[Dhcenterstartup] Why a DH Center (Demmy Verbeke)

Demmy Verbeke Demmy.Verbeke at arts.kuleuven.be
Tue May 7 14:59:41 CEST 2013


L.S.,

At KU Leuven, we are also debating how we can best support and nourish DH projects and other digital scholarship. An extra element is the pending application to organize an (English-taught) Advanced Master in Digital Humanities. 
I, for one, think that a Center would be a crucial step to ensure success, especially on the basis of the arguments put forward by John Unsworth ("Digital Humanities Centers as Cyberinfrastructure,"@ http://people.lis.illinois.edu/~unsworth/dhcs.html):

1.	Centers can collect and sustain staff expertise that no individual project could afford.
2.	Centers can create an awareness of external funding opportunities, an understanding of how to pursue those opportunities best, and provide support when pursuing them => in other words: centers can help to increase the success rate of grant applications and can be an important factor in setting up collaborations with private companies.
3.	Centers can provide long-term stability for individual research projects, thus helping to assure that the work funded in a particular project won't be orphaned institutionally - which is good for the individual projects as such, and is also a reassurance for funding agencies and external partners.
4.	Centers can function as an institution that mentors humanities faculty and graduate students in the art of collaboration and can provide graduate students with opportunities to work as part of a collective intellectual enterprise, thus offering them an experience which is highly valued on the job market. 
5.	Centers can be a point of connection between humanities faculty and faculty in other disciplines at the same university, and provide a context for collaboration with other institutions.

The case is still open whether such a center needs a physical location (and, if so, where: in the library? in the IT department?) and whether it needs to be organized as a service unit, as a research unit, or as a combination of both. 
Hopefully, I'll be able to report the outcome of our current discussions by the fall. In the mean time, our plans (and my arguments for the foundation of an actual center) are explained in more detail at http://www.arts.kuleuven.be/digitalhumanities/presentations_DigHum13 (see Gradmann & Verbeke for the library side and De Schreye for the MA in DH).

All best,

Dr Demmy Verbeke
Faculteitsbibliothecaris Letteren, KU Leuven
Head Librarian, Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven
http://kuleuven.academia.edu/DemmyVerbeke





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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Why a DH Center? (Eric Lease Morgan)
   2. Re: Why a DH Center? (igalina)
   3. Re: Why a DH Center? (Gurpreet Singh)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Mon, 6 May 2013 10:41:20 -0400
From: Eric Lease Morgan <emorgan at nd.edu>
To: "dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org"
	<dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org>
Subject: Re: [Dhcenterstartup] Why a DH Center?
Message-ID: <305AE267-49F9-408F-ABF4-C8BE768C13F0 at nd.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"


On May 3, 2013, at 1:21 PM, Lynne Siemens <siemensl at uvic.ca> wrote:

> Hi all, interesting tweet today suggesting that DH might becoming too center-centric and potentially overlooking the work done by individual scholars operating outside a center. This got me thinking about the reasons why a center might be productive and add to the work that individual scholars might already be doing at an institution. So for you folks, why are you and your institutions thinking about a center?  What are the perceived benefits of bringing people together in this way?


Why a center? What are the benefits? Good questions!

We here at Notre Dame are in the same boat. We are in the process of creating a center called the Center for Digital Scholarship. Hammers have not begun to swing, yet, but the whole thing -- a space approximately 5,000 square feet in size -- is expected to be finished by the Fall Semester. (The University of very good at building things.)

We are building a center because we realize libraries are not about books but rather the things books contain. Libraries are about data, information, knowledge, and to some extent wisdom. Libraries are about collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating data, information, and knowledge for the benefit and improvement of their constituents including but not limited to: students, instructors, researchers, the general public, etc. Moreover, with the abundance of data, information, and knowledge the processes of traditional librarianship (collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating) are not quite enough. Those processes are being facilitated by many other groups, entities, and institutions. There is a much larger set of "information competitors". Consequently libraries -- in order to remain relevant -- need to go beyond these processes. In our case "going beyond" means providing additional services not provided by others.

