Text Analysis: TAPoR Version 1.1 Released

The TAPoR (Text Analysis Portal for Research) text analysis tool has been upgraded to version 1.1.

Here's a description of TAPoR from the project's home page:

TAPoR will build a unique human and computing infrastructure for text analysis across the country by establishing six regional centers to form one national text analysis research portal. This portal will be a gateway to tools for sophisticated analysis and retrieval, along with representative texts for experimentation. The local centers will include text research laboratories with best-of-breed software and full-text servers that are coordinated into a vertical portal for the study of electronic texts. Each center will be integrated into its local research culture and, thus, some variation will exist from center to center.

NEH/DFG Bilateral US/German Humanities Digitization Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) have issued a call for bilateral US/German humanities digitization grant proposals.

Here's an excerpt from the call:

These grants provide funding for up to three years of development in any of the following areas:

  • new digitization projects and pilot projects;
  • the addition of important materials to existing digitization projects; and
  • the development of related infrastructure to support international digitization work and the use of those digitized resources.

Collaboration between U.S. and German partners is a key requirement for this grant category.

A Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States Released

A report prepared for the Council on Library and Information Resources titled A Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States has been released.

Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

The immediate goals of the survey were to identify the extent of these [digital humanities] centers, and explore their financing, organizational structure, products, services and sustainability. The longer-term goal is to provide participants of SCI 6 [Scholarly Communication Institute 6] with a greater understanding of existing centers to inform their discussions about regional and national centers. The year-long study took place in two phases: an initial planning phase to develop selection criteria, identify candidates, and plan methodology, and an implementation phase to conduct the survey and analysis of the centers. . . .

The findings of this survey suggest that new models are needed for large-scale cyberinfrastructure projects, for cross-disciplinary research that cuts a wide swathe across the humanities, and for integrating the huge amounts of digital production already available. Current DHCs will continue to have an important role to play, but that role needs to be clarified in the context of the broader models that emerge.

Digital Research Tools (DiRT) Wiki Established

A team of librarians has established the Digital Research Tools (DiRT) Wiki.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

DiRT lists dozens of useful tools for discovering, organizing, analyzing, visualizing, sharing and disseminating information, such as tools for compiling bibliographies, taking notes, analyzing texts, and visualizing data. We also offer software reviews that not only describe the tool’s features, strengths, and weaknesses, but also provide usage tips, links to training resources, and suggestions for how it might be implemented by researchers. So that DiRT is accessible to non-techies and techies alike, we try to avoid jargon and categorize tools by their functions. Although the acronym DiRT might suggest that it’s a gossip site for academic software, dishing on bugs and dirty secrets about the software development process, we prefer a gardening metaphor, as we hope to help cultivate research projects by providing clear, concise information about tools that can help researchers do their more work more effectively or creatively.

DiRT is brand new, so we’re still in the process of creating content and figuring how best to present it; consider it to be in alpha release and expect to see it evolve. (We plan to announce DiRT more broadly in a few months, but we’re giving sneak previews right now in the hope that comments from members of the digital humanities community can help us to improve it.) Currently the DiRT editorial team includes me, my ever-innovative and enthusiastic colleague Debra Kolah, and three whip-smart librarians from Sam Houston State University with expertise in Web 2.0 technologies (as well as English, history, business, and ranching!): Tyler Manolovitz, Erin Dorris Cassidy, and Abe Korah. We’ve committed to provide at least 5 new tool reviews per month, but we can do even more if more people join us (hint, hint). We invite folks to recommend research tools or software categories, write reviews, sign on to be co-editors, and/or offer feedback on the wiki.

National Endowment for the Humanities High Performance Computing Initiative Launched

The National Endowment for the Humanities' Office of Digital Humanities has announced the Humanities High Performance Computing Initiative.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

As you may have seen in today's Chronicle of Higher Education, the NEH has just announced our new Humanities High Performance Computing initiative—HHPC for short. Our goal is to start a conversation about how high performance computers—supercomputers—can be used for humanities research. We are working with colleagues at the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation to provide you with information on how high performance/grid computing and data storage might be used for work in the humanities. We are also announcing a new grant competition with DOE to award time and training on their machines. I urge you to check out our HHPC Resources page for more information.

