It is a bittersweet moment to announce that MITH’s Associate Director Doug Reside will be leaving us to become the first ever digital curator for the performing arts at the New York Public Library.
In introducing Doug Reside at the beginning of a “Digital Dialogue,” I once described him as “the beating heart of MITH.” While this metaphor may be a bit graphic, it speaks exactly to how, in so many important ways, Doug has made MITH tick over the past five years.
I could, for instance, point to how, since his arrival at MITH five years ago, Doug has brilliantly developed and completed a series of grants that have helped MITH both gain an international profile in digital tool building and develop widely recognized expertise in the digital documentation and preservation of the performing arts. His multimedia XML markup tool AXE, alone, has been at the center of three grants from the Mellon Foundation and the NEH—and, of course, research projects and funding make MITH go. I could point to how Doug has been instrumental in establishing partnerships for MITH with such institutions as the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the British Library, the Bodleian Library, and the Walters Art Gallery—and, of course, such partnerships make MITH go. I could point to how Doug has worked productively with MITH Faculty Fellows—and, of course, Faculty Fellows make MITH go. I could point to how Doug has taught three fabulous courses in the digital humanities to faculty, students, and staff—and, of course, such educational outreach makes MITH go. Finally, I could point to how–first as assistant director and more recently as associate director—Doug has brilliantly overseen all the work of MITH’s technical staff, from programmers, to Web developers, to designers, to GAs, to student interns–and, of course, without that work, MITH couldn’t go at all.
But Doug’s contribution to MITH extends beyond even these considerable achievements. It is not just in usually being the first one to arrive in the morning and the last one to leave that Doug has set the tone for MITH. Even more important is that in all he does Doug has the human touch: he is someone everyone at MITH respects, admires, and seeks out, and he has played a crucial role in helping to make MITH into a tightly-knit community, rather than a mere workplace.
To know Doug is also to know how passionate he is about musical theatre and the performing arts. Although we will greatly miss him, we are thrilled that Doug has been able to find what is for him a dream job, and we wish him the brilliant future we know is waiting for him in New York!