Dawn Childress digital scholarship : book history : textual studies

The local digital humanities landscape: understanding and building community, capacity, and infrastructure

This is a paper delivered at the 2013 Bibliothekartag in Leipzig, Germany. The abstract, slides, and PDF are available here.

When the ARL SPEC Kit on Digital Humanities1 came out in 2011, I hoped it might serve as a roadmap on the path to a digital humanities program at my library. At that time, we were attempting to build a new user community with our freshly minted Humanities in a Digital Age initiative, dabbling in various low-resource projects, and had eagerness to spare, but we needed direction and a destination – we needed a plan. The SPEC Kit, with its focus on the staffing models and infrastructure of existing centers and services, helped us imagine where we might want to go and what to think about when we get there; however, the examples covered were far removed from the decentralized, grassroots efforts with which we were experimenting. Most institutions, including my own, have no DH center (with no plans for one in the foreseeable future) and limited or no central infrastructure to support digital humanities work. The question remained, then, how do libraries such as these move beyond grassroots in their efforts to encourage and support new modes of digital scholarship?

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