Again, why? Because the information landscape has evolved. What are the benefits? Our center will provide specific assistance and services against our specific clientele. Google is generic. Bookstores are profit-driven. A lot of online content is full of distracting ads. We will provide tailored services. Costs will be an issue, but the "bottom line" is not all powerful. We will provide services rich in real content conducive to learning, teaching, and scholarship.

While things are still up in the air, our center will initially provide services against a number things, listed in no priority order:

  * digital humanities - "Help me make a website
    about my digitized data, and help me do some text mining."

  * data management - "Help me articulate a data
    management plan, and help me make sense of my content."

  * geographic information systems - "I've got this census
    data. Help me plot it on a map."

  * scholarly communication - "Tell me about copyright, open
    access publishing, and maintain my electronic journal."

The space will have a classroom, a formal meeting space, an informal meeting space, staff offices, and a bunch of computers equipped with software to assist in the things outlined above.

Again, why? Because content is increasingly digital. Benefits? We will be providing tailored services to specific audiences. But at the same time we realize few individuals possess all the talent necessary to thorough digital scholarship. Humanists need some of what the scientists have. Scientists need some of what the information technologists have. Information technologists need some of what the humanists have. Few of us can go it alone. Centers will facilitate this sort of collaboration. We will be bringing together multiple disciplines and different types of people from across the campus to a central -- common, neutral -- space where collaboration will be encouraged and communication fostered. All of this will assist the University in achieving its goals of excellent learning, teaching, and scholarship.

How's that for a Monday morning?

--
Eric Lease Morgan, Digital Initiatives Librarian Hesburgh Libraries University of Notre Dame

574/631-8604






------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Mon, 6 May 2013 17:07:15 +0000
From: igalina <igalina at unam.mx>
To: Eric Lease Morgan <emorgan at nd.edu>,
	"dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org"
	<dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org>
Subject: Re: [Dhcenterstartup] Why a DH Center?
Message-ID:
	<EE175C2CA3B7F042BE92842E5FFF8D623CBBED3A at BY2PRD0612MB639.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
	
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Here at the Universidad Nacional Aut?noma de M?xico (UNAM) the Centro de Colecciones Digitales Universitarias CCUD) - Centre for University Digital Collections (www.ccud.unam.mx) was recently created. The aim is to create a interdisciplinary data platform to manage, provide access and disseminate the university's digital data collections.  They will also help in designing digital tools for the digital collections. The UNAM for administration purposes is divided into the departments that belong to the Sciences and the ones that belong to the Humanities. So far almost all the digital collections belong to the Sciences but there is interest in what Digital Humanities can contribute to this centre.  So it is not a DH centre as such, but it can provide Humanities researchers with the tools and resources necessary. 
Best wishes,
Isabel 

-------
Dra. Isabel Galina
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliogr?ficas, UNAM igalina at unam.mx


________________________________________
De: dhcenterstartup-bounces at lists.digitalhumanities.org [dhcenterstartup-bounces at lists.digitalhumanities.org] en nombre de Eric Lease Morgan [emorgan at nd.edu]
Enviado: lunes, 06 de mayo de 2013 09:41 a.m.
Para: dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Asunto: Re: [Dhcenterstartup] Why a DH Center?

On May 3, 2013, at 1:21 PM, Lynne Siemens <siemensl at uvic.ca> wrote:

> Hi all, interesting tweet today suggesting that DH might becoming too center-centric and potentially overlooking the work done by individual scholars operating outside a center. This got me thinking about the reasons why a center might be productive and add to the work that individual scholars might already be doing at an institution. So for you folks, why are you and your institutions thinking about a center?  What are the perceived benefits of bringing people together in this way?


Why a center? What are the benefits? Good questions!

We here at Notre Dame are in the same boat. We are in the process of creating a center called the Center for Digital Scholarship. Hammers have not begun to swing, yet, but the whole thing -- a space approximately 5,000 square feet in size -- is expected to be finished by the Fall Semester. (The University of very good at building things.)

