Successful transatlantic digitisation projects announced
It was announced today that five digitisation projects are to be awarded funding of around £600,000 ($1,150,000) under a transatlantic collaboration between JISC and the US’s National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
A call for proposals issued last November invited scholars in England and the USA to collaborate on digitisation, the aim of the £600,000 ($1,150,000) programme being to unite scholarly collections split between the two countries, explore innovative approaches to digitisation and match expertise in one country with collections to be digitised in the other.
JISC involvement in this transatlantic scheme is part of the wider International Partnership of Research Excellence (IPRE), an initiative instigated by the late Professor Sir Gareth Roberts of the University of Oxford, the second strand of which involves the funding of digitisation initiatives.
NEH Chairman Bruce Cole said: ‘The JISC/NEH grant program encourages international collaboration on humanities projects of value to scholars worldwide. Award recipients in the U.S. and U.K. are working together to create digital archives, centralize holdings, and develop tools to improve humanities research online. These projects embody the best of the digital humanities ‘The JISC/NEH grant program encourages international collaboration on humanities projects of value to scholars worldwide.’ and advance the mission of the Endowment.’
Dr Malcolm Read, JISC Executive Secretary welcomed the announcement, saying: ‘These projects demonstrate the great potential of collaboration between our two countries in the field of digitisation. They bring together skills, expertise and important scholarly content in ways that we hope and trust will deliver major benefits to scholars on both sides of the Atlantic. We are delighted to be working with the NEH on this digitisation initiative and we look forward to seeing the fruits of these projects in due course.’
The funded projects are:
• The St Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative (Southampton University / Thomas Jefferson Foundation)
The St. Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative will develop a digital archive of diverse archaeological and historical data related to the experiences of the enslaved men and women who laboured on 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century sugar plantations in the Caribbean. An international team of scholars will digitize and deliver the first collection of its kind from two 18th-century plantations and their slave villages, one located on Nevis and the other on St. Kitts.
• The World Wide Web of Humanities (Oxford Internet Institute / Internet Archive)
This project will create and assemble a suite of open source tools for data collection and curation, to support new methodologies for Internet research built around large collections of web data, using automated tools to extract, index, and analyze the data. The collection will be designed to help researchers and policy makers gain an understanding both of the state of the art of e-Humanities and of historical trends and developments in the field
• Shakespeare Quartos Archive (Oxford University / Folger Shakespeare Library)
The University of Oxford and the Folger Shakespeare Library will be leading a range of institutions which are reuniting all 75 pre-1641 quarto editions of Shakespeare’s plays into a single online collection with contributions from the world’s leading repositories in the UK and USA. The project will also develop an interface and tools to enable close examination and comparison of these internationally significant treasures, which will be freely available to scholars, teachers, students and actors across the globe.
• PhiloGrid (Imperial College / Tufts University)
Based initially upon texts and services from the Perseus Digital Library available under Creative Commons and open source license, Philogrid is continuing the development of a virtual research environment for Greco-Roman antiquity, allowing users to uncover connections between fragments of classical texts that previously would have taken extensive scholarly investigation
• Concordia (King’s College London / New York University)
This project will bring together the content of three existing, highly respected collections (including 50,000 papyrological and 3,000 epigraphic texts) and newly digitized content (an additional 950 epigraphic texts plus complete topographic and toponymic records for over 3,000 historical geographic features) to create an research resource for Greek and Roman Libya and Egypt, and beyond.