Here's an excerpt from the Humanities High Performance Computing Resource page:

So what do we mean by "HHPC?" Humanities High-Performance Computing (HHPC) refers to the use of high-performance machines for humanities and social science projects. Currently, only a small number of humanities scholars are taking advantage of high-performance computing. But just as the sciences have, over time, begun to tap the enormous potential of HPC, the humanities are beginning to as well. Humanities scholars often deal with large sets of unstructured data. This might take the form of historical newspapers, books, election data, archaeological fragments, audio or video contents, or a host of others. HHPC offers the humanist opportunities to sort through, mine, and better understand and visualize this data.

Recipients of the JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grants Announced

The new Office of Digital Humanities of the National Endowment for the Humanities announced the first five recipients of the of the JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grants yesterday.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The announcement was made by NEH Chairman Bruce Cole during an event at the Folger Shakespeare Library. . . . A total of five projects received over $600,000 in funding. . . .

Inaugurated last year as part of the Endowment’s Digital Humanities Initiative, the JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grant program is supported by both the NEH and the Higher Education Funding Council for England acting through the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). These grants provide combined funding of up to $240,000 for one year of development in the following areas: new digitization projects and pilot projects, the addition of important materials to existing digitization projects, or the development of infrastructure (either technical "middleware," tools, or knowledge-sharing) to support U.S.-England digitization work. Each project is sponsored by both an American and an English institution, whose activities will be funded by NEH and JISC respectively.

The formation of the Endowment’s Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) also was announced during the event. In 2006, the NEH launched the Digital Humanities Initiative, a program encouraging and supporting projects that utilize or study the impact of digital technology on research, education, preservation, and public programming in the humanities. With the creation of ODH, the initiative is being made permanent as an office within the NEH. ODH will continue the work of the initiative and will help to coordinate the Endowment’s efforts in the area of digital scholarship.

A complete list of the projects announced can be found below:

The Folger Shakespeare Library and the University of Oxford, with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland and the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham, plan to create the Shakespeare Quartos Archive, a freely-accessible, high-resolution digital collection of the seventy-five quarto editions of William Shakespeare's plays. The project will also develop an interactive interface and toolset for the detailed study of the quartos, with full-functionality applied to all thirty-two copies of one play, Hamlet, held at participating institutions, including the British Library, the University of Edinburgh Library, the Huntington Library, and the National Library of Scotland. ($119,598)

The Internet Archive in the United States and the Oxford Internet Institute and Hanzo in the United Kingdom plan to develop procedures and tools to improve the effectiveness of humanities research on the Web. This research and development effort promises to yield superior methods for indexing and analyzing the textual parts of larger digital collections, more focused browsing ("crawling") of the Web, and unified access to data resources, i.e., the ability to search for information across multiple digital databases. ($106,395)

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University and the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King's College, London, plan to launch Concordia, a set of tools and procedures to enable seamless textual searches and the dynamic mapping of a variety of humanities collections. The pilot project would concentrate on large holdings of papyrological and epigraphic texts from North Africa during the Greek and Roman periods. ($129,828)

A team of scholars from the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in Virginia, the University of Southampton's Nevis Heritage Project, and the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool is working together on the St. Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative. Together, they plan to develop an integrated digital archive of diverse archaeological and historical data related to the experiences of slaves on sugar plantations in the Caribbean by digitizing and delivering on the Web information from two 18th-century plantations. ($132,832)

The Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University and the Internet Centre at Imperial College London plan to develop Philogrid, a Web resource for scholars of Classical Antiquity. The project will generate a digital collection of fragmentary writings of Greek historians that is designed to interact with multiple source editions; a repository of philological data about the Greco-Roman world; and set of procedures that draws on the recipient’s experience in processing textual materials from Perseus but that can also be extended to other digital collections. ($119,992)

Supporting Digital Scholarly Editions: A Report on the Conference of January 14, 2008

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities have published Supporting Digital Scholarly Editions: A Report on the Conference of January 14, 2008, which was written by Ithaka staff.

Here'a an excerpt from the "Introduction":

On January 14, 2008, a group of editors, representatives from university presses, and other stakeholders met to discuss the future of scholarly editions and how they might best be supported in the digital age. . . . .

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • To identify services and tools that are critical for supporting digital documentary editions;
  • To assess the need for a service provider to facilitate the production of these editions; and
  • To articulate the key uncertainties involved in creating such a service provider, so that those can be further investigated.

