TILE project blog and website launched

TILE: Text-Image Linking Environment is pleased to announce the launch of its public blog and informational site: http://tileproject.org

Our first blog posting includes a description of anticipated TILE functionality.


Upcoming posts will include an invitation to participate in user testing, as well as announcements of software as it becomes available.

Visit often, or subscribe to the RSS feed for the latest news on TILE.

TILE is a collaborative project among the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO), and Indiana University Bloomington, funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Resources program (research and development focus). Over two years TILE will develop a new web-based, modular, collaborative image markup tool for both manual and semi-automated linking between encoded text and image of text, and image annotation.

The project is unusual in digital humanities tools development in that it is being designed from the start to support a wide variety of use cases. Several projects from the University of Indiana Bloomington, The University of Oregon and Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies are initial testbeds. In the second year of the project, TILE will turn to the user community for testing. If you are interested in participating, or in learning more about the project, please contact us at TILEPROJECT@listserv.heanet.ie.  (thanks to Dot P for the link)



A Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States

In preparation for the 2008 Scholarly Communications Institute (SCI 6), the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) commissioned a survey of digital humanities centers (DHCs). The immediate goals of the survey were to identify the extent of these centers and to explore their financing, organizational structure, products, services, and sustainability. The longer-term goal was to provide SCI 6 participants with a greater understanding of existing centers to inform their discussions about regional and national centers.

Digital humanities centers, Ms. Zorich writes, are entities “where new media and technologies are used for humanities-based research, teaching, and intellectual engagement and experimentation. The goals of the center are to further humanities scholarship, create new forms of knowledge, and explore technology’s impact on humanities-based disciplines.” (link)

The ‘Dark Side’ of the Enlightenment

The Alchemist

“The Alchemist in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone,” by Joseph Wright, 1771

Dan Edelstein, a Stanford French professor, has been exploring an aspect of the Age of Enlightenment that is less familiar to most, the so-called “dark side” of the enlightenment. He described the differentiating factors. “The prevailing understanding of the enlightenment is one in which there was only scientific and rational thinking, but there was also a significant number of people contributing to the enlightenment who were absorbed in dubious scholarly pursuits like alchemy, mythology, astrology and secret societies.”(link)

These ‘dubious scholarly pursuits’ are still with us. ‘Web 2’ perhaps?

A vision of Britain through time

Another fantastic resource from the JISC.


The JISC-funded A Vision of Britain Through Time website launches today,
giving access, often for the first time, to over two centuries’ worth of
facts, figures, surveys, maps, election results and travel writing showing
how 15,000 UK places have changed.

The changing story of Britain’s towns and villages can be explored in new
depth online, which unites more than 200 years worth of official documents,
maps and travel stories. http://vision.port.ac.uk/

Leaping Hurdles: Planning IT Provision for Researchers

I recently attended a workshop sponsored by the Joint information Systems Committee (JISC) that presented some of the findings from the JISC funded community engagement and virtual research environments (VRE) projects. The three community engagement projects presented were the engage project (engaging researchers with e-infrastructure), the e-uptake project (enabling uptake of e-Infrastructure Services), and the eius project (e-Infrastructure Use Cases and Service Usage Models).

And the Virtual Research Environments (VREs) presented were MyExperiment (sharing scientific workflows), the VERA project (Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology) and the BVREH Project (Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities).

Rob Proctor presented the findings from the e-uptake project, one of the community engagement projects concerned with understanding the barriers to researchers applying new e-infrastructures within their work practices. One of the aims of the project was to identify recurring and wide spread barriers rather than localised and contingent barriers. The people interviewed for the study were primarily researchers but alos intermediaries who provide support services.
Continue reading “Leaping Hurdles: Planning IT Provision for Researchers”

Digital boost for work of arts

An article in the Times Higher Education supplement about the Arts and Humanities e Science support Centre (AHESSC) here at King’s College in London.

Imagine the research possibilities of being able to view three-dimensional scans of museum objects, write dance moves electronically or study ancient documents that were previously considered too damaged to decipher.

E-tools are being developed to allow researchers to do these things, aiding scholarly work in subjects that are not usually associated with such technology, such as museum curation, dance, archaeology and music. The tools are also opening new possibilities for researchers who want to process a large amount of data or share resources more widely (link).

New Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ) available: Spring 2009: v3 n2

Digital Humanities Quarterly is a refreshing and innovative online journal in the Digital Humanities field. The latest issue is about the concept of ‘completion’ in a Digital Humanities work. As Mathew Kirschenbaum atates: “How do we know when we’re done? This cluster of articles explores completion and incompletion in the digital humanities from a variety of perspectives”. And from the Editor: Julia Flanders.

As we head towards the fourth anniversary of the journal’s inception,
I would like to thank the entire DHQ team for all of their hard work,
creativity, and sense of adventure. Thanks as well are due to all
those who have contributed to the reviewing and have given the authors
such thoughtful feedback and advice. Finally, we all thank the authors
for the excellent material they have enabled us to publish, and the
journal’s readers for their attention.

Best wishes and thanks to all–Julia

Julia Flanders
Editor-in-chief, DHQ
Brown University

Quarterly (http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/)