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Dante Lab
Dante Lab

From the Dartmouth Dante Project in the 1980s and the Milton Reading Room in the 1990s, to current endeavors like Occom Circle and the Vietnam Project, Dartmouth has a long history of digital humanities scholarship. Yet, unlike many of our peer institutions, we don’t have a digital humanities center in the library (where many DH centers are located) or elsewhere on campus. This has meant that faculty, librarians, technologists, and other scholars have worked in relative isolation from project to project. We have had few formalized venues for sharing knowledge within our community and have lacked institutionalized processes for supporting digital projects across departments and centers on campus.

The Stainforth Library of Women Writers
The Stainforth Library of Women Writers

For the last year, however, the Library and ITS have been working hard to change this. Since the first “First Thursday at the AHRC” in October 2014, librarians, library staff, instructional designers, and programmers from Research Computing have been building upon existing relationships among faculty, staff, and students in order to support and collaborate on digital humanities projects for research and teaching. Current networks -- those that exist between the Library, ITS, the Leslie Humanities Center, and the Neukom Institute, among others -- have fostered a community of scholars, teachers, and practitioners with much to share. We’ve been -- unofficially -- calling our initiative a Digital Humanites “UnCenter,” not only because it’s unofficial, but also because it’s not centered on any one group or organization at Dartmouth. Monthly events such as “First Thursday” and the Digital Seminar take place in the AHRC; scheduled workshops are sponsored by the Leslie Humanities Center and the Library; and projects are supported by funding, staff, and technology resources from the Neukom Institute, ITS, the Dean of Faculty, and others.

The Dartmouth Vietnam Project
The Dartmouth Vietnam Project

Are you interested in learning more about the “uncentered” digital humanities? Check out the Digital Humanities at Dartmouth website for news, events, project descriptions, and profiles of the “humans of digital humanities.” We’ve also just learned that an anonymous donor has funded an interdisciplinary faculty “cluster” on Digital Humanities and Social Engagement, the presence of which will undoubtedly lead to further opportunities to build our community across Dartmouth’s digital humanities network. Additionally, an interorganizational group from the Library and ITS have been exploring the possibilities for a digital scholarship center on campus. Whether centered or uncentered, digital humanities is a thriving field of teaching and learning at Dartmouth, and we’re excited to see it grow and develop in the coming year and beyond.

Laura Braunstein, Digital Humanities and English Librarian
Scott Millspaugh, Instructional Designer, Educational Technologies

Laura Braunstein, Digital Humanities and English Librarian, has been accepted into the pilot Digital Humanities Institute for Mid-Career Librarians. The Institute will take place at the University of Rochester's River Campus in mid-July and is funded primarily through a Mellon Foundation Grant. The Institute will advance institutional support for digital humanities by strengthening librarians’ competencies in digital scholarship.

As one of only twenty librarians accepted into the highly competitive program, Laura will participate in a three-day residential experience, followed by one year of online engagement and support. The Institute offers four tracks and Laura will participate, with four other librarians, in the track entitled "Text Encoding, Analysis and Visualization for Humanists." This track will explore the methods and process of bringing context to digitization and dissemination of texts through text encoding, as well as a range of visualization tools employing that coding: timelines, word clouds, concept maps, geographic maps and more. For more information, visit the Institute's web site.

Laura's participation in and skills learned from this institute will enrich the College's developing programs in the digital humanities and help to support other areas of digital scholarship within the institution.