This report documents the workshop, with the goal of providing a reference not only for participants, but also for others in the community who are concerned with the future of scholarly editions. It is divided into three sections that follow the course of the day itself:

  1. Developing a vision for the next generation scholarly edition
  2. How do we get there? Identifying needs and gaps
  3. Creating a service provider for scholarly editions

Digital Humanities Grant: Mellon Foundation Funds Bamboo Planning Project

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has funded the Bamboo Planning Project, a digital humanities project which is headed by Janet Broughton, Dean of Arts and Humanities, University of California, Berkeley and Gregory A. Jackson, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, University of Chicago.

Here's an excerpt from the project home page:

Bamboo is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary, and inter-organizational effort that brings together researchers in arts and humanities, computer scientists, information scientists, librarians, and campus information technologists to tackle the question:

How can we advance arts and humanities research through the development of shared technology services? . . . .

Bamboo is meant to include liberal arts colleges, community colleges, research universities, national consortia, disciplinary societies, and other organizations internationally who are concerned with advancing the humanities through the development of shared digital technologies. If we move toward a shared services model, any faculty member, scholar, or researcher can use and reuse content, resources, and applications no matter where they reside, what their particular field of interest is, or what support may be available to them. Our goal is to better enable and foster academic innovation through sharing and collaboration.

Read more about it at "Project Bamboo Launches" and the project proposal.

Vertov Plug-in Brings Digital Audio/Video Annotation to Zotero

Concordia University’s Digital History Lab has released Vertov, an open-source Zotero plug-in that allows users to create clips from digital audio or video files, annotate them, and include the annotations in Zotero.

Read more about it at "Vertov: A Media Annotating Plugin for Zotero" and "Vertov Brings Video Annotation to Zotero."

NEH Awards $474,474 in Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $474,474 to Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants recipients.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Note: The We the People program encourages and strengthens the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. Grants bearing this designation have been recognized for advancing the goals of this program.

ALASKA

Fairbanks

University of Alaska, Fairbanks $50,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Siri Tuttle
We the People Project Title: Minto Songs Project Description: The collection, digitization, organization, and archival storage, as well as dissemination among the Minto Athabascan community, of recorded performances of Alaskan Athabascan songs.

ARIZONA

Tucson

University of Arizona $25,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Douglas Gann
Project Title: Virtual Vault
Project Description: Electronic access to the world's largest collection of whole pottery vessels from the American Southwest through digital renderings of Arizona State University's Pottery Vault and relevant prehistoric archaeological sites as well as interviews with anthropologists, conservators, and Native American potters.

ILLINOIS

Lake Forest

Lake Forest College $25,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Davis Schneiderman
We the People Project Title: Virtual Burnham Initiative
Project Description: The development of the Virtual Burnham Initiative (VBI), a multimedia project that would examine the history and legacy of Daniel H. Burnham's and Edward H. Bennett's Plan of Chicago (1909).

MARYLAND

College Park

University of Maryland, College Park $11,708
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Matthew Kirschenbaum
Project Title: Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use
Project Description: A series of planning meetings and site visits aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving born-digital documents produced by contemporary authors.

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston

University of Massachusetts, Boston $24,748
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Joanne Riley
We the People Project Title: Online Social Networking for the Humanities: the Massachusetts Studies Network Prototype
Project Description: The development and evaluation of a social networking platform for the members of the statewide Massachusetts Studies Project.

Norton

Wheaton College $41,950
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Mark LeBlanc
Project Title: Pattern Recognition through Computational Stylistics: Old English and Beyond
Project Description: Development of a prototypical suite of computational tools and statistical analyses to explore the corpus of Old English literature using the genomic approach of tracing information-rich patterns of letters as well as that of literary analysis and interpretation.

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi State

Mississippi State University $50,000
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Paul Jacobs
Project Title: Distributed Archives Transaction System
Project Description: Development of open source web tools for accessing online digitized collections in the humanities via a system that communicates with multiple database types while protecting the integrity of the original data sets.

NEW YORK

Brooklyn

Unaffiliated Independent Scholar $23,750
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Daniel Visel
Project Title: Sophie Search Gateway
Project Description: The development of an interoperable portal within the Web authoring program, "Sophie," for locating and incorporating multi-media sources from the Internet Archive.

