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Digital Humanities Curio Cabinet

The Online Computer Library Center, or OCLC, submitted the latest in a genre of self-reflection by library leadership focused on where and whether digital humanities intersects with the library. Conveniently, Bethany Nowviskie, head of one of the major alt-ac powerhouses* in digital humanities--the Scholar’s Lab at the University of Virginia--responded with a pointed critique.

SUL Digital Humanities Project Support - Call for Proposals

The School of Humanities and Sciences and Stanford University Library invite faculty and graduate students in all areas of the humanities to submit a research project proposal. Projects will be selected on the basis of their significance and contribution to the scholar’s disciplinary field, theoretical and methodological sophistication, creativity of approach and technical innovation. 

This support does not include any funding. Rather, project support awarded to successful applicants consists of library specialist staff and resources providing software development, project management, data modeling, and research support for a fixed period of time (typically 6-12 months, depending on the scope of the project).


ORBIS is nearly two years old, and the ongoing update to the site has me once again in conversation with a cartographers, geographers, designers, and digital humanists. A new response I get, when describing the growing feature list of ORBIS v2, is some variation of "What do people use this for?" The fact that ORBIS still generates decent traffic* seems even more remarkable than its appearance in gaming forums, college essays and high school courses. The ultimate answer to the question is that most people play with it, running routes and contrasting the results with their own experience or intuition of travel in the regions where they run their routes. But, as has been noted in earlier essays about the project, ORBIS was built for the purpose of displaying dynamic distance cartograms, and the Google Maps interface was just an affordance that came along from developing that functionality. And so one of my major goals in updating ORBIS is to dramatically improve the cartogram functionality, as well as provide mechanisms to improve the use and understanding of what is a very abstract concept. This is as much a design challenge as a coding challenge, especially when it comes to properly distorting the routes that make up the network along with the sites.

Ada Lovelace Day 2013

October 15th marks Ada Lovelace Day, an annual celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. As I read through posts commemorating the day, it got me reflecting on my own experience. It's not just that I admire Ada Lovelace and the women that followed after her. It's that I quite literally wouldn't be here without them.

Keep reading about the woman most repsonsible for my career.


The Digital Humanities on Ada Lovelace Day

Today, October 15, is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate the contributions of women in computing (and in other science and technology fields); a time to remember the nineteenth-century's fascinating and brilliant "first computer programmer" Ada Gordon Lovelace; and an excellent opportunity to praise and encourage the Adas of our day. I'm especially lucky and proud to be able to count a great number of computing women as colleagues, friends, and role models in my field.

Melissa Terras, a DH colleage at University College London, has just contributed a must-read contribution to this year's Ada Lovelace Day celebrations: "Father Busa’s Female Punch Card Operatives," an account of some of the women (with never-before-published historical photos) who contributed to the efforts of the founding father of humanities computing, Fr. Roberto Busa. If you have limited time to celebrate the day, please stop reading me and go read Melissa's essay.