digital Library job opportunities posted with the centerNet community.
- Raising awareness of events, workshops and conferences of mutual interest in our communities.
Charging working groups to explore common interests. As appropriate, and depending on outcomes of ongoing discussions as well as actions #2 and #3 above, task joint DH/DL working groups to examine, discuss, and recommend further collaborative actions.