Hempstead

Hofstra University $23,591
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: John Bryant
We the People Project Title: Melville, Revision, and Collaborative Editing: Toward a Critical Archive
Project Description: The development of the TextLab scholarly editing tool to allow for analysis of texts that exist in multiple versions or editions, beginning with the Melville Electronic Library.

New York City

New York University $49,657
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Brian Hoffman
Project Title: MediaCommons: Social Networking Tools for Digital Scholarly Communication
Project Description: Development of a set of networking software tools to support a "peer-to-peer" review structure for MediaCommons, a scholarly publishing network in the digital humanities.

RHODE ISLAND

Providence

Brown University $49,992
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Julia Flanders
Project Title: Encoding Names for Contextual Exploration in Digital Thematic Research Collections
Project Description: The advancement of humanities text encoding and research by refining and expanding the automated representation of personal names and their contexts.

TEXAS

Austin

University of Texas, Austin $49,251
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Samuel Baker
Project Title: The eCommentary Machine Project
Project Description: Development of a web-based collaborative commentary and annotation tool.

VIRGINIA

Charlottesville

University of Virginia $49,827
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Project Director: Scot French
We the People Project Title: Jefferson's Travels: A Digital Journey Using the HistoryBrowser
Project Description: Development of an interactive web-based tool to integrate primary documents, dynamic maps, and related information in the study of history, with the prototype to be focused on Thomas Jefferson's trip to England in 1786.

Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use Grant Awarded

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, the Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and the Harry Ransom Center have been awarded a NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant for studying "Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use."

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The project, directed by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, will involve a series of site visits and planning meetings among personnel working with the born-digital components of three significant collections of literary material: the Salman Rushdie Papers at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (which includes Rushdie’s laptops), the Michael Joyce Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Deena Larsen Collection at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. The meetings and site visits will facilitate the preparation of a larger collaborative grant proposal among the three institutions aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving and curating the born-digital documents and records of contemporary literary authorship.

According to Kirschenbaum, "Today nearly all literature is born-digital in the sense that before it is ever printed as a book the text is composed with a word processor, saved on a hard drive or other electronic storage media, and accessed as part of a computer operating system. This new technological fact about writing means that an author working today will not and cannot be studied in the future in the same way as writers of the past, since the basic material evidence of their creative activity—manuscripts and drafts, working notes, correspondence, journals—is, like all textual production, increasingly migrating to the electronic realm. We look forward to the process of examining how to best meet these challenges, balancing the needs of both scholarship and archives in the new textual environment."

Stephen Enniss, Director of the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory, notes "The born-digital archive not only contains enormous data, it also contains enormous potential for literary scholars to pose new questions of the archive not even contemplated in the past." Thomas F. Staley, Director of the Ransom Center, comments "The Ransom Center is very pleased to be part of this vitally important project to explore how we can best preserve and make accessible the map of an author’s creative process in the digital age. This collaborative effort between the Ransom Center, MITH, and Emory will help lead the way in the preservation of born-digital materials and ensure that these materials are available to students and scholars for generations to come." Neil Fraistat, Director of MITH, adds "This project will deepen MITH’s focus on the preservation and analysis of born digital literary artifacts, which is already well established in its work with the Electronic Literature Organization and on an NDIIPP funded project on the preservation of virtual worlds."

SEASR (Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research)

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded SEASR (Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research) project is building digital humanities cyberinfrastructure.

Here's an excerpt about the project from its home page:

What can SEASR do for scholars?

  • help scholars to access existing large data stores more readily
  • provide scholars with enhanced data synthesis and query analysis: from focused data retrieval and data integration, to intelligent human-computer interactions for knowledge access, to semantic data enrichment, to entity and relationship discovery, to knowledge discovery and hypothesis generation
  • empower collaboration among scholars by enhancing and innovating virtual research environments

What kind of innovations does SEASR provide for the humanities?

  • a complete, fully integrated, state-of-the-art software environment for managing structured and unstructured data and analyzing digital libraries, repositories and archives, as well as educational platforms
  • an open source, end-to-end software system that enables researchers to develop, evolve, and maintain data interoperability, evaluation, analysis, and visualization

Read more about it at "Placing SEASR within the Digital Library Movement."

Indiana University Establishes the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities

Indiana University at Bloomington has establishes an Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH) will enable and expand digitally based arts and humanities projects at IU by bringing together scholars, artists, librarians and IT experts. The institute draws on established strengths at the IU Bloomington campus in combining arts and humanities disciplines and information technology, such as the Variations digital music library, the EVIA digital video archive of ethnographic music and dance, 3-D virtual reality work by IU artists and the IU Digital Library Program. . . .

IDAH will make use of the extensive cyberinfrastructure on the Bloomington campus, including massive data storage capacity and advanced visualization systems. The institute will be housed in the new Research Commons, an initiative being implemented by the IU Bloomington Libraries that offers a suite of services in support of faculty research and creative activity. The Research Commons space will be located on three floors in the East Tower of the Wells Library.

IDAH unites faculty from eight IU Bloomington schools with the disciplinary and technical expertise of staff from the Wells Library and University Information Technology Services. UITS will provide information storage and access, hardware, software support and the delivery of various technologies.

IDAH joins the ranks of similar national and international institutes at institutions such as the University of Glasgow, University of Virginia and the University of California Los Angeles. The institute is administered through IU's Office of the Vice Provost for Research and led by Ruth Stone, associate vice provost for arts research and Laura Boulton, professor of ethnomusicology. . . .

Two-year fellowships will be offered for faculty to develop digital projects. IDAH fellows will work in an interdisciplinary environment to enhance their understanding of digital tools, prepare prototypes for major projects, and develop and submit grant proposals for external funding. . . .

During their fellowships, faculty will participate in an ongoing workshop with a team of specialists and other faculty fellows. Following the fellowship period, fellows will be invited to work with the institute, which will assist in hiring and supervising staff for the faculty research projects. IDAH will also serve as a center for collaboration among faculty already pursuing existing projects in expressive culture.

Scholarship in the Age of Abundance: Enhancing Historical Research with Text-Mining and Analysis Tools Project

The Center for History and New Media's Scholarship in the Age of Abundance: Enhancing Historical Research with Text-Mining and Analysis Tools project has been awarded a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Here's an excerpt from "Enhancing Historical Research with Text-Mining and Analysis Tools":

We will first conduct a survey of historians to examine closely their use of digital resources and prospect for particularly helpful uses of digital technology. We will then explore three main areas where text mining might help in the research process: locating documents of interest in the sea of texts online; extracting and synthesizing information from these texts; and analyzing large-scale patterns across these texts. A focus group of historians will be used to assess the efficacy of different methods of text mining and analysis in real-world research situations in order to offer recommendations, and even some tools, for the most promising approaches.

Humanities Cyberinfrastructure: The TextGrid Project

The Humanities-oriented TextGrid Project is part of the larger German D-Grid initiative.

Here's an excerpt from the About TextGrid page:

TextGrid aims to create a community grid for the collaborative editing, annotation, analysis and publication of specialist texts. It thus forms a cornerstone in the emerging e-Humanities. . . .

Despite modern information technology and a clear thrust towards collaboration, text scientists still mostly work in local systems and project-oriented applications. Current initiatives lack integration with already existing text corpora, and they remain unconnected to resources such as dictionaries, lexica, secondary literature and tools. . . .

Integrated tools that satisfy the specific requirements of text sciences could transform the way scholars process, analyse, annotate, edit and publish text data. Working towards this vision, TextGrid aims at building a virtual workbench based on e-Science methods.

The installation of a grid-enabled architecture is obvious for two reasons. On the one hand, past and current initiatives for digitising and accessioning texts already accrued a considerable data volume, which exceeds multiple terabytes. Grids are capable of handling these data volumes. Also the dispersal of the community as well as the scattering of resources and tools call for establishing a Community Grid. This establishes a platform for connecting the experts and integrating the initiatives worldwide. The TextGrid community is equipped with a set of powerful software tools based on existing solutions and embracing the grid paradigm.

Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership Grant Applications Due in March

Applications for Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership grant program are due on March 18, 2008.

Here's an excerpt from the guidelines:

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) invite proposals for innovative, collaborative humanities projects using the latest digital technologies for the benefit of the American public, humanities scholarship, and the nation's cultural institutions. These grants require substantive collaborations among libraries, museums, archives, universities, and other cultural organizations. Grants support projects that explore new ways to share, examine, and interpret humanities collections in a digital environment; that develop new uses and audiences for existing digital resources; or that result in extensible and transferable methodologies or tools.

Eligible projects might:

  • advance the role of cultural repositories in online teaching, learning, and research for public audiences, teachers, students, and scholars;
  • develop collaborative approaches involving the scholarly community and cultural repositories for the creation, preservation, use, and presentation of reusable digital collections and products;
  • use innovative approaches in digital technology to provide new perspectives on humanities resources or offer new interpretive contexts for scholars, students, and public audiences; or
  • examine and coordinate community-based approaches and standards for making resources available online and allowing them to be widely shared.

NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants Guidelines

The National Endowment for the Humanities has issued guidelines for its 2008 digital humanities start-up grants.

Here's an excerpt:

Two levels of awards will be made in this program. Level I awards are small grants designed to fund brainstorming sessions, workshops, early alpha-level prototypes, and initial planning. Level II awards are larger grants that can be used for more fully-formed projects that are ready to start the first stage of implementation or the creation of working prototypes. Applicants must state in their narrative which funding level they seek. The Endowment will be setting aside funds for each of the two levels and more awards will be made in the Level I category. Applicants should carefully choose the funding level appropriate to the needs of the proposed project. See the section on Awards for more details.

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants support full-time or part-time activities for periods up to eighteen months. Support is available for various combinations of scholars, consultants, and research assistants; project-related travel; and technical support and services. Up to 20% of the total grant may also be used for the acquisition of computing hardware and software. All grantees are expected to communicate the results of their work to appropriate scholarly and public audiences. In order to facilitate dissemination and the maximum usage of the projects that are ultimately developed through the Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants, applicants are strongly encouraged to base their projects on open source and fully accessible software.

Spiro Reviews Last Year's Key Digital Humanities Developments

In a series of three interesting posts, Lisa Spiro, Director of the Digital Media Center and the Educational Technology Research and Assessment Cooperative at Rice University's Fondren Library, has reviewed 2007's major digital humanities developments: "Digital Humanities in 2007 [Part 1 of 3]," "Digital Humanities in 2007 [Part 2 of 3]," and "Digital Humanities in 2007 [Part 3 of 3]."

New Digital Scholarship in the Humanities Weblog

Lisa Spiro, Director of the Digital Media Center and the Educational Technology Research and Assessment Cooperative at Rice University's Fondren Library, has established the Digital Scholarship in the Humanities weblog.

Here's a selection of recent posts:

Perseus Digital Library Code and Content Now Freely Available

The Perseus Digital Library Project has released both the source code for Perseus 4.0 and a significant amount of the project's digital content. The Perseus Java Hopper code is open source; the content is under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States license.

Here's a description of the Perseus Digital Library from the About page:

Since planning began in 1985, the Perseus Digital Library Project has explored what happens when libraries move online. . . .

Our flagship collection, under development since 1987, covers the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world. We are applying what we have learned from Classics to other subjects within the humanities and beyond. We have studied many problems over the past two decades, but our current research centers on personalization: organizing what you see to meet your needs.

We collect texts, images, datasets and other primary materials. We assemble and carefully structure encyclopedias, maps, grammars, dictionaries and other reference works. At present, 1.1 million manually created and 30 million automatically generated links connect the 100 million words and 75,000 images in the core Perseus collections. 850,000 reference articles provide background on 450,000 people, places, organizations, dictionary definitions, grammatical functions and other topics.

The Lowdown on the MITH/Rice University Our Americas Archive Project

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities has posted a description of its IMLS-funded Our Americas Archive Project.

Here's an excerpt:

Rice University, in partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland has received a three-year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the amount of $979,578 for the Our Americas Archive Project (OAAP), with an additional $980,613 provided in cost share by the institutions. The project will develop an innovative approach to helping users search, browse, analyze, and share content from distributed online collections. OAAP will incorporate recent Web 2.0 technologies to help users discover and use relevant source materials in languages other than English and will improve users’ ability to find relevant materials using domain-specific vocabulary searches. Two online collections of materials in English and Spanish, The Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA), and a new digital archive of materials to be developed at Rice, will provide an initial corpus for testing the tools. Rice principle investigators, Geneva Henry (Executive Director, Digital Library Initiative) and Caroline Levander (HRC Director), along with MITH co-PI Neil Fraistat are undertaking this innovative digital humanities project with a view to supporting scholarly inquiry into the Americas from a hemispheric perspective. As Geneva Henry says, “our goal is to develop new ways of doing research as well as new objects of study—to create a new, interactive community of scholarly inquiry.”

Two significant online collections of materials in English and Spanish supporting the interdisciplinary field of hemispheric American Studies—Maryland’s Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA) [http://www.mith2.umd.edu/eada/] and a new digital archive of multilingual materials being developed at Rice [http://rudr.rice.edu/handle/1911/9219]—provide an initial corpus for developing and testing these new digital tools. The two multilingual archives illustrate the complex politics and histories that characterize the American hemisphere, but they also provide unique opportunities to further digital research in the humanities. Geographic visualization as well as new social tagging and tag cloud cluster models are just some of the new interface techniques that the Our Americas Archive Partnership will develop with the goal of creating innovative research pathways. As Caroline Levander comments, “we see this as a first step in furthering scholarly dialogue and research across borders by making hemispheric material available open access worldwide. Our goal is to further develop innovative research tools that will help generate a collaborative, transnational research community.” Ralph Bauer, MITH Fellow, general editor of the Early Americas Digital Archive, and collaborator on the project adds, “the added digital materials and tools to navigate seamlessly through these two collections is enabling new forms of scholarship. Because the OAAP makes available materials that are dispersed in different geographic locations, it facilitates collaboration and intellectual exchange among an international audience. The digital medium offers rich opportunities for multicultural exchanges and is therefore uniquely suited for a hemispheric approach to history.”

Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Repository Launched

The University College Dublin has launched the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Repository.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

VRLA is a digital archive containing a number of digitised collections from UCD’s holdings, of use and interest to Irish humanities researchers. The IVRLA has developed a sophisticated interface enabling users to browse, search, tag and cite digital objects and view or download them in a variety of file formats. This interface sits on top of an open source repository architecture that functions as the IVRLA’s base content store. An elaborate collection model has been developed ensuring all content is viewed within context and structure. This model is particularly suited for organic primary source collections and enables hierarchy and sub-division in how objects are arranged and held within collections.

Rome Reborn 1.0

A cross-institutional team has built a a simulation of Rome as it was in 320 A.D. called Rome Reborn 1.0.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Rome’s Mayor Walter Veltroni will officiate at the first public viewing of "Rome Reborn 1.0," a 10-year project based at the University of Virginia and begun at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to use advanced technology to digitally rebuild ancient Rome. The event will take place at 2 p.m. in the Palazzo Senatorio on the Campidoglio. An international team of archaeologists, architects and computer specialists from Italy, the United States, Britain and Germany employed the same high-tech tools used for simulating contemporary cities such as laser scanners and virtual reality to build the biggest, most complete simulation of an historic city ever created. "Rome Reborn 1.0" shows almost the entire city within the 13-mile-long Aurelian Walls as it appeared in A.D. 320. At that time Rome was the multicultural capital of the western world and had reached the peak of its development with an estimated population of one million.

"Rome Reborn 1.0" is a true 3D model that runs in real time. Users can navigate through the model with complete freedom, moving up, down, left and right at will. They can enter important public buildings such as the Roman Senate House, the Colosseum, or the Temple of Venus and Rome, the ancient city’s largest place of worship.

As new discoveries are made, "Rome Reborn 1.0" can be easily updated to reflect the latest knowledge about the ancient city. In future releases, the "Rome Reborn" project will include other phases in the evolution of the city from the late Bronze Age in the 10th century B.C. to the Gothic Wars in the 6th century A.D. Video clips and still images of "Rome Reborn 1.0" can be viewed at www.romereborn.virginia.edu. . . .

The "Rome Reborn" project was begun at UCLA in 1996 by professors Favro and Frischer. They collaborated with UCLA students from classics, architecture and urban design who fashioned the digital models with continuous advice from expert archaeologists. As the project evolved, it became collaborative at an international scale. In 2004, the project moved its administrative home to the University of Virginia, while work in progress continued at UCLA. In the same year, a cooperative research agreement was signed with the Politecnico di Milano. . . .

Many individuals and institutions contributed to "Rome Reborn" including the Politecnico di Milano (http://www.polimi.it), UCLA (http://www.etc.ucla.edu/), and the University of Virginia (www.iath.virginia.edu). The advisors of the project included scholars from the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Museum of Roman Civilization (Rome), Bath University, Bryn Mawr College, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, the German Archaeological Institute, Ohio University, UCLA, the University of Florence, the University of Lecce, the University of Rome ("La Sapienza"), the University of Virginia and the Vatican Museums.