Digital Humanities


King's College London, 3rd - 6th July 2010

[Image: KCL Photo Collage]
[Image: London Photo Collage (Somerset House; Globe Theatre; Millennium Bridge; Tate Modern)]

Designing a Digital Humanities Lab

See Abstract in PDF, XML, or in the Programme

Veomett, Angela
University of California, Berkeley

Since 2008, the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley has been developing an online digital media lab to facilitate interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects in the humanities. The principle motivation for the project was to lead researchers in the humanities—students, faculty and the scholarly community-at-large—toward more creative methods of conducting research, and new ways of conceptualizing intellectual relationships through the use of Web 2.0 technologies. While many humanists have begun to use digital resources in their research, there is a segment of the community who, for various reasons, are not using even the most basic resources to their advantage. By providing these resources in a format familiar to academics, the Townsend Humanities Lab aims to be the place where humanities scholars can explore and experiment with digital resources.

In our workshop, we will address the challenges of developing and implementing such a project, including the institutional challenges that face small departments wishing to undertake a large project requiring ongoing support and the individual challenge of addressing the needs of traditional scholars in the humanities. For institutions interested in implementing a similar project, we will provide information about how we have supported and sustained this project, with open-source solutions possessing a key role in this process. For those interested in the broader issues of opening digital tools to a wider academic base, we will also discuss the importance of adapting functionality, interface design, and language to special constituencies.

In addition to these broader discussions, we will demonstrate our current implementation of the Townsend Humanities Lab, discussing the specific strategies used to attract and support humanities scholars. We will then guide workshop attendees through creating a Lab Project, demonstrate all of the resources available to project managers, and explain the social networking opportunities available to project members. We will also discuss future goals for the Lab, including integrating WorldCat and Zotero functionalities for organizing Project resources. Finally, as the Lab is in Beta phase, we wish to engage participants in a design critique and a general discussion about the kinds of digital tools that are most helpful for interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.

Two hour workshop: Morning, 6 July

© 2010 Centre for Computing in the Humanities

Last Updated: 30-06-2010