Digital Humanities Data Curation

The Digital Humanities Data Curation Institutes project will facilitate a multi-institutional collaboration between MITH and the University Libraries at UMD, the Women Writers Project (WWP) at Brown University, and the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign to provide three workshops during 2013. The practice of cutting-edge humanities research increasingly involves acquisition, synthesis, and management of data in digital form. The theoretical knowledge and practical skills of information science, librarianship, and archival science represent a vital component of the skill set that will be required to succeed in the rapidly transforming landscape of the academy and the wider society. Digital Humanities Data Curation institutes served as opportunities for participants with all levels of expertise—from beginners to the most advanced—to receive guidance in understanding the role of data curation in enriching humanities research projects. By the conclusion of each institute, participants will be adept at formulating solutions for existing challenges and will be able to document their data curation strategies in the form of data curation plans and strategic risk assessments, a key element of innovative digital scholarship. Applications to join this cohort of scholars focused on discipline-specific curation practices and skills were announced in late fall 2012, with the Institute beginning in Spring 2013. The Digital Humanities Data Curation Institutes project is supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Institutes for Advanced Topics grant (2012). A generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will support a series of three-day workshops to introduce humanists, librarians, and advanced graduate students to the principles and practices of data curation.

About the Institute

Carrying out computational research with digital materials requires that both scholars and information professionals understand how to manage and curate data over its entire lifetime of interest. At the least, individual scholars must be able to document their data curation strategies and evaluate those of collaborators and other purveyors of humanities data. The three-day workshops will provide a strong introductory grounding in data curation concepts and practices, focusing on the special issues and challenges of data curation in the digital humanities. Learning will be largely case-based, supplemented by short lectures, guest presentations, and practical exercises. All participants will also have access to an online resource for sharing knowledge about data curation for the humanities. This resource will build on material from the existing DH Curation Guide. Participants will learn how to:

  • Model humanities data for sustainable computational research
  • Identify, assess, and mitigate risks to their data
  • Evaluate tools and systems for working with data from a curatorial perspective
  • Plan and implement data management during all phases of a project’s lifecycle
  • Leverage data curation skills to improve scholarly publications, grant applications, and promotion dossiers
  • Understand and stay current with the landscape of data curation research