We are building a center because we realize libraries are not about books but rather the things books contain. Libraries are about data, information, knowledge, and to some extent wisdom. Libraries are about collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating data, information, and knowledge for the benefit and improvement of their constituents including but not limited to: students, instructors, researchers, the general public, etc. Moreover, with the abundance of data, information, and knowledge the processes of traditional librarianship (collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating) are not quite enough. Those processes are being facilitated by many other groups, entities, and institutions. There is a much larger set of "information competitors". Consequently libraries -- in order to remain relevant -- need to go beyond these processes. In our case "going beyond" means providing additional services not provided by others.

Again, why? Because the information landscape has evolved. What are the benefits? Our center will provide specific assistance and services against our specific clientele. Google is generic. Bookstores are profit-driven. A lot of online content is full of distracting ads. We will provide tailored services. Costs will be an issue, but the "bottom line" is not all powerful. We will provide services rich in real content conducive to learning, teaching, and scholarship.

While things are still up in the air, our center will initially provide services against a number things, listed in no priority order:

  * digital humanities - "Help me make a website
    about my digitized data, and help me do some text mining."

  * data management - "Help me articulate a data
    management plan, and help me make sense of my content."

  * geographic information systems - "I've got this census
    data. Help me plot it on a map."

  * scholarly communication - "Tell me about copyright, open
    access publishing, and maintain my electronic journal."

The space will have a classroom, a formal meeting space, an informal meeting space, staff offices, and a bunch of computers equipped with software to assist in the things outlined above.

Again, why? Because content is increasingly digital. Benefits? We will be providing tailored services to specific audiences. But at the same time we realize few individuals possess all the talent necessary to thorough digital scholarship. Humanists need some of what the scientists have. Scientists need some of what the information technologists have. Information technologists need some of what the humanists have. Few of us can go it alone. Centers will facilitate this sort of collaboration. We will be bringing together multiple disciplines and different types of people from across the campus to a central -- common, neutral -- space where collaboration will be encouraged and communication fostered. All of this will assist the University in achieving its goals of excellent learning, teaching, and scholarship.

How's that for a Monday morning?

--
Eric Lease Morgan, Digital Initiatives Librarian
Hesburgh Libraries
University of Notre Dame

574/631-8604




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------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Tue, 7 May 2013 10:41:56 +0530
From: Gurpreet Singh <gursainipreet at gmail.com>
To: "dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org"
	<dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org>
Subject: Re: [Dhcenterstartup] Why a DH Center?
Message-ID:
	<CAMT1M8Vn2T4GPdsj-XB42Qe-B3X+A0m6ENrA9N-BTQ_XqXH33w at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Dear all

I would say that having a center is a better means to connect with others
interested and bring together the people who may otherwise be working on DH
related projects but don't actually know that they are and there are other
who are working on similar topics.
More over center sort of provide a central contact position through which
collaborative efforts can be pushed forward.
As the old saying goes UNITY IS STRENGTH, and centers provide that unity by
bringing the researcher committed to DH.

Regards
G. Singh
https://sites.google.com/site/gursainipreet/


On 3 May 2013 22:51, Lynne Siemens <siemensl at uvic.ca> wrote:

>   Hi all, interesting tweet today suggesting that DH might becoming too
> center-centric and potentially overlooking the work done by individual
> scholars operating outside a center.
>
>  This got me thinking about the reasons why a center might be productive
> and add to the work that individual scholars might already be doing at an
> institution.
>
>  So for you folks, why are you and your institutions thinking about a
> center?  What are the perceived benefits of bringing people together in
> this way?
>
>  Any thoughts?
>
>  Lynne
>  --
> Lynne Siemens
>  Assistant Professor
> Graduate Advisor, Master of Arts in Community Development
> School of Public Administration
> University of Victoria
> Telephone: (250) 721-8069
> Email: siemensl at uvic.ca
> webpage: lynnesiemens.wordpress.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> Dhcenterstartup mailing list
> Dhcenterstartup at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> http://lists.lists.digitalhumanities.org/mailman/listinfo/dhcenterstartup
>
>
>
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