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.